13 Must Visit Durga Temples in India

Durga temples in India
Durga Temples in India

Exploring the most famous Durga Temples in India

Durga Devi is a powerful and beloved goddess in Hinduism. Hindus see her as both a fierce protector and a loving mother. They believe she is the source of all creation and destruction. Devotees worship Durga Devi as the ultimate power and highest soul. People pray to her for strength and to have their wishes granted. The best time to visit popular Durga temples in India is during Navratri. Many devotees fast for nine days during this festival. Each day has a special meaning. There are thousands of powerful Durga temples in India, each with its own history and traditions. Some of these temples are especially important because they are Shakti Peethas or have famous legends.

The most popular 13 Durga temples In India are listed here. You must visit each of them at least once in your life.

List of 13 Most Popular Durga Temples in India

  1. Vaishno Devi Temple
  2. Manasa Devi Temple
  3. Maihar Mata Temple
  4. Amba Mata Temple
  5. Chamunda Devi Temple
  6. Naina Devi Temple
  7. Kanaka Durga Temple
  8. Durga Temple
  9. Kamakhya Devi Temple
  10. Chamundeshwari Temple
  11. Dakishineshwar Kali Mandir
  12. Maa Jwala Ji Temple
  13. Karni Mata Temple

1. Vaishno Devi–Jammu Kashmir-Most Famous Durga Temple in India

 Durga Temples in India

Vaishno Devi is India’s most famous Durga temple. It’s high in the mountains, 61 kilometers north of Jammu. The temple sits at 1584 meters above sea level. Many pilgrims visit Vaishno Devi during Navratri. The goddess lives in a holy cave inside the Trikuta Mountains, which have three peaks. Inside the cave, you won’t find statues. Instead, there are three natural rock formations. These are called the Pindies of Mata Kali, Mata Saraswati, and Mata Lakshmi. They all come from the same rock, but they have different colors and textures.

Pilgrims must hike 12 kilometers from Katra to reach the main temple. You can visit Vaishno Devi any time of year. To know how to reach Vaishno Devi temple, Click Here.

2. Manasa Devi–Uttarakhand-Popular Durga Temple in India

Famous Durga Temples in India
Manasa Devi Temple

The Mansa Devi temple is near Haridwar, in the village of Badi Lambore. It’s located on the Sadulpur-Malsisar-Jhunjhunu route. Legend says Goddess Mansa Devi appeared in a dream to Seth Surajmalji, head of the Hamirwasiya family. Upon receiving the request for a temple, Surajmalji assigned the task to his son. The workers finished building the temple in 1975.

According to legend, Lord Shiva’s thoughts allowed the goddess Mansa Devi to appear. People also say she is Vasuki, the sister of the Naga serpent. Devotees visit Mansa Devi seeking wishes fulfilled. They tie threads on tree branches while making their wishes. When their wishes come true, they return to untie the threads. A ropeway makes it easier for pilgrims to reach the temple. It takes them from the lower station all the way to the Mansa Devi Temple itself.

3. Maihar Mata Temple – Madhya Pradesh

Popular durga temples in India

Maihar Mata Temple, a famous Durga temple, sits atop the tallest peak of Trikuti in Maihar city, Madhya Pradesh’s Satna district. Rumor has it that this ancient Mother Sharda temple grants the wishes of believers. Uniquely, Maihar Mata Temple stands alone as the only shrine dedicated to the Hindu goddess Sharda.

4. Amba Mata Temple – Gujarat

Amba Mata durga devi Temple
Amba Mata Temple

The Amba Mata Temple, one of India’s most important Shakti Peeths, sits atop Girnar mountain in Junagadh, Gujarat. It lacks installed idols but uses the sacred “Shree Visa Yantra” for goddess worship. Maa Amba embodies Goddess Durga at this revered site.

Before worshiping the Yantra, devotees must wrap their eyes with a white cloth. This is because no one can view the Yantra with their natural eyes. Many wedding parties visit the temple to seek the Goddess’ blessing for everlasting love.

Ambaji, one of the most picturesque towns in India, is nearby. The town is home to numerous temples, historical sites, and natural attractions.

5. Chamunda Devi Durga Temple – Himachal Pradesh

Well-Known Durga Temples in India
Chamunda Devi Temple

The Chamunda Devi Temple, dedicated to Goddess Chamunda Devi (a form of Kali), is one of the famous Devi temples in India. It’s located around 10 kilometers from Palampur, on the banks of the Baner River.

Chamunda gets her name from Chanda and Munda, two demons she slayed. Devotees believe this temple is special because it houses both Shiva and Shakti. Hanuman and Bhairo, seen as her guardians, flank Devi’s image. The main idol itself wears red cloth, symbolizing its sacredness. Nearby stands Nandikeshwar, a form of Lord Shiva. Devotees who believe in Chamunda Devi pray for their ancestors here.

6. Naina Devi Temple – Uttarakhand

Piligrimate to Durga Temples in India
Naina Devi Temple

The Naina Devi Temple, situated by the lake in Nainital, holds a reputation as one of India’s most powerful Devi temples. It earns fame for its ancient history and beauty. Legend states that Goddess Sati’s eyes fell here when Lord Shiva carried her burnt body, hence naming the temple Naina Devi, meaning “eye goddess.”

Devotees believe looking upon the Goddess can cure eye problems. Inside the temple, you’ll find three idols. On the left is Kali Devi. In the center is Maa Naina Devi, representing the two eyes. And on the right is Lord Ganesh. On the left side of the inner courtyard, there’s a large Peepal tree. Statues of Lord Hanuman and Ganesh are on the right side. Two lion statues guard the main entrance.

7. Kanaka Durga Temple – Andhra Pradesh

Visit Durga Temples in India

Kanaka Durga is a famous Durga temple in South India. It’s dedicated to Kanaka, a powerful form of Durga. Kanaka Durga is the main goddess worshipped in Vijayawada. Her temple sits on the Indrakeeladri hill, near the Krishna River. Legend says the Goddess appeared on this very hill.

Another story tells how Durga, after defeating the demon Mahishasura, shone brightly here. The gods named her Kanaka Durga, meaning “golden Durga,” and have worshipped her ever since. The temple is known for its beautiful Dravidian architecture. Even the famous Hindu scholar Adi Sankara visited this temple and installed the Sri Chakra here.

8. Durga Temple–Varanasi-Oldest Durga Temple in India

Must Visit Durga Temple in India Varanasi
Durga Temple Varanasi

Varanasi boasts a beautiful and historic Durga temple, a strong contender for the top 13 Durga temples in India. Built from red stone, this grand structure offers glimpses of the mother goddess in many forms. The temple sits on Durga Kund, a large rectangular tank in the city’s southern area. Designed in the Nagara style, it’s believed a Bengali queen built the temple.

The Durga Temple has a multi-tiered spire, made up of many smaller spires stacked together. Adding to its significance, Varanasi itself is thought to be under the protection of Goddess Durga. During the sacred Navaratri festival, devotees come to bathe in the Durga Kund and offer prayers there. It’s believed this washes away sins, illness, and suffering.

9. Kamakhya Devi Temple – Assam

Kamakhya Temple, located on Nilachal Hill in Guwahati, is one of the city’s most famous temples, and a contender for biggest Durga temple in India. It sits 10 kilometers from the Shaktipeeth Nilanchal Parvat and overlooks the Brahmaputra River.

This temple is significant because it’s said to be the place where Sati’s womb fell. Kamakhya is known as a menstruation goddess – unique because there’s no idol to worship. Instead, there’s a yoni, symbolizing feminine power and creation.

During the Assamese month of Ashadha, the goddess is believed to menstruate, becoming the “bleeding Devi.”Interestingly, the temple has no statue of Kamakhya itself, but a beautiful beehive structure.

Ten smaller temples surround Kamakhya Temple, each dedicated to a different form of Goddess Kali. The temple is also linked to the story of the demon Naraka. A natural spring flows from a yoni-shaped crack in the bedrock floor.

10. Chamundeshwari Temple–Karnataka-Best Durga Devi Temple in India

Chamundeshwari Temple
Chamundeshwari Temple

High on Chamundi Hills in Mysore, Karnataka sits the Chamundeshwari Temple, a strong contender for most famous Durga temple in India. Built in the 12th century, it’s dedicated to Goddess Chamundi, a form of Durga.

The temple stuns with a pure gold statue of Chamunda Devi. It also boasts a massive 40-meter “Gopuram,” decorated with intricate carvings. This tower is believed to symbolize Durga’s victory over the demon Mahishasura.

The main entrance is made of silver, and inside, the shrine holds a special jewel called Nakshatra-Malike, inscribed with 30 Sanskrit verses. Another striking feature is a 16-foot statue of the demon Mahishasura, standing right next to the shrine.

11. Dakshineshwar Kali Mandir – Kolkata

Dakshineshwar Kali Temple
Dakshineswar Kali Temple

The Dakshineshwar Kali Temple, a famous Durga temple in India, sits on the east bank of the Hoogly River. Built in 1847, Rani Rashmoni gets the credit for its construction.The temple worships Goddess Bhavatarini, a form of Kali. Interestingly, Ramakrishna, a famous spiritual figure, used to be the temple’s head priest.

Legend says Ramakrishna experienced a spiritual vision while performing rituals here. The sight of the Kali statue is said to have caused him to lose consciousness. Designed in the Bengali Nava-Ratna style, the temple features a large courtyard and a central structure with 12 spires. Twelve smaller temples surround it, all dedicated to Lord Shiva.

12. Maa Jwala Ji Temple – Himachal Pradesh

Maa Jwala Ji Temple
Maa Jwala Ji Temple

Jwalaji Temple, a prominent Durga temple in India, dedicates itself to Goddess Jwalamukhi, a powerful form of Durga. Situated 30 kilometers south of Kangra Valley, it stands out for its eternal flames.

Devotees worship a natural, continuously burning flame as the embodiment of the Goddess. They believe this flame represents one of Jwalamukhi’s nine forms, with eight other smaller flames mysteriously burning from nearby rocks.

According to legend, Lord Vishnu created these flames to combat demons in the mountains. From these flames emerged a powerful female named Adi Shakti, who triumphed over the demons. Due to its association with Adi Shakti’s power, Jwalaji Temple holds significant reverence as a pilgrimage site where devotees seek blessings from this formidable manifestation of Durga.

13. Karni Mata Temple – Rajasthan

Karni Mata Temple
Karni Mata Temple

The Karni Mata Temple, a truly unique Durga temple, stands out as a must-see in India. It lies 30 kilometers from Bikaner in Rajasthan, boasting a 600-year-old history and the nickname “Temple of Rats.”

Here, over 20,000 rats roam freely and people revere them as sacred beings known as “Kabas” or even “small children.” Legend claims these rats are reincarnations of Mata Karni’s family members. When her son died, Mata Karni, a powerful figure, pleaded with the god of death to bring him back. When her plea was denied, she transformed into Durga and revived him herself. She proclaimed that her family would never truly perish but would be reborn as these rats.

These 20,000 revered rats constitute the temple’s main attraction. People treat them with respect and offer them food in steel containers. The temple itself stands grand, adorned with huge silver gateways and beautiful marble decorations, thanks to Maharaja Ganga Singh’s contributions, enhancing its beauty.

During Navratri celebrations, massive crowds flock to the temple, making it one of the most popular Durga temples in India.

FAQ About Durga Temples in India

Q1. What is the name of 1st shakti peeth?

The Kirit Shaktipeeth is located on the Lalbagh Coat Bank of the Hooghly River in West Bengal. It signifies that Sati mata was left there. The idols are Shiva as Sangbarta and Devi as Vimala.

Q2. In India, where do people celebrate the biggest Durga puja?

In December 2021, UNESCO added Durga Puja in Kolkata to its list of Intangible Cultural Heritage. Devi Durga slew Mahishasura with her trident while riding her vahana lion. Saraswati and Kartikeya guard on the right, while Lakshmi and Ganesha guard on the left.

13 Must Visit Durga Temples in India
Article Name
13 Must Visit Durga Temples in India
Durga Devi is a powerful and beloved goddess in Hinduism. People pray to her for strength and to have their wishes granted. The most popular 13 Durga temples In India are listed here. You must visit each of them at least once in your life.

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