Located in Kangra district of Himachal Pradesh, Chamunda Devi Temple is a renowned holy shrine among the Hindus. It is situated at a distance of 10 kms from Palampur, on the banks of Baner River. This ancient temple is 700 years old. Also known as Chamunda Nandikeshwar Dham; this sacred temple is an abode of Shiva- the destroyer God and Shakti- the goddess of power since the saga of Puranas.
Chamunda Devi is considered as the wrathful form of Durga, but at the same time, the Goddess is kind to her true devotees. The term 'Chamunda' has been derived from two words, 'Chanda' and 'Munda'.
The temple is situated in the picturesque beauty of lush green mountains. Many saints can be seen here involved in penance and meditation. In the past days, the image of the Goddess was situated on the hill above the present site of the temple. The site was found to be in a remote area, where it was not possible for everyone to reach and moreover, it was quite risky. There is a story behind the establishment of this temple.
Legend behind the relocation of the Temple
Around 400 years ago, a King and a Brahmin priest prayed to Chamunda Devi asking her consent to shift the image to an accessible location. Chamunda Devi appeared in a dream to the priest granting him the permission. She asked him to dig a certain area and subsequently, they will find an ancient idol. They can brought the idol in the temple and worship her. The priest told about the dream to the King and sent his men to bring the idol. The men got the idol, but they could not lift it.
Again, the Goddess appeared and asked the priest that the men could not lift the idol because they took it as an ordinary stone. She told the priest to get up early in the morning and take a bath. After wearing fresh clothes, he should go to the place in a devoted manner. The priest did the same what was told to him. He found that he could lift the idol easily. He placed the idol in its present location and from that time, the Goddess is worshipped by people.
The legend related to the temple says that there occurred a furious battle between the gods and demons in the "Savarni Manvantra." During the course of this battle, Chamunda who is believed to have emerged from an eyebrow of Goddess "Kaushiki"; was entrusted with the tedious task of eliminating the demons "Chand" and "Mund". After a fierce battle, the goddess at last killed them. Taking the slain heads of both, she went to Goddess "Kaushiki." The pleased Goddess blessed Chandika and bestowed the title of Chamunda upon her.
There is nothing extra-ordinary about the architecture of this temple, but the divine aura spell bounds the devotees with its spiritual appeal. In the temple, the main image is visible from the main entrance. The main shrine is adored by the images of Lord Bhairav and Lord Hanuman on its sides. Actually, these lords are considered as the guards of the Goddess. The main image of the Goddess is visible draped in rich clothes.
In the temple complex, there is a huge pond with images of Lords and people can take bath here. There is sculpture of Goddess, in which, she is garlanded with serpents, scorpions, and skulls. During the time of Navratras, the temple is crowded by large number of people. Pilgrims from far and near come to visit this temple of great legacy and religious importance. Chamunda Devi blesses all her true devotees.
In the corner of the temple, one can see small footsteps of the Goddess on a stone. Besides the main shrine, there is a marble staircase that takes down to the cave of Lord Shiva. This is a cave-like scoop where Shiva Lingam is placed. People visit this cave and worship Lord Shiva with great devotion.
Chamunda Devi is worshipped daily while the sermons include 'Aartis' at intervals. Devotees who recite the hymn of 'Shat Chandi' with devoted heart at this temple is considered auspicious.
Getting there and around
By Air - Nearest Airport is Gaggal which is connected with New Delhi and Chandigarh by Indian Airlines Flight. The Distance of Shrine from Delhi is 525 Kms.
By Rail - Nearest railway station is Pathankot for broad gauge trains and there is also a narrow gauge train in Kangra district for which the railway station is Nagrota Bagwan.
By Road - Motorable roads connect this Shrine from Palampur & Dharamshala. Taxis can be hired from these places. Distance from Dharamshala to Shrine is 14 Kms. & from Palampur 18 Kms.This all is hilly and beautiful scenic area all along the valley. Frequent state transport bus service is available from all important cities of Punjab, Haryana, New Delhi, Chandigarh and Jammu and Kashmir.
Barely 300m from the temple of Chamunda Devi, Himachal Tourism runs a neat and clean Yatri Niwas.Free accommodation is available in Temple's Sarai.
Kangra district, HIMACHAL PRADESH, INDIA
Posted By : Vinod Jindal on Apr 12, 2011
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