Chamba is known as the town of temples. You will find several temples in and around Chamba. The Chamunda Devi Temple is one of the famous temples around Chamba. This temple is located on the banks of river Baner. This place is surrounded by the Baner khad and Pathiar, Lahl forests. This is a picturesque place ideal for picnics.
The Chamunda Devi Temple is dedicated to the Goddess Kali (the goddess of war). The idol of the temple has Goddess Kali in an enraged avatar of Chamunda. Like many other temples in India, this temple has a legend about its establishment. It is said that the demons Chand and Munda tried to destroy Goddess Ambika, with the help of their Chaturangini army.
When Goddess Ambika got to know of their plans she produced Goddess Kali from her eyebrows. This avatar of the Goddess was dressed in cheetah skin and wore a garland of skulls. The Goddess fought with the whole army and killed Chanda and Munda. Therefore the Goddess Kali acquired the name 'Chamunda' from the combination of Chanda and Munda. And hence the idol of Goddess Kali is worshipped with the name of Chamunda Devi.
The Chamunda Devi Temple is about 700 years old. This temple is a big complex, enclosing a big kund. The devotees coming to the temple first generally take a dip in the kund or tank. A dip in this kund is considered auspicious. The idol of the Goddess is covered with a red cloth. The idol of the temple is sacred and hence even the devotees are not permitted to see it. The Chamunda Devi Temple has a cave like structure at the back. In this cave, you can see a shivalingam and nandi. Apart from this, the temple is decorated with colorful sculptures of other Gods and Goddesses. Tourists can even have a look at the scenes from Devi Mahatmya, Ramayana and Mahabharata in the temple.
The existing Chamunda Devi Temple is attached with a legend, according to which the original temple was located in a remote area, which was not accessible. Around 400 years ago the king and a brahmin called upon Goddess Kali to give them the permission of relocating the temple. The Goddess visited the Brahmin in his dreams and gave him her consent. She told them to dig at a particular place to excavate the idol and install it in a temple.
Accordingly the king’s men dug up the place to find the idol of Goddess Kali. The Brahmin established this idol in the present temple. From this day the Chamunda Devi Temple is attracting pilgrims from all over India.
This place is also famous as Shakti pith. Many pilgrims visit this place for meditation and to attend spiritual accomplishments. The shivalingam present at this temple is worshiped by many devotees. The devotees come here to offer prayers to their ancestors and to take a dip in the holy waters of the temple. Young unmarried girls are worshiped as a form of Goddess Kali.
The Chamunda Devi Temple is the epicenter of the religious activities of people in and around Chamba. This temple is one of the prominent tourist attractions in Chamba.
Last Updated On: 2011/07/07