Durga Temple

Varanasi, the holy city in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh, is famous for its temples and ghats. One will find many famous and majestic temples like Kashi Vishwanath, Sankat Mochan Mandir, Bharat Mata Mandir, etc. dotting the landscape of the city. Durga Temple is one such temple, which a tourist embarking on religious tours of Varanasi must visit. It is located 2 km from the city of Varanasi.

Goddess Durga is believed to be a manifestation of Parvati, the wife of Lord Shiva. She signifies the Shakti, female element of power and harmony in nature. In this Shaivite stronghold, one notices a Durga Temple rarely. This is perhaps the reason why a Bengali Maharani built this temple in the 18th century. The Bengalis are considered dedicated fans of Goddess Durga. It is a pleasant surprise to see this Durga Temple in the heart of Shaivism.

Durga Temple is considered one of the important temples in Varanasi. This temple is coloured in red with ochre. Though built by a Bengali, the temple has been built on the lines of north Indian Nagara style. The temple is situated on a rectangular tank, which is aptly called Durga Kund. The temple has multi-tiered spires with decreasing diameters. Separate spires are stacked together to give the present look of the shikhara or spire. This five-tiered shikara looks truly majestic. However, the menace created by the monkeys that inhabit the sanctum, has earned this temple the name of Monkey Temple.

It is believed that the holy scriptures bear out a testimony to the location of Goddess Durga at this spot. The image of Durga in the temple is supposed to be self manifested and not created by human hands. During Durga Puja, sacrifices of goats are performed. Non-Hindus can enter the courtyard of Durga Temple, but are not allowed in the inner sanctum. This temple is very different from the other temples in Varanasi and is definitely worth a visit. The temple is thronged by devotees during the Navratri and other Hindu festivals.

Last Updated On: 2011/07/16

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