The festive season in India has begun. Many homes in India are now celebrating Dasara – a festival of 10 days and 10 nights. It is a festival to celebrate the victory of Lord Ram over the evil Asur Ravan. It is also the time to revere the Mother Goddess. Each temple has unique rituals to celebrate this festival. Here is how this festival is celebrated at Kanaka Durga Temple, Vijayawada.
The Kanaka Durga Temple, Vijayawada
First, a small introduction to this small temple. The Kanaka Durga temple is located on the Indrakeeladri hills, on the banks of Krishna river in Vijayawada. The idol here is a self-manifested ancient idol.
Mythology about this city and temple
There is a mention of this temple in Kaalika Puraana, Durgaa Sapthashati and other ancient works such as Shakti Puran and Shiv Purans
According to one legend, Lord Shiva made a route, a tunnel, in the rocky region for River Krishna to flow through. Since tunnels are called Bejjam in Telugu language the city came to acquire the name Bejawada.
Another legend talks of how the Pandava Arjuna prayed to Lord Shiva on top of this Indrakeela hill got the Pashupathastra. This weapon played an important role in helping the Pandavas to win the Mahabharat war. This is the reason how the city is also called Vijayawada (Vijay for Victory).
There is another legend of how sage Indrakila mediated on the mother goddess, Kanaka Durga here to rid the earth of the terror-striking Mahishasura rakshas. The Goddess was pleased and granted his wish by annihilating the asura and his tribe. She later settled on this hill,named after the sage, as Kanaka Durga to bless all her devotees.
The idols in this temple
The main deity in this temple is Goddess Kanaka Durga. The idol of the Goddess here is 4 foot tall with eight arms holding powerful weapons. The Goddess is standing on the Mahishasura, the evil asura and with a downturned trident. The idol looks radiant with various ornaments and flowers. People stand in long queues and feel immensely pleased and blessed on getting just one glimpse of this powerful Goddess.
The other main deity is Lord Shiva who is called Malleswara Swamy here. One can also find other deities such as Lord Nataraj, Lord Kartikeya, Lord Ganesh, Goddess Kali and Goddess Krishna (river) in the same precincts.
Dasara is one of the most important festivals celebrated in this temple. The Goddess is dressed up in her different forms (Alankarams) on all the 10 days of the festival.
Idol dressed in gold (Swarna) ornaments
Legend- the goddess blessed king Madhava Varma with gold for executing justice to a child wronged by his own son
The goddess is dressed in form of small girl child Bala Tripurasundari, the Child-Goddess who demolished 30 demon sons of Bhandasura demon
This form is an incarnation of Goddess Parvathi who provides food and nourishment even to Lord Shiva himself
The embodiment of Gayatri mantra– five head Goddess married Lord Brahma
Mother of Bala Tripurasundari – one of the ten Mahavidyas Goddesses who killed the evil demon Bhandasura.
The Goddess of the arts, Learning, Knowledge and Wisdom
The Goddess of Prosperity and Wealth
A Warrior Goddess – An avatar of Goddess Parvati
The slayer of the buffalo demon Mahishasura
The Goddess of fertility and harvest
People throng from nook and corner of Andhra Pradesh and all the country to have a darshan of Goddess Kanaka Durga in the above radiant forms during Dasara.
How to Reach the Kanaka Durga Temple
This temple is located in the center of Vijayawada City center is just 10 minutes away from the City’s Central Bus stop and Railway Station. The Vijayawada airport is 20 kms away from the temple.
Vijayawada is accessible for air travelers via Hyderabad which is 275 kms away. This city is also connected to other main cities of India by bus, air and rail.
The festival has now begun in the temple. The Government has made all the arrangements for pilgrims to visit this temple during the Dasara festivities so that the devotees can get the grace of Goddess Kanaka Durga, the giver of boons. So, if you are planning to visit temples this season, visit this famous and powerful Goddess and seek her blessing for a long and happy and contented life
Photo by Doorbin(দূরবীন)