Durga Temple is dedicated to Goddess Durga who is represented as sitting on a Tiger or Lion with sword, shield, trident etc. in her eight hands.
Way to reach Durga Temple at DurgaKund Varanasi :
People can take autos from Varanasi Cantt area or hire a rickshaw from any nearby place. It is located at 2 km distance from BHU and 13 km distance from Varanasi Cantt. If need a private tour, then you can hire a private Cab/taxi. Click here to get taxi fare in Varanasi
Architecture of Durga Temple :
Durga the Goddess of Power or Shakti has an elaborate ritualistic importance in Indian especially Hindu Religion. The name DurgaKund is derived from its two distinctly noticeable features i.e. Durga and Kunda meaning a Pond. The pond is along the right side of the temple and aids to its beauty with its vivid nature. The pond has stone stairs at all its sides as well as there are watch-pillars at each corner of the pond.
Durga temple, also known as the Monkey temple, because of the presence of huge number of monkeys, is situated in the DurgaKund, Varanasi. It was built in the 18th century. Durga temple was constructed by a Bengali Queen in the north Indian Style or the Nagara Style known in Indian Art and Sculpture with multi-storeyed shikhara or tower. Nagara is a square with a number of graduated projections-in the middle of each face which gives it a cruciform shape on the exterior. A tower gradually curving inwards gives elevation. Thus the two major features of this style are cruciform ground and curvilinear tower. This temple is built in square shape with red stones, symbolic of the color of the Mata Durga. It is believed that the statue of Goddess Durga was not built but it appeared itself. Millions of Hindu devotees go to the Durga temple in the Navratri, A festival that see elaborate rituals of nine days and other auspicious occasions to pray to the Goddess Durga to fulfill their wishes. People walk around the temple in clockwise direction for ritualistic purposes. It is believed that Goddess Durga always protects the Varanasi from vice of the mortal world as the meaning of Durga means citadel which was constructed for protection around the forts in ancient times.
In Indian pantheon, Goddess Durga is considered as the consort of Lord Shiva, the destroyer of world. Goddess is represented as the female power dressed in red color she also represent a radical change.
Another Durga temple, known as the Brahmacharini Durga Temple is situated close to the Durga Ghat (DurgaKund) on the bank of the holy river Ganges in Varanasi. Durga Ghat is one of the most famous Ghat in the Varanasi was built in 1772 AD by a saint, Narayana Dikshit.
Time to visit the temple :
People can visit the temple throughout the year from 7:00 am to 8:00 pm on any day.
Legend behind Durga Temple :
Once Dhiravasandhi the King of Ayodhya had two wives named Manorama and Lilavathi. He had two sons, Sudarsana (from Manorama) and Satrijith (from Lilavathi). Both sons were getting their education very well. One day, the king Dhiravasandhi went to hunt and hewas killed by a lion. The ministers of the king decided to make next king to Sudarsana but the second wife of the king opposed it. Yathajith (father of Lilavathi) made a plan to kill Sudarsana and Manoramawas frightened. She left the kingdom with her son and went to the Sage Bharadwaja at Trikutaadri in to save her child.
One day, Sudarsana was playing with other children and he was called Kleeba meaning impotent by other children. After some days, he forgot the actual word and often uttered Kleem. Sage noticed and commanded him to worship GoddessVaishnavi (Goddess revered by Kama beejakshara). The boy worshipped the Goddess Vaishnaviand she appeared before him. She was happy with his devotion. She gavea devine Bow and Arrow to the boyand blessed to win all battles fought by him.
As the time passed, Sasikala, daughter of Subahu, the king of Kashifell in love with Sudarsana as she had heard more about his valour. One night, Goddess Vaishnavi came in her dreams and told to marry Sudarsana. Sudarsana went to the Swayamvara of Sasikala with his mother. Satrijith was also present there in the Swayamvara with his grandfather-in-law, Yathajith. He announced and warned Sasikala that she should select Satrijith as her husband otherwise he will kill both. Subahuwas very afraid and persuaded her daughter to marry Satrijith. But she denied and told her father that Goddess Vaishnavi would protect them.
Subahu married his daughter toSudarsanathe same night.On hearing this,Yathajith came with his army at the border of Kasi to fight with Sudarsana. A battlestarted between them, thensuddenly Goddess Durgaappearedbefore them and killed both (Yathajith and Satrijith). The whole army got afraid and ran away from the battle field. In this way Sudarsanaconquered the battle. After knowing the incident Subahu also became devotee ofGoddess Vaishnavi. Goddess Vaishnaviwas pleased with him and asked for boon. Subahu prayed her to reside in Kashi and defend them. Goddess Vaishnavi accepted and resided on the bank of Durgakunda, where Subahu constructed a temple. After victory Sudarsana went to Ayodhya and started ruled.
On the right side of the Durga temple, a rectangular pond, known as DurgaKund (Kund means pond or pool) is located. Earlier it was directly connected to the river so that it can automatically replenish. But currently the water channel is closed to block the water supply. The water in the pond is collected during rain or drainage from the temple. At the occasion of Nag Panchami, the act of showing Lord Vishnu resting on the Shesha Naga is recreated every year in the DurgaKund.