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Durga Kund Temple

Location:

Durga Kund Temple is a very famous Temple located at Durga Kund on Sankat Mochan road in Bhelupura area.

How to Reach:

You can travel up to this place in car or auto rickshaw or cycle rickshaw.

Pooja Timing:

Temple is open from 4 am to 1pm and from 3 pm to 11 pm. Devotees worship Durga Devi during Navratri falling in September/October. Though there is a practice of worshipping one Devi each starting from day one, there is a heavy rush of devotees on all days of both Navratries.

Highlights:

Durga Kund Temple is one of the important Temples of Varanasi, also known as "Monkey Temple" because of the presence of large number of monkeys that reside in the nearby trees. Durga Kund Temple overlooks the kund or pond and was built in the 18th century. Thousands of Hindu devotees visit Durga Kund Temple during Navratri to worship Goddess Durga and during other auspicious occasions. A Bengali Maharani built Durga Temple in Nagara Style (North Indian style of Temple architecture). It is stained red with ochre and has a multi-tiered shikhara (spire), representing the red colour of Durga. The building has a rectangular tank for water called Durga Kund ("Kund" meaning a pond or pool.). Every year on the occasion of Nag Panchami, the act of depicting God Vishnu reclining on the serpent is recreated in the Kund. According to the Puranas, Goddess Durga has kept this place for many centuries and protects the holy city, Varanasi, from the South. This is a well maintained Temples with idols of Goddesses Lakshmi, Saraswati and Kali present in the premises. Frequently, Chandi Havan is conducted in the temple. Kashi Khand mentions that devotees should offer Bali (slaying of animals). Old timers say that till several decades back Bali was being offered and there is a place earmarked for that purpose near the temple. But nowadays Bali is banned by the Government.

History:

According to the legends, present statue of Goddess Durga was not made by man but appeared on its own in the Temple. In Hinduism, Goddess Durga is represented as the embodiment of shakti or female power, clad in red, riding a tiger and fully armed with Shiva's trident, Vishnu's discus and a sword. In the Temple also idol of Goddess Durga, a manifestation of Shakti is dressed in red and rides a tiger with the trident, the discus and a sword in her hands. Non-Hindus can enter the courtyard of Durga Kund Temple but not the inner sanctum.

Lord Kartikeya had once narrated that once there was a Demon named Durgasur who underwent intense prayers for several long years and achieved the powers whereby no man could defeat him. Due to this and on account of his sheer arrogance he began tormenting all religious people, he got several worlds (Bhoo Lok, Swarg Lok etc.) under his control. He destroyed various Gurukuls (residential schools), Yagya Shala (places where Yagya/fire rituals were performed), imprisoned various religious Heads, imprisoned various Rishi Patnis (wives of sages). Rivers started flowing in wrong direction, crops started giving different kinds of yields.

All the Gods and human beings approached Lord Shiva and sought refuge. Lord Shiva knew about the powers of Durgasura especially that the latter could not be killed by a Man. He hinted the Devi to do the needful. Devi sent her emissary, Kalratri, alongwith a few other ladies to warn Durgasur. Kalratri reached Durgasur’s abode and passed on the message. She further asked him to refrain from tormenting religious people, return the land etc grabbed by him and go elsewhere, otherwise Goddess Devi would certainly eliminate him. With utter arrogance Durgasur asked his warriors to capture Kalratri and imprison her.

When the warriors approached her, Kalratri exhaled with a roar which produced jets of fire balls and thousands of the warriors were killed. This further enraged Durgasur, who ordered more warriors to chase her. Kalratri immediately flew through the sky, reached Goddess’s abode near Vindhyachal Mountains and reported the entire happenings to Goddess. Soon Durgasur arrived at the place where Goddess was stationed and a fierce war ensued. In the process, Devi released all her Shaktis which took form of various female warriors (with extreme powers). The battle has been described in detail in Kashi Khand. Finally Goddess, with her extreme powers, killed Durgasur and all his deputies. There was extreme joy in the entire world and peace and happiness returned.

All Gods and other learned people praised Goddess by reciting Vajra Panchakam. Goddess was pleased and assumed the name of Durga Devi (on account of slaying Durgasur). Goddess Durga told the people that devotees should recite Vajra Panchakam which will help them in overcoming any sort of obstacles. On Asthami and Chaturdasi, especially if Tuesday combines with the above days, devotees should worship Durga Devi in Kashi. Goddess will bless devotees with purity in thoughts and deeds. Devotees should perform various kinds of poojas to please Durga Devi. In Sharad Navaratri and Vasanth Navaratri, devotees should undertake Yatra of Durga Devi. During Navratri, devotees should take bath in Durga Kund and worship Durga Devi without fail. By this act, the devotee will cleanse all sins accumulated over his entire life time.