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BY- JAYA CHOUDHARY
The Chamunda Devi temple, also known as the 'Chamunda Nandikeshwar Dham,' is one of the most famous and well-known sacred places among Hindus. The temple is located on the banks of the Banganga (Baner) river in Himachal Pradesh's Kangra region, about 10 kilometers from the well-known Palampur city. It is one of Chamba's most popular tourist attractions, with worshippers flocking there all year. The Navratri season, however, is the busiest, with thousands of devotees flocking to seek Chamunda Devi's blessings. The temple is reported to be 700 years old and has been renovated and rebuilt several times. The natural beauty of the region makes it a popular picnic site in addition to being a religious and spiritual attraction.
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History of the temple
According to legend, Chamunda was first worshipped by the Munda people of Central India's Vindhya mountains. It's thought that these folks make offerings of both animals and humans. Chamunda is even offered alcohol. Because of her connection to Vedic Rudra, this goddess has a ferocious personality. At times, she is even referred to be the fire deity 'Agni'. The monarch and a Brahmin priest petitioned Devi for permission to relocate the temple to a more easily accessible place approximately 400 years ago, according to legend. In a dream, Devi appeared to the priest and gave her instructions.
The temple is located on the banks of the Banganga (Baner) River in Himachal Pradesh's Kangra regionWikimedia commons
She told him to dig in a certain location until he uncovered a historic idol, which he was to put in the temple and worship as her form. The king dispatched men to deliver the idol to him. Despite the fact that they were able to find it, they were unable to move it. Devi appeared to the priest in a dream once more. The guys couldn't move the sacred relic because they thought it was just another stone, she stated. She told him to wake up early in the morning, bathe, put on clean clothing, and arrive at the location in a respectable manner.The Brahmin followed the Goddess's directions and effortlessly lifted the idol, allowing the temple to be built as it is today.
The architecture of the temple
The temple is built in the Tantric style, as are the majority of Shakti Peeth temples. The goddess is depicted at the temple with images from mythology and folklore. The goddess's idol is flanked by sculptures of Lord Bhairav and Lord Hanuman, two gods considered to be the ferocious goddess's guardians. Chamunda was enshrined as the main deity Rudra Chamunda in the struggle against the demon Jalandhara, which the Maitrika goddesses were formed to defeat, according to mythology. The architecture of the temple is sculpted to meet the requirements of its topography, which is appropriate for the temple's mountainous location.
The temple is devoted not only to the Goddess but also to Lord Shiva, whose Lingam is located underneath the main temple in a tiny scoop-like cave. The temple's construction is ordinary, and it shares nothing in common with the other temples in the region, but what sets it apart is the scenic beauty of the site, as well as the awe-inspiring serenity and quiet that a devotee experiences when entering the premises. Locals and priests are also praised by visitors to the temple, who states that the people there are aware of the temple's beauty and are equally friendly to tourists, visitors, and worshippers.
The temple is built in the Tantric style, as are the majority of Shakti Peeth templesWikimedia commons
How to reach the temple
By Air: The nearest airport is Gaggal, which is connected to New Delhi and Chandigarh by Indian Airlines flights.
By Train: The nearest narrow-gauge railway station is Palampur, while the nearest broad gauge railway head is Pathankot.
By Road: Himachal Pradesh's major cities, Dharamshala, Palampur, and Pathankot, provide a variety of transportation options, including state-run buses, taxis, and auto-rickshaws. Using public transportation, one may easily reach the base of the hilltop-based Chamunda Devi Temple and then either hike, climb stairs (378 steps) or drive to the temple.
- Winter: 06.00 am to 12.00 pm and 01.00 pm to 9.00 pm.
- Summer: 05.00 am to 12.00 pm and 01.00 pm to 10.00 pm.
- Winter: 08.00 am and 6.00 pm
- Summer: 08.00 am and 8.00 pm
The city of Delhi has seen it all; from sultanate rule, to dynasties, and to colonial rule. From monarchy to democracy, Delhi has gone through its phases. But, in order to know and explore the nuances of Delhi, you must read these beautiful books.
1. City of Djinns: A Year in Delhi by William Dalrymple
This book was written while Dalrymple was still flirting with his love for the Medieval India. The author writes, "Moreover the city- so I soon discovered- possessed a bottomless seam of stories: tales receding far beyond history, deep into the cavernous chambers of myth and legend," and just like this, Dalrymple takes you in a tour to discover Discover Delhi.
2. Delhi by Heart: Impressions of a Pakistani Traveller by Raza Rumi
This book explores how the author explores his identity as a South Asian Muslim and how his city of Lahore is a mirror image of Delhi. Rumi, in this book, tries to co-relate the past with the present by comparing its festivals, streets, and markets.
3. Delirious Delhi: Inside India's Incredible Capital by DavePrager
This book is quite interesting. The story of this book revolves around the lives of Dave and Jenny who have recently moved to Delhi when their firm began to go down. The city of Delhi in this book is shown through their eyes as they try to make their way in the city that holds together a very large population.
4. The Heart has its Reasons by Krishna Sobti, Translated by Reema Anand, Meenakshi Swami
The original title of this book is "Dil - o - Danish". This book tells the reader about the streets of Old Delhi and almost transport the reader back in the past. This book is basically set in the 1920's, and tells the tale of a man's extramarital affair, his children out of wedlock, black magic, and Chandni Chowk's rich culture of sweets and the perils of being a widow. Interestingly, many have compared the author of this book to Jane Austen.
5. Delhi: A Novel by Khushwant Singh
Who would talk about Delhi and not remember Khushwant Singh? This amazing book is just like a narrative of the author's fulfilled love affair with the city and with a eunuch. The narrator in this book is an aging man who is trying to discover the city. This book is truly a masterpiece, where it takes the readers on the history of Delhi glimpsing at what makes the city what it is– simply beautiful.
There are some of the Indian cities which are older than time. Therefore, we must know which cities are they, and what has been their history!
1. Varanasi (1200 BC–)
Varanasi is one of the oldest cities of India, and has been a center of religious and cultural activity since the Bronze Age. In fact, this city might have been in existence from a very long time, since it finds mention in the Rig Veda. It is believed that the city of Varanasi was thriving for more than 1600 years before the fall of the Roman Empire in Europe. This city is one of the holiest places for Hindus and Jains, and even Lord Buddha gave his very first sermon here in 528 BC. In Hinduism, it is believed that dying in Varanasi brings salvation, which is the reason why the city is always brimming with pilgrims.
2. Ujjain (700/600 BC–)
Ujjain was once considered as one of the most prominent cities in the Middle India. In fact, the name of this city is repeatedly mentioned in the literature of that period, i.e. in the works of stalwarts like Kālidāsa. This city has seen the rise and fall of numerous empires, from the Mauryas to the Avantis, Nandas, and even the Guptas. This city, just like Varanasi, is also considered as one of the holiest cities in India, and hosts one of the officially recognized Kumbh melas, the Ujjain Simhastha Kumbh, in which people across the world take place.
3. Madurai (500 BC–)
Madurai been a major center of culture and trade for more than 2500 years. In fact, the name of this city has been mentioned in the writings of the great traveler, Megasthenes, and has been ruled by several empires from the Pandyas and the Cholas to the Karnata, and finally the British. Interestingly, ‘'Koodal,' was one of its ancient name which means 'a congregation of learned men'. There is no doubt that Madurai was an epicenter of scholars and religious teachers in the southern part of India.
4. Thanjavur (300 BC–)
Thanjavur was formerly known as Tanjore. This city is pretty famous for its Tanjore style of painting, which is a traditional style that is characterised by the use of gold foil, religious imagery, and simple compositions. This city is best known for being the home of the Great Living Chola Temples, which is now a UNESCO World Heritage site. Till date, people across the world visit this place in order to experience its rich history and heritage.
By- Digital Hub
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