(Last Updated on : 11/03/2013)
Durga temples in India almost crowd the religious spots as time and again the devotees of Durga pay homage to her. Mahalaxmi Temple in Kolhapur Goddess Durga, also known as Parvati or Lalitha, is the wife of Lord Shiva
and exists in various divine forms. Two of her fierce but very powerful forms are Durga i.e. goddess beyond reach and Kali i.e. goddess of destruction. Both have great power and energy i.e. Shakti. Durga rides on a lion and Kali rides on a corpse of a demon. Parvati was called Sati in her previous divine incarnation. The family of Lord Shiva, Parvati and their sons Ganesha and Kartikeya is an ideal example of family unity and love. Goddess Durga has a charming personality and usually adored by married women for a happy married life.
The feminine aspect of divinity or expression of energy is referred to as Shakti. In the great tradition Shakti worship helped to bring together different schools of philosophy and worship, such as Samkhya, Vedanta, Vaishnavism
. However, the local village level deities were mostly female and looked after the everyday problems of disease, epidemics, etc.
Parvati who is wife of Lord Shiva and Goddess Lakshmi
who is wife of Vishnu is respected in temples dedicated to Shakti. Devi witnessed as the female principle has an old folklorean tradition in Bengali culture. There are accounts of Devi worship going back to the sixteenth century. There is a large number of Durga Temples in India scattered in every nook and corner. Some of the famous ones are Mahalakshmi temple, Kanyakumari, Kalikambal, Kamakshi Amman, Vaishno Devi
, etc. Some of the other mentioned temples are Lakha Mandal Temple in Dehradun
and Srisailam Temple in Kurnool.
Goddess Durga is an incarnation of Devi, the mother of the universe and is supposed to be the force behind the creation, preservation and destruction of the world. Durga, which means invincible in Sanskrit
, is portrayed as having 10 arms, riding on a tiger or a lion. She holds various weapons in her hands including the chakra from Vishnu and a trident from Shiva, along with a lotus flower. Goddess Durga
appears in a state of practicing Mudras
or hand gestures, adorned with a meditative smile on her face. She is believed to be an embodiment of Shakti
and exists in a state of Svatantrya or self-sufficiency. The Hindu Goddess Durga was manifested when the gods were threatened by demonic and evil forces, and thus all gods united their divine radiance and created her in order to vanquish the demons, led by Mahishasura
The true expression of the supreme energy that runs the universe, the Ma Durga, is worshipped in the Durga temples in India. The Durga temples help the Hindu culture, religion and philosophy to flourish further. In addition to that, these also help the Hindu community to display and learn a number of characters possessed by Ma Durga by participating in customs, rituals and a variety of other activities, organised in the temples.