Deity: Goddess Durga
Festivals: Durga Puja that spans over ten days.
The temple is located on the Indrakiladri hill. The deity Kanaka Durga is regarded as Swayambhu or self-manifested, and hence very powerful. It is said that Adi Sankara visited this temple and installed the Sri Chakra here. This temple occupies a prestigious place in the scriptures. Many stories and legends regarding Siva and Sakti are enacted around this place.
Legend: According to legend Mahishasura, earned the favor of Lord Shiva after a long and hard penance. Lord Shiva blessed him that no man or deity would kill him and only a woman could kill him. Pleased with this boon he became arrogant and started terrorizing the people and killed them mercilessly. He even attacked gods and conquered the heavens. After their defeat the gods took refuge under Lord Brahma and they decided to create a woman who would possess the ultimate power to defeat Mahishasur. Pure energy was used to form Goddess Durga.
The gods gave her each of her parts and then gifted her with their weapons and divine objects to help her battle with Mahishasura. Bedecked in jewels and golden armor and equipped with the fearsome weaponry she was ready to engage in battle. Durga struck down Mahishasura's armies. No demon could fight her and win. Mahishasura, shocked and enraged took on the form of a demonic buffalo, and charged at the divine soldiers of Durga, goring and killing many. Durga's lion pounced on the demon-buffalo and engaged him in a battle; Durga threw her noose around his neck. Mahishasura then assumed the form of a lion and she beheaded the lion, when he took the form of a man he faced the arrows of Durga.
The demon escaped and assumed the form of a huge elephant, battered Durga's lion with a tusk. With her sword Durga hacked the tusk into pieces. The demon reverted to the form of the wild buffalo. He hid himself in the mountains from where he hurled boulders at Durga. She drank the divine nectar, a gift of Kuber. She then pounced on Mahishasura, pushing him to the ground with her left leg. She grasped his head in one hand, pierced him with her sharp trident held in another, and with yet another of her ten hands she wielded her bright sword, beheading him. At last he fell dead, and the scattered surviving remnants of his once invincible army fled in terror. The authentic form of Durga is the ten handed goddess modeled from clay astride a lion.
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