On the left side of Aranya Devi there are the statues of Radha and Lord Krishna. On their left side are the statues of Lord Rama, Sita, Lakshmana, Bharataand Shatrughna. These were installed later by the local businessmen in 1953 A.D. These statues are made of white marble. The whole temple has been reconstructed on modern lines. Marble and mosaic work are visible inside the temple premises.
Legend of Aranya Devi Temple
Once Lord Krishna disguised as a hermit and Arjunas a lion went to King Mordhwaj at Arrah. Hermit demanded human flesh for his lion saying that the lion does not eat animal flesh. Lord Krishna asked for the flesh of the king's son. The king was puzzled and asked for the approval of his wife. She readily agreed. The boy's body was asked to dissect with an arra or saw. This was done by the king and the queen jointly. The hermit also demanded that the flesh be cooked by them. The king and the queen obeyed. They were also asked to eat the cooked flesh together with the hermit and the lion. This was also obeyed. The hermit asked the king to call his son and have the meal. The king was surprised as the boy was killed and cooked. The king called him. The boy appeared before them in a playful manner. Then Lord Krishna and Arjun revealed their real identity and threw away the saw which was used in dissecting the body of the boy.
It is believed that the temple is said to have been erected by King Mordhwaj at the place where the saw fell.
The second legend is that the area was covered with forest and the Ganga River was flowing near by. The people built a temple there called the temple of Aranya Devi or goddess of the forest.
The third legend is that King Mordhwaj and the queen were not happy as they had no son. They prayed to goddess Durga in order to bless them with a son. The goddess appeared before the king in his dream and gave her the blessing. The royal boy provided all the earthly pleasures to his parents. One night in his dream King Mordhwaj saw goddess Durga asking him to sacrifice his son before her altar. It was said that the boy should be made to stand before the altar and the king and the queen, standing on either side of him, were to ply the saw from the boy's head downwards till his body was cut into two halves, with the blood falling before the altar and no tears trickling down their eyes. The king took conveyed this dream to his royal consort and both agreed to execute the mandate. The trial came. The king and queen applied the saw on the head of the prince and just as they were starting to ply the saw, the divine mother appeared and blessed the couple and the prince for their devotion to her. It is also believed that in this way the scene of the sacrifice came to be known as arrah. The king installed a temple at Arrah which was called Aranya Devi temple.
(Last Updated on : 31-05-2014)
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