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Kanaka Durga Temple, Vijayawada

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Kanaka Durga Temple, Vijayawada Overview

The Kanaka Durga Temple is a famous shrine dedicated to the Goddess Durga. Located in Vijayawada of Andhra Pradesh, this astounding architecture is built in Dravidian fashion. The temple is surrounded by the gentle hills of Inrakeeladri, right along the banks of the Krishna River. This ancient temple finds mention in many sacred texts and Vedic literature as well and is a revered temple among devotees and followers. People visit this temple every year to show their respect and devotion to the Goddess Supreme and seek her blessings. The temple has detailed timings and rules of darshans and seva opportunities which can be booked online on their website. The temple also runs a food donation programme as a part of their many charitable activities.

The Kanaka Durga Temple of Andhra Pradesh is one of the many Shaktipeethas that are situated in the country. The goddess appears in her Mahishasurmardini form here, along with the slain demon king Mahishasura. The imposing image of Kanakadurga is a humbling and unforgettable sight. The deity?s face and body colour are of molten gold shade, and she is also bedecked with golden jewellery from which the temple gets its name Kanaka Durga – Kanaka in Sanskrit means gold.

Kanaka Durga Temple has a rich history and many legends associated with it like most of the ancient Indian temples. Apart from the most famous Goddess Durga legend of defeating and killing the demon king, there are also some others which add up to the significance and austerity of the temple. The deity is said to be Swayambhu or self-manifested.

Legend of Kanaka Durga Temple

The temple of Devi Kanaka Durga has more than one legend about its origin and history. One legend says that this region was once strewn with mighty rocks which inhibited the flow of the Krishna River, thereby leaving this area uninhabitable. To put an end to this problem, Lord Shiva was called upon who directed the hills to make way for the unobstructed flow of the river. The flow of the river gained strength through the tunnels or “Bejjam”, and hence the name Bezawada was born, which later got modified to Vijayawada.

Another myth claims that Arjuna prayed to Lord Shiva on the top of the Indrakeela Hill for winning his blessings and he was successful in passing the test that Lord Shiva had posed for him and gifted the middle Pandava with Pasupat weapon, and hence the name Vijayawada was coined.
The most famous one obviously has Goddess Durga at its centre. It has two versions. One follows that the goddess visited the mountaintop where the temple is perched upon being worshipped and called by sage Indrakila, who is the inspiration behind the name of the hill range. The sage was tormented by the increasing menace of demons, led by Mahishasura and Durga responded to his plea, slew the demon king and made Indrakeeladri her permanent abode.
Another one is that a Yaksha by the name Keela got a boon from Devi Durga that she would always remain in his heart. Granting him the boon, she said that he would be a mountain and she would perch in the temple nestled within the mountain range when the time comes. After killing Mahishasura, she kept her promise and made her home at Indrakeeladri.

Architecture of Kanaka Durga Temple

The main sanctum’s construction is in the form of a pyramid, with the surface embellished with delicate stone carvings. The most impressive aspect of the Kanaka Durga Temple is perhaps its golden crown, which can be spotted from miles away. Visit this destination for a soul-stirring experience.

There is also a Lord Shiva shrine near the ancient temple premises that goes by the name Malleswara Swamy temple. This temple is probably the only one in the world where the female deity is located on the right side of the male one, as against the tradition left-side seat of the female consort. This is significant as this actually shows that the Shakti or feminine power of the cosmic universe is predominant here. These two shrines are obviously the centre of attraction for anyone visiting the temple.

Donations at Kanaka Durga Temple

There are many weekly, monthly and annual opportunities of donating in different pujas that are given in details on their website. You can book your puja offerings and slots from the online site only. They also have a programme for daily food donation where you can pay in Demand Draft to the temple authority for feeding many heads on any particular date, and they will perform the charity on your behalf. You can also visit the temple and Garbhagriha for free as a reward for the deed on the day of your donation. Other donations in cash or kind can also be made.

Navratri and Dussehra Celebrations at Kanaka Durga Temple

Since this temple is dedicated to Goddess Durga, the nine days of Navratri are celebrated here with fervent vigour and gaiety. The most significant day is obviously the tenth day – Dussehra. The celebrations here are held every year and thousands of pilgrims attend the same seeking the blessings of Her Holiness. The colourful festivities during this time are delightful and will restore your faith in the divine.

Kanaka Durga Temple Darshan Timings

The temple is open from 5:00 AM to 9:00 PM on all days except on Thursdays when it is closed from 1:00 PM to 5:00 PM. However, there are separate timings for idol visits and other personalised pujas.

For Dharma Darshanam or free visit of the premises, the timings are:
4:00 AM to 6:00 AM
7:00 AM to 11:00 AM
12:15 PM to 04:00 PM
6:15 PM to 10:00 PM
For Mukhamandapa Darshanam or deity visit at INR 100 per person, the timings are:
5:00 AM to 5:45 PM,
6:15 PM to 10:00 PM
For Antharalaya Darshanam or visiting the Sanctum Sanctorum at INR 300 per person, the timings are:
5:00 AM to 6:00 AM
7:00 AM to 11:00 AM
12:15 PM to 04:00 PM
6:15 PM to 10:00 PM
For Swarna Pushaparchana at INR 650 for 2 people, the timings are:
7:00 AM to 9:00 AM
For Shivarchana or worship of Lord Shiva at INR 650 for 2 people, the timings are:
8:00 AM to 10:00 AM

How to Reach Kanaka Durga Temple

The Kanaka Durga Temple is situated in the heart of the city of Vijayawada and thus very well-connected with public transports. Buses and taxis are available from the Vijayawada railway station which is just a 10 minutes’ drive. The temple is also at a distance of 20 kilometres. Hire a car if public transport is not a comfortable option for you.

Tips

1. Remove your shoes before entering temple premises. The authorities take violation of this rule very seriously.
2. Leave your heavy and expensive belongings behind because in case there is a large crowd, there is always a fear of theft.
3. Avoid wearing any headgear while entering, as prohibited on the website’s dos and don’ts.
4. Photography is not allowed inside.
5. Follow the other rules and try to stick to the customs as much as possible.

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