Aadi Special

Vijayawada Kanaka Durga Temple

Kanaka Durga Temple, located in Vijayawada, Andhra Pradesh, is perched on the Indrakeeladri hill, on the banks of the Krishna river.

Kaalika Puraana, Durgaa Sapthashati and other vedic literature have mentioned about Goddess Kanaka Durga on the Indrakeeladri and described the deity as swayambhu, (self-manifest) in Triteeya Kalpa.

According to a legend, the now verdant Vijayawada was once a rocky region strewn with hills that obstructed the flow of the Krishna, The land was thus rendered unfit for habitation or cultivation. Invocation to Lord Shiva for his intervention directed the hills to make way for the river. And lo! the river started flowing unimpeded with all its might through the tunnels or ‘bejjam’ bored into the hills by Lord Shiva. That is how the place got its name Bezawada.

One of the many mythologies associated with this place is that Arjuna prayed to Lord Shiva on top of Indrakeela hill, seeking his blessings. The city derived its name ‘Vijayawada’ after this victory.

Another popular legend is about the triumph of goddess Kanakadurga over demon King Mahishasura. It is said the growing menace of demons became unbearable for the natives. Sage Indrakeela practised severe penance, and when the goddess appeared before him, the sage pleaded with her to reside on his head and keep a vigil on the wicked demons. As per his wishes, Goddess Durga made Indrakeela her permanent abode. Later, she also slayed Mahishasura, freeing the people of Vijayawada from evil.

At the Kanaka Durga Temple, the enchanting 4-foot-high icon of the deity is bedecked in glittering ornaments and bright flowers. She is shown with eight arms, each holding a powerful weapon, in a standing posture over Mahishashura and piercing him with her trident. The goddess is the epitome of beauty.

The temple occupies an important place in the scriptures as several of the Siva leelas and Shakti mahimas were enacted on or around it, making the region a place of unequalled spiritual significance and attracting pilgrims since time immemorial.

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