Chamunda Devi temple is a wll known holy shrine of the Hindus in Himachal Pradesh,which is located in Kangra district of Himachal Pradesh. Chamunda devi temple in Himachal Pradesh dedicated to Mata Chamunda Devi who is present in the temple in the form of Maa Durga/ Maa Shakti. The location of the temple plays an important role as it is built on the same spot where Maa Kali killed the demon kings - Shumbha and Nishumbh. Chamunda Devi is set at a beautiful location which is amid the beautiful Mountains and green scenery. This further adds to the serenity of the place and opens arms to devotees and saints who wish to meditate in a soothing environment.
The two brothers- Shumbha and Nishumbh wished to conquer the three worlds so that no one could destroy them. For the same, they subjected themselves to many punishments and purification rituals. They travelled to a scared place called Pushkar where they prayed to God Brahma for around ten thousand years. With this, both the brothers’ pleased God Brahma and they were granted the boon.
Chanda and Munda, who were Asuras in the service of Shumbha, told Shumbha that they came across a beautiful Goddess. Then, Shumbha sent Sugriva to invite the Devi but she rejected. The two brothers decided that if the Goddess doesn’t come willingly, they would kidnap her. They sent demon Dhoomralocana and his sixty-thousand Asuras to kidnap the Devi. But, the Devi managed to kill the entire army all alone. Next, she killed Chanda and Munda.
After all these encounters, Shumbha and Nishubh decided to meet the Devi directly. Sadly, Shumbha and Nishumbh had no protection against the Goddesses. Both were killed by the Devi and the world got rid of all evil. After winning this battle over evil, Maa Devi got a new name, Chamunda.
There is another story which is related to the location of the temple. Originally, the temple was located in a remote area. Then, a king and Brahmin priest prayed to Maa Kali to ask her for moving the temple to some other location. After getting consent from Maa Kali, they shifted the temple to the current location. In the temple, there are images of Lord Hanuman and Lord Bhairon. Also, there are scenes from ancient epics - Mahabharata and Ramayana. An artificial lake was also extracted from Ban Ganga to enhance the beauty of the temple.
Rituals and more
The temple is also known as Chamunda Nandikeshwar Dham among Hindus. This is because it is considered the home of ‘Shiva and Shakti’. The idol of Maa Chamunda is beautifully draped in red clothes in the center of the temple. Maa Chamunda is worshipped daily with the morning and evening aarti. Songs in the praise of Maa Devi are also song by the devotees. It is considered really auspicious if the hymn of ‘Shat Chandi’ is recited with a devoted heart. A number of devotees visit the temple during Navaratras to seek the blessings of Maa Devi.
Further, the temple complex has a handicrafts centre where people can find items such as woodcarvings, honey, wooden toys, black pottery, Kangra tea and Kangra Paintings.
How to reach Chamunda Devi Temple?
By air:The nearest airport is Gaggal Airport near Kangra. It is 28 km from the Chamunda Devi Temple.
By train:Moranda near Palampur is the nearest narrow gauge rail head which is at a distance of 30 km from the temple. Pathankot is the nearest broad gauge rail head which is at a distance of 90 kms. From the station you can easily hire a taxi to reach the Chamunda Devi Temple.
By road:There are many frequent bus services which are available from all the important ties of Punjab and Himachal Pradesh. Hiring a taxi from the railway station or directly from Chandigarh is also a convenient option.
Delhi to Temple -395 Km.
Chandigarh to Temple - 255 Km.