Goddess Maha Durga

According to Hindu mythology, Goddess Durga is the mother of mankind and is believed to be the power behind the creation, preservation, and destruction of the universe. The Hindu warrior Goddess Durga is typically portrayed as a beautiful woman with ten arms that bear divine weapons to protect each one of us. Her role in Indian mythology is very strong and powerful. She has been worshipped as the supreme power of the universe. She is a multi-dimensional Goddess, with many names and many personas.

History behind the Birth of Goddess Durga

There is an interesting legend behind the birth of Maa Durga. According to this legend, Durga was created for the slaughter of the buffalo demon Mahishasura. Mahishasura is a demon who earned the favour of Lord Shiva after long and hard penance. Authorized with the boon, Mahishasura started his reign of terror over the universe and people by slaying them mercilessly. The other Gods and sages were extremely harassed by the terror of Mahishasura and pleaded Lord Shiva to protect their world from this buffalo demon. Lord Shiva advised all the Gods to release their divine powers as it was seemed that the joint energy of powers was the only thing capable of conquering Mahishasura. The divine powers of all the Gods emerged into female form. These powers fused together in shining light from which arose a magnificent Goddess with many arms. She was born fully-grown and is depicted as remarkably beautiful and full of rage. The Gods named this Goddess as DURGA. Gods armed her with all their weapons. Thus heavily armed Maa Durga rode to the top of a mountain on a lion.

In a fierce battle, she defeated Mahishasura and his army of demons and thus saved the Universe from this demon’s threat. Therefore, MAA DURGA is also called Mahishasuramardini (the demolisher of Mahishasur). This holy battle indicates the triumph of Good over Evil. DURGA PUJA is observed in honour of Godess Durga , to celebrate her victory over evil and conquering the unconquerable.

The Legend of Maa Shakti - Famous Shakti Peeths of Maa Shakti

In the Satyuga Maa Sati was the daughter of King Daksh Prajapati (son of Lord Brahma). She married to Lord Shiva against the wishes of her father. , Daksha Prajapati performed a yagna with a desire to take revenge on Lord Shiva. Daksha was angry because his daughter Sati had married Lord Shiva against his wish. Daksha invited all the deities to the yagna, but he did not invite Lord Shiva and Sati. The fact that she was not invited did not discouraged Shakti (Sati) from attending the yagna. She had expressed her desire to attend the Yagna to Shiva who had tried his best to dissuade her from going. Shiva eventually allowed her to go escorted by his followers. But Sati, being an uninvited guest, was not given any respect by her father. Furthermore, Daksha insulted Shiva even in his absence in front of all the guests who have come to witness the Yagna. Shakti was unable to bear her father’s insults toward her husband, so Devi Sati invoked her yogic powers and immolated herself. When Lord Shiva came to know of the incident, he got extremely angry and started his dance of destruction with the body of devi Sati being held in his arms. The world was terrorized from this Tandava Nritya and to stop the devastating penance, Lord Vishnu used his Sudarshan chakra and cut the Sati’s complete body in several pieces. Wherever her body parts fell on earth, a temple was erected known as Shakti Peeth to commemorate Devi Shakti and became a Hindu pilgrimage. These Shakti Peeths are scattered all over India.

Nine Divine Nights of Navratri

Navratri is celebrated all over India and is said to be the festival which shows the various colors of India. "NavRatri" literally means "Nine Nights." This Year Navratri will be celebrated from 10th of October till 18th of October 2018. The festival of Navratri is celebrated with prayers in the beginning of the Ashwin (autumn) month and the beginning of Chaitra (spring) month. Navratri, the festival of nine nights is dedicated to the nine forms of Goddess Durga who occupies a special place in the Hindu Religion. During the nine days of Navratri, a large number of Devotees observe fast for the entire period. During evenings people perform religious dances in order to worship Goddess Durga Maa.

Goddess Navdurga in Nine forms

Nine forms of Shakti are worshipped during the Navratris. Every day, she assumes a new incarnation, having a new look and name. Each Goddess has a different form and special significance.

The message that Goddess Durga gives to her devotees is that with the force of dignity and wisdom, we can achieve the victory over all the demonic forces inside us.

Nine Days & Nine Forms of Maa Durga

First Day of Navratri :

On the first day of Navratri, Goddess Durga is worshipped as 'Shailputri' She is considered the daughter of the Himalayas. This form of Goddess Durga rides a bull and carries a trident and a lotus in her two hands.

Second day of Navratri :

The second form of Goddess Durga is known as 'Brahmacharini'. She is also a form of Uma or Parvati. She is blissful and bestows happiness, peace, prosperity and grace upon all devotees who worship her. Worshiping this form of Goddess Durga is also a way to attain Moksha.

Third day of Navratri : 
On the third day of Navratri the Goddess is worshipped as 'Chandraghanta'. She is the symbolic representation of beauty and bravery. She has a ‘chandra’ or half moon on her forehead in the shape of a ‘ghanta’ or bell. That is why she is called ‘Chandraghanta’. She is charming and has ten hands, three eyes and holds weapons in her hands.

Fourth day of Navratri :
On the fourth day of Navratri the Goddess is worshipped as 'Kushmanda'. It is believed that Kushmanda is the creator of the entire Universe which she has created by her laugh. The universe was  full of darkness, until her light spreads in all directions like rays from the sun. She has eight or ten hands and holds weapons, glitter, rosary, etc., in her hands.

Fifth day of Navratri : 
On the fifth day of Navratri, Goddess is worshipped as 'Skand Mata'. She is actually called so because she is the Mother of Skanda, the chief warrior of the Gods army. She is accompanied by the Lord Skanda in his infant form. Skanda Mata has four arms and three eyes, holds the infant Skanda in her right upper arm and a lotus in her right hand which is slightly raised upwards. The left arm is in pose to grant boons with grace and she holds a lotus in left lower hand which is also raised.

Sixth day of Navratri :  
On the sixth day, the Goddess is worshipped as 'Katyayani'. Goddess Katyayani rides on a magnificent Lion and she has four hands. She carries lotus flower and sword in her right hands and keeps her left hands in Abhaya and Varada Mudras.

Seventh day of Navratri :
On the seventh day, the Goddess is worshipped as 'Kalratri'. Her complexion is dark black and she rides on a donkey. She is depicted with four hands. Her right hands are in Abhaya and Varada Mudra and she carries sword and the deadly iron hook in her left hands.

Eighth day of Navratri : 
On the eight day, the Goddess is worshipped as 'Maha Gauri'. She is considered to be extremely beautiful, white like snow and she wears white colored ornaments. She represents calmness and exhibits Wisdom. Her power is unfailing and praying to her is instantly fruitful. The left upper hand holds a ‘Damaru’ and the lower one is in the pose of granting boons to her devotees.

Ninth day of Navratri :
On the ninth day, the Goddess is worshipped as 'Siddhidatri'. It is believed she is bestower of all the eight Siddhis. She lives on lotus and  has Supernatural healing powers. In ‘Devi Bhagvata Purana’ it is mentioned that Lord Shiva worshipped her and was blessed with all Siddhis (supernatural powers). By her blessings his half body became female and other half body male in the avatar of Ardhnarishwar.


Garba is a form of dance that has originated in the state of Gujarat in India. Traditionally, this dance is performed around a clay lantern with a light inside, called a Garbha Deep and the name Garba has been given due to this reason. However, Nowadays the Garba dances are performed with a lot of enthusiasm and vanity. Huge Pandals are erected along with a big stage where professional musicians and singers perform Garba tunes. Thousands of people of every age dance on these tunes for the entire night. Many people are dressed in special attire known as Garba dress. At some venues even the prizes are given to good performers at the end of every night.

Famous Temples of Goddess Durga in India

Goddess Durga is worshipped in every part of India in various forms. The temples of Goddess Durga are also spread all across India. Indian temples have always played a vital role in promoting and flourishing the Hindu culture and philosophy. The temples of Goddess Durga provides an opportunity for the Hindu community to worship and display the many characteristics possessed by Goddess Durga by participating in various rituals, festivals and other activities of the temple.

Vaishno Devi Temple : Vaishno Devi Temple is one of the holy Hindu temples dedicated to Maa Shakti ( Goddess Durga ) and is located in Trikuta Mountains within the Indian states of Jammu and Kashmir. Vaishno Devi Temple is the second most visited temple in India after Tirumala Venkateswara Temple. Here, Maa Vaishno Devi resides in the holy caves located in the folds of the three mountain peeks called Trikuta. It is a great belief among the devotees that Goddess Vaishno sends a ‘Call’ to her Devotees and once a person receives it, wherever he or she is, marches towards the holy shrine of the great Goddess.

Mansa Devi Temple :

Mansa Devi temple is located in the holy city named Haridwar in the Uttarakhand state of India. It is located in Shivalik Hills. The temple is considered a must visit destination for the pilgrims going to Haridwar. The temple is known for being the home of Goddess Mansa, who was the wife of Nag Vasuki and also the brainchild of Saint Kashyap.

Ambaji Temple :

Ambaji Temple is situated in Banaskantha district of Gujarat. It is one of the 51 Shakti Peethas of Goddess Shakti.  It is believed that the Heart of Goddess Sati has fallen here. Maa Ambaji rests on Gabbar hilltop in the town named Ambaji. On every full moon day, a large number of devotees visit the temple. A grand fair is held on the full Moon day of Hindu Calender Month of Bhadarva.

Chandi Devi Temple :

Chandi Devi Temple is the holy Hindu temple dedicated to Goddess Chandi Devi, located in the city of Haridwar, in Uttarakhand state of India. Suchat Singh, the ruling king of Kashmir built the Chandi Devi temple in 1929. However, it was believed that the idol present in the temple was installed in 8th century, by Jagadguru Shree Adi Shankaracharya. The main temple is situated on top of Hill peak. It is one of three Siddh Peethas located in Haridwar, the other two being Mansa Devi Temple and Maya Devi Temple.


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