1. Mansa Devi Temple, Haridwar

Photograph courtesy: haridwarrishikeshtourism.com

Perched atop of the Bilwa Parvat of Sivalik hills, this temple dedicated to Goddess Manasa is located in the holy city, Haridwar in Uttarakhand. The goddess is said to have evolved from Lord Shiva’s brain and is is known to grant wishes of devotees who offer sincere prayers. People generally visit two other devi temples on their trip to Haridwar during Navratri — Chandi Devi Temple and the Maya Devi Temple. The temple overlooks the holy river temple. There are other Manasa Devi Temples in India, however, this is the most visited one in the country.

How to reach:

By road: Since it is a tourist attraction, Haridwar has several bus options. You can walk it up or take a rickshaw to the nearest bus stop

By rail: Haridwar is very well connected to most major Indian cities by trains.

By air: Dehradun‘s Jolly Grant airport is 226 km away. Taxis and state provided road transport are available from the airport to Haridwar.

2. Kalka Devi Temple, Delhi

Photograph courtesy: kalkadevimandir.com

Kalka Devi Temple located in Delhi, is dedicated to Goddess Kali. It is the most revered shrines of Maa Kalika in the country, known for fulfilling wishes. Apart from the spring and autumn fair held here, people visit the temple  in large numbers during the nine days of Navratri. The temple deity is also mentioned in the Huindu mythology, Mahabharata, where Lord Krishna and the Pandavas prayed to the Goddess during Yudhishtira’s reign. The temple is decorated elaborately during festivities and attracts devotees from around the country.

How to reach:

By road: Being the capital, Delhi is a well connected city. The Inter State Bus Terminus (ISBT) at Kashmiri Gate, Sarai Kale-Khan Bus Terminus and Anand Vihar Bus Terminus are major bus stops. You can take the metro, hire a cab or take a rickshaw to reach the temple.

By rail: The railway network connects Delhi to almost all destinations in India. The three important railway stations of Delhi are New Delhi Railway Station, Old Delhi Railway Station and Hazrat Nizamuddin Railway Station. You can reach the temple via the metro, Kalkaji metro station is the nearest.

By air: Indira Gandhi International Airport at New Delhi and Domestic Airport connects Delhi to the major cities in India and around the world.

3. Devi Pataneshwari Temple, Patna

devi patan

The temple dedicated to Maa Patneshwari, is the oldest and most respected one in Patna, Bihar. It is said that, when Goddess Sati burnt herself alive in ayagna, her death enraged Lord Shiva and he performed the tandava, alarming all Gods. This resulted in Lord Vishnu releasing the chakra which cut Sati’s body in 51 parts; now the 51 Shakti Peethas. It is believed that her right thigh fell at this spot. Patna was derived from the name of the foddess. A visit to the temple during Navratri is on the checklist of worshipers of Goddess Kali.

How to reach:

By road: Patna, being a state capital is well connected to major cities of India. State-run buses run regularly to Patna from several cities of Bihar.

By rail: Trains from Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata, Chennai and Bangalore halt at the Patna Junction. It is the nearest station. Buses and taxis ply regularly from the station to the temple.

By air: The nearest airport is the Loknayak Jayaprakash Airport at Patna (78 km from Nalanda). The airport is well connected with major Indian cities like Mumbai, New Delhi, Jaipur, Kolkata, Bangalore.

4. Chinese Kali Temple, Kolkata

This Kali Temple in Kolkata, West Bengal is one of the most unusual Kali temples in the state.  Legend has it that, a ten-year-old boy from the Chinese community was severely unwell. After loosing all hope, his parents lay him near a tree where people worshiped black stones with kumkum smeared on them. The boy recovered after several days and the locals believed it was Maa Kali’s miracle that the boy survived. Ever since, temple is named ‘Chinese Kali Temple’ and  the bhog is not rasgullas and pedas, it’s noodles, chop suey, fried rice or other dishes from the Chinese Cuisine. Kolkata is known for its grand Durga Puja celebrations. And this temple should most certainly be on your list.

How to reach:

By road: Kolkata, being a state capital and one of the metropolitan cities is well connected by national highways with buses. State-run buses run regularly to Kolkata from several towns and villages of West Bengal. The temple is located in Tangra Chinatown and you can opt for a bus journey, hire a cab or rickshaw according from the main bus stand.

By rail: Howrah, Sealdah and Kolkata are the three main railway stations in the city that connect it to almost all major cities in the country and smaller towns and villages in the state.

By air: Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose International Airport connects this bustling metropolis to every major airport in the country. Taxi services run from here to the temple.

5. Durga Parmeshwari Temple, Mangalore

kattel

The Kateel Durgaparmeshwari temple is one of the most revered temples in the Dakshina Kannada district of Karnataka. The temple is located around 26 km from Mangalore and Navratri is celebrated on a massive scale here. The village looks forward to the festival as the temple deity is held in very high regard. There are various cultural programs held here during this time of the year. The dance performances, plays and musicals are worth a visit.

How to reach:

By road: The village is well connected to other parts of Mangalore, making commuting convenient. Traveling by an express bus is an experience to look forward. If you prefer your company, hire a cab or a rickshaw to reach the village temple from the bus stand.

By Train: Mangalore is connected well to most major cities of the country. You can take a train to either Suratkal (20 km) or Mulki (14 km) and then hire a cab or a rickshaw to Kateel, where the temple is.

By Air: Bajpe Airport is the closest to Kattel (16 km from Mangalore City) the airport road is connected to the the town.

7. Hidimba Temple, Manali

hidimba temple

Located at the foothills of Himalayas in Manali of Himachal Pradesh, the Hidimba Temple gets its name from the deity, Devi Hidimbi. Legend has it that Hidimbi lived in the area with her brother Hidimba. Born as monsters, Hidimbi had vowed to marry the man who could kill her outrageously brave brother. While in exile, Bhima killed Hadimba thus endearing him to her. They bore a son, Ghatotkacha, who fought on the side of the Pandavas in the war.

How to reach:

By Road:  Manali is connected to neighboring cities by buses. You may have to change a couple of buses to get here from anywhere in the country. 

By Rail: The nearest rail head is the Ahuja station which is connected to most major Indian cities. You can take a bus or a rickshaw to reach the temple from the station.

By Air: The closest airport to the town is the Bhuntar airport which is 50 km from here. It is also known as the Manali-Kullu Airport.

8. Kanya Devi Temple, Kanyakumari

Photograph courtesy: Wikimedia Commons

The Goddess is known as Shri Bhagwati, an adolescent girl. It is believed that the deity of the temple is a form of Goddess Parvati, who was to marry Lord Shiva. He failed to turn up for the wedding, because a demon named Banasura was plotted to be killed by a virgin girl (in this case Goddess Kanya). However, if Kanya Devi would be married off, she’d no longer be able to destroy the demon. Enraged, the goddess scattered all the food prepared for the wedding. It all eventually turned into stones. Some people believe that the stones on shore, resembling rice were actual grains of rice meant for the wedding feast.

Kanya Devi is worshiped as a virgin goddess. Navratri and Dussera are celebrated on a hugescale. People visit this temple in Kanyakumari, Tamil Nadu, from around the country to worship at this sacred shrine of the virgin goddess.

How to reach:

By Road: There are several buses from Kerala and Tamil Nadu to reach Kanyakumari. Local transport is convenient, but expensive.

By Rail: The Kanyakumari rail junction is four km from the town bus stop. It is one of the major rail heads of the district and functions smoothly. It is extremely well connected to cities of south India.

By Air: The Thiruvananthapuram International Airport is the closest to Kanyakumari (90 km). Taxi services and state run buses are available for you in case you need transportation from the city.

9. Chamundeshwari Temple, Mysore

Photograph courtesy: Wikimedia commons

Chamunda Devi is known to be the fiercest incarnation of Goddess Durga. She gets her name from her act of killing the two monsters Chanda and Munda. Perched on the Chamundi hills around 13 km from Mysore, the temple Goddess was revered by kings of Mysore for centuries. It is among the 51 Shakti Peethas; hair of Sati is said to have fallen at the spot where the temple is built. The idol of the goddess is made of gold and silver.

Dussera is one of the magnificently celebrated festivals in Mysore. The temple is decorated for the goddess and thousands of people visit it during the festival.

How to reach:

By road: Buses are available directly to and from Mysore to most major Indian cities.

By rail: The Mysore rail head is well connected to Bangalore which is well-connected to all other cities in India.

By air: The nearest airport is at Mysore itself. You can hire a cab form the airport to the temple.

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