India is a country where people of different believes, religion and culture reside. Construction of temples was practiced by the early kings who ruled different parts of our country. So it is clear that temple construction is not new to the Indians and we could see many temples which were built during the early centuries. The early Hindu Kings used these temples as a symbol of their wealth and status. A travel through the parts of south India will help us understand that the early rulers of south India were proficient in the construction of such temples. Kanaka Durga temple is one of the temples in Andhra Pradesh. Now let us have a look at the importance of this temple.
The kanaka Durga temple situated in Vijayawada is a main pilgrim centre in Andhra Pradesh. The Hindu Goddess Kanaka Durga is the primary deity of the temple. The temple is placed in such a way that not only pilgrims but also the nature lovers are also attracted to this place. The Kanaka Durga Temple is located on the top of a hill (Indrakeeladri Hills) which is situated near the Krishna River. Just like other temples there are myths behind the formation of this place.
It is believed that once this region (Vijayawada) was a place of hills and rocks and these hills obstructed the flow of Krishna River. Thus this place was an uninhabited areas and the prays made by the people forced Lord Shiva to ask the Hills to make way for the flow of the river and the river started to flow via a tunnel known as Bejjam which is believed to be constructed by Lord Shiva and this is the reason why this area is known as Bezawada. The myth behind the naming of the place as Vijayawada tells us that once the Lord shiva was delighted by the continuous prayers made by Arjuna by sitting on the top of the Indrakeeladri hills and he was blessed by the Lord, this victory gave this place the name Vijayawada. There are many such myth behind the formation of the temple and its surrounding areas.
The height of the deity which is placed in the Kanaka Durga temple is around 1.2 meters and it is decorated with flowers and ornaments. The deity has got eight arms, each carrying a weapon and she is standing on Mahishashura (who was a demon).
It is believed that the Kanaka Durga temple was constructed by Arjuna ater receiving Pasupatha Asthra from Lord Shiva. As we study the Vedas we could find that the deity of the Kanaka Durga temple is Swayambhu that is self manifested and hence people believe that it has great powers. This is one of the reasons which attract a lot of pilgrims to this place. Historical evidence of the early ruling class can be obtained if we check the inscriptions in the temple which were made by the early dynasties. Some of the important Poojas which are performed in this temple are Theppotsavam and Saraswati puja which are conducted on the special occasion of the Navaratri. During Dasara the main deity of the temple that is the Kanaka Durga Devi will be depicted in different forms, mainly as the avatars of Kanaka Durga.
The distance between Vijayawada and Hyderabad is around 275 kms, and one could easily reach the temple from the nearest Railway station and the bus stand. The temple will be opened from 5:00 AM to 9:00 PM, so the pilgrims have to plan accordingly. There are enough facilities which would satisfy the needs of the pilgrims visiting the temple. As told earlier the scenic beauty of this place attracts both pilgrims and nature lovers. This is a place which should not be missed when you are making a trip to Andhra Pradesh. Many people come here to have a dip in the Holy river Krishna.