Kanaka Durga Temple, Vijayawada: Visit the Second Largest Temple in the State of Andhra Pradesh (2021)
About Kanaka Durga Temple:
Located on the top of a hill called Indrakeeladri in Vijayawada district of Andhra Pradesh, The Kanaka Durga Temple is one of the most popular temples in the state of Andhra Pradesh. As the name suggests, Kanaka Durga Temple is basically a famous shrine dedicated to the goddess Durga. Sporting an astounding architecture built in Dravidian fashion, it is believed that deity of this holy shrine of Goddess Durga is a Swayambhu or what you may call self–manifested in simpler terms. The imposing image of Kanakadurga that you get to witness here is a humbling as well as an unforgettable sight. The deity’s face as well as her body colour is of molten golden shade. The idol is also decked with a lot of golden jewellery from which the temple gets its name Kanaka Durga. Kanaka in Sanskrit language means gold. You will even be pleased or may be surprised to know that not only is Kanaka Durga temple in Vijayawada known to find mention in a number of sacred texts and Vedic literature but it is also believed to be second largest temple in the entire state of Andhra Pradesh.
With its great spiritual significance, it is not much surprising to know that the Kanaka Durga temple has a place in the hearts of a plenty of devotees and hence has a long list of followers. A huge bunch of people visit Kanaka Durga temple in Vijayawada every year to pay their offerings, show respect and devotion as well as to seek the blessings of the deity. However, despite its immense popularity, the arrangements are pretty detailed and organised, so you don’t have to worry about being suddenly caught up in some sort of chaos or mess. The Kanaka Durga temple has detailed timings as well as rules of darshans and seva opportunities. The interested people can have a look and even book it online on their official website for an easy experience. Another impressive highlight of the Kanaka Durga Temple is that it is also known to run a food donation programme as a part of their numerous charitable activities. The Kanaka Durga Temple of Andhra Pradesh is also believed to be one of the many Shaktipeethas that are situated all over the country. Continue reading to know more!
History of Kanaka Durga Temple
There are many interesting stories as well as legends associated with the origin and history of the famous Devi Kanaka Durga temple in Vijayawada. According to one legend, it is believed that once upon a time this region was strewn with numerous mighty rocks that inhibited the flow of the Krishna river, thereby making the area uninhabitable. In order to solve and put an end to the problem, Lord Shiva was called upon and he directed the hills to make a way for clearing the obstruction of the river. Since the flow of the river gained strength with the help of tunnels or ‘Beijam’, the name Bezwada was born which later was altered to Vijayawada. There is another popular myth that claims that on the top of the Indrakeela Hill, Arjun prayed to Lord Shiva for winning his blessings and he was also successful in passing the test that Lord Shiva posed in front of him. As a result, this Pandava brother was blessed with the Pasupat weapon. This is how the name Vijayawada was formed.
However, out of all these myths and legends, the most famous one has been the one revolving around Goddess Durga. It is also believed to have two versions. One says that the goddess visited the mountain top on the location where the temple is built upon being worshipped and called by sage Indrakila, after whom the hill range was named. The sage was being tormented by the increasing menace of demons that were led by Mahishasura and hence he pleaded for solution to which goddess Durga responded by slewing the demon king. After that, she made Indrakeeladri her permanent abode. On the other hand, the second version states that a Yaksha by the name Keela got a boon from Devi Durga that she would always remain in his heart. After granting him the boon, she said that he would become a mountain and she would perch in a temple nestled within the mountain range when the time is right. Once she killed Mahishasura, she kept her promise to Yaksha and made Indrakeeladri her home.
Major Attractions at Kanaka Durga Temple
- Unique Archictecture: In just the first glance of the temple, you can tell what a stunning architecture it is blessed with. The construction of the main sanctum is done in the form of a pyramid and the surface embellished with delicate stone carvings.
- The Golden Crown: One of the most impressive and attractive aspects of the Kanaka Durga Temple is its golden crown which can be spotted from miles away. As you know, Kanaka in Sanskrit means gold, this golden crown at the top definitely adds significance to the temple.
- Malleswara Swamy Temple: Near the ancient temple premises, you can also find a Lord Shiva shrine. Going by the name Malleswara Swamy Temple, this probably is the only temple throughout the world where the female deity is located on the right side of the male one. Usually, it is the tradition for the female consort seat to be situated on the left side of their male counterpart. The significance behind this is that it actually shows that the feminine power of the cosmic universe or as it is called Shakti is predominant here. Visit these shrines for a soul – stirring experience.
- Navratri and Dussehra Celebrations: Since this temple is dedicated to Goddess Durga, it is not surprising that the nine days of Navratri are celebrated with a lot of energy and vigour here. The tenth day of Dussehra is naturally the most significant one, but the whole celebrations are worth it. Pilgrims and devotees from all over the world come during this time to attend the colourful festivities and to seek the blessings of the divine deity.
How to Reach Kanaka Durga Temple?
The Kanaka Durga Temple is located right in the heart of the city of Vijayawada and hence is pretty well connected with the public transports as well.
- By Road: Since the temple is a pretty famous attraction amidst tourists, you can very easily get taxi or auto from throughout the city. Buses are easily available from Pandit Nehru Bus Station, Vijayawada.
- By Train: Vijayawada Railway junction is the closest railhead and from here you can easily catch a bus or a taxi to reach the destination. It is a drive of just around 10 minutes.
- By Air: The closest airport is the Gannavaram Airport. From here you can hire a car or take a public transport for reaching the temple.
Major Hotels Near Kanaka Durga Temple, Vijayawada
Treebo Trend Siddhartha Grand: This popular hotel features accommodation in Mohammadnagar. The facilities that the guests staying here get to enjoy include a 24 – hour front desk, free Wi – Fi throughout the hotel premises, room service and air conditioning. Even private parking can be arranged but with extra charge.
Distance from Vijayawada City Centre: Approximately 0.3 km
The Gateway Hotel: Located on MG road in Vijayawada, this hotel comes along with several top amenities including a rooftop swimming pool, modern rooms, 24 – hour room service, air conditioning, a fitness centre and restaurant. Visitors can also choose from four dining options.
Distance From City Centre: Approximately 1.9 km away
Novotel Vijayawada Varun: Boasting of housing a restaurant, an outdoor swimming pool, a well – stocked bar and a fitness centre, this hotel features great family rooms. Air conditioning and a terrace are some additional features of the hotel.
Distance from city centre: Approximately 1.9 km away
Other Popular Places To Visit Nearby Kanaka Durga Temple
- Victoria Museum: A museum of the archaeology department, visiting this museum will allow you to browse through a vast collection of ancient items such as sculptures, inscriptions, cutlery, weapons, idols and paintings. With its numerous artifacts and huge Buddha statue, the museum is actually an informative place to visit.
- Besant Road: Bustling with activity and trade, Besant road is a dynamic place in Vijayawada. Other than being a pivotal commercial centre, the street is also known to house some of the best modern eateries of the town. For film lovers, there are numerous cinema halls here too.
- Gundala Matha Shrine: Nestled among the hills of Krishna District one can find the ST. Mary’s Church. Erected on the top of a hill, there is an iron cross and a museum housing holy relic. The area is also known to host the Annual feast of our lady of Lourdes.
Lying right along the banks of the beautiful Krishna river and being surrounded by the mighty hills of Inrakeeladri, this temple has an atmosphere which makes it a soothing and calming place to be. Make sure to visit!