Goddess Durga in Tamil Nadu
Goddess Parvati is worshipped in various forms by Hindus. Amongst her forms, Durga is one of the popular and important.
Hindus all over India worship Durga and her worship is very popular in West Bengal, and Tripura.
Worshipping Durga in Tamil Nadu
Durga worship also exists in Tamil Nadu to a significant extent. Though individual Durga temples are rarely found most of the Shiva and Vishnu temples have small shrines for Durga.
The Durga in Vishnu temples are known as Vishnu Durgai and the Durga in Shiva temples are referred as Shiva Durgai. In some temples, the rare form of Brahma Durgai is also found.
Worshipping Durga during Rahu Kaalam is very auspicious. She is the Athi Devata of planet Rahu and safeguards the people from the malefic effects of Rahu. People throng Durga temples and shrines in large numbers during Tuesdays, Fridays and Sundays.
Some Famous Durga Temples in Tamil Nadu
Tamil Nadu is a land of temples. There are so many temples dedicated for Shiva, Vishnu, Ganesha, Goddess Sakthi and Murugan. Below are some of the important Durga temples of tamil Nadu. The list includes both old and new temples.
- Pateeswaram Durgai : The Patteswaram Durgai temple located near Kumbakonam is the most famous Durga temple of Tamil Nadu. It is not an individual Durga temple but the shrine dedicated to Durga is situated to the north of the temple’s sanctum. The temple is known as Dhenupuriswarar temple is dedicated to Shiva but Durga is more popular here. It is believed that, this is the most beautiful sculpture of Goddess Durga. The Goddess features eight arms carrying various weapons and her mount, the Lion, stands besides her. Durga is seen standing on a buffalo head (the head of Mahisasura). It is widely believed that the Cholas worshipped this Durga as their Kula Devata.
- Kathiramangalam Vana Durgai: The Kathiramangalam Vana Durgai Temple is an individual temple dedicated to Goddess Durga. The temple is near Kumbakonam and is at least 1000+ years old. It is believed that Kambar, the famous Tamil poet who authored kambaramayan was a devotee of this Goddess. Huge crowds throng this temple during Rahu kalam. The devotees believe that Goddess Vana Durga daily visits Kasi and prays to Lord Vishwanath. As per the legends, it was Kathiramangalam Vana Durgai who directed the sixteen year old Markandeya, hounded by Yama, to go to Tirukadaiyur and surrender to Lord Kaalasamhara Murthy.
- Ammankudi Durga Parameswari: Ammankudi near Kumbakonam houses an important temple of Goddess Durga. She is hailed as Durga parameswari and features eight arms. Devotees visit this temple to be relieved from all types of Graha Doshas.
- Palakarai Durga: This temple is located in Palakarai, Tiruchy of Tamil Nadu District. This is an individual temple dedicated to Goddess Durga and is 500+ years old. The Goddess features four hands and stands on the Buffalo head of Mahisasura.
- Ashtabuja Durga, Skandasramam: The Ashtabuja Durga of Skandasramam is in Salem, tamil Nadu. The idol of the Goddess is made of Panchaloka (an rare amalgam of five precious metals.) and has 16 arms carrying various weapons. The temple has several shrines for other gods too.
- Kanaka Durga, West Mogappair: Goddess Durga at the temple in Vijayawada is known as Kanaka Durga (the Golden Durga). She is believed to be very powerful and gracious. In Chennai, there is a beautiful temple at the West Moggapair area dedicated to Goddess Kanaka Durga. The Goddess is an imposing image with eight hands and stands on a buffalo head. Devotees visit the temple in large numbers during Rahu kaalam and pray to the goddess.