This ancient temple, located in the heart of Varanasi, is dedicated to the goddess Katyayani, one of the forms of the powerful Hindu goddess Durga. The temple is famous for its unique architecture, intricate carvings, and vibrant festivals that attract devotees from all over the world.
Katyayani Temple, Varanasi
|Architectural style:||Hindu Temple Architectural|
|Address:||Ghasi Tola, Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh 221001|
According to Kashi Khand, Chapter 82, Once a kingdom was ruled by a very religious-minded ruler named Amitrajit. He was a staunch devotee of Lord Vishnu and he made it a rule that all the citizens of his kingdom also become devotees of Lord Vishnu. One day Narad Rishi visited his palace and was welcomed with due respect by the King.
As per the direction of Narad Rishi, King Amitrajit saved one beautiful girl called Malayagandini from the clutches of one evil person. The King subsequently married her and they came to Kashi and were immediately happy with the beautiful surroundings. In due course, Malayagandini was blessed with a handsome male child, who was destined to become 16 years old, immediately after birth. However, since he was born in an inauspicious planetary combination, the Ministers of the King told the Queen that she had to sacrifice the child, otherwise the King would die.
In order to save the King, she sent the child to Vikata Devi in Pancha Mudra Maha Peeth. Vikata Devi summoned various Yoginis and asked them to take the boy to Matrika Devis with whose permission, the child should be spared. Accordingly, the Yoginis took the boy to Matrika Devis, who after observing the divinity in the boy, ordered the Yoginis to take the boy back to Pancha Mudra Peet.
The boy was brought back to the Pancha Mudra peeth by the Yoginis where he started praying. In nutshell, the boy had undertaken a short trip to heaven and returned.
Vikata Devi is known and worshipped as Katyayini Devi. Maa Durga’s 6th form is Katyayini. She got this name on account of the following story. When Demon Mahishasur’s cruelty became unbearable on earth, Lords Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva gave a part of their energies and created a Devi to kill Mahishasur. Sage Katyayan was the first person to perform her puja and so she is called Katyayini.
Maa Katyayini grants wishes to her devotees without fail. To acquire Krishna as their husband, the Gopis of Braj had performed her puja on the banks of Kalindi Yamuna. She is regarded as the supreme saviour Goddess in Braj (Mathura-Vrindavan).
Her form is supposed to be very simple and divine. Her colour is golden and radiant. She has four hands. Her upper right hand has the posture assuring safety or protection and lower right hand grants wishes. She has a sword in her upper left hand and a lotus flower in lower left hand. Her vehicle is lion.
Katyayini Devi blesses her devotees who are freed from any sort of disease, sorrow, fear and suffering. They radiate supernatural energy.
History of Katyayani Temple
The Katyayani Temple has a rich and ancient history that dates back to the Vedic period. According to Hindu mythology, the temple was built by Sage Katyayana, who was a great devotee of the goddess Durga. The sage prayed to the goddess for many years to bless him with a daughter, and the goddess Katyayani was born to him. In gratitude, he built this temple to honor the goddess.
Over the centuries, the temple has undergone several renovations and additions by different rulers and devotees. The current temple structure is believed to have been built during the 18th century by the queen of the Nagpur kingdom, Rani Bhavani.
Significance of Katyayani Temple
The Katyayani Temple is an important destination for Hindu pilgrims and spiritual seekers who seek blessings from the goddess Katyayani. The goddess is believed to be the epitome of courage, strength, and wisdom, and worshipped for her power to overcome obstacles and bring success and prosperity. The temple is especially famous for its Navratri festival, a nine-day celebration of the goddess’s victory over the demon Mahishasura. During this festival, the temple is decorated with lights, flowers, and colors, and devotees perform special rituals and prayers to honor the goddess.
Apart from its religious significance, the Katyayani Temple is also a fine example of ancient Indian architecture and art. The temple is built in the North Indian style of architecture, with a pyramidal roof, intricate carvings, and beautiful paintings that depict scenes from Hindu mythology. The main deity of the temple, the goddess Katyayani, is depicted as a fierce warrior goddess with four arms, riding a lion, and holding weapons like a sword, a trident, and a lotus.
The temple’s architecture is a marvel of ancient Indian craftsmanship and artistry. The temple is built in the traditional North Indian style, with a pyramidal roof, multiple levels, and intricate carvings and paintings that depict scenes from Hindu mythology. The temple’s main entrance is a stunning gateway that is adorned with beautiful sculptures and carvings of gods and goddesses.
The Katyayani Temple is a vibrant and active place that offers a range of activities and events for visitors. Apart from regular worship and prayers, the temple hosts a range of cultural and spiritual events throughout the year, including festivals, music concerts, and religious discourses. The temple also has a special prayer room for couples who seek blessings for a happy and fruitful married life.
Legend / Local stories
The Katyayani Temple is steeped in legends and local stories that add to its mystique and charm. One of the most popular legends associated with the temple is that of the demon Mahishasura, who was defeated by the goddess Katyayani. According to the legend, Mahishasura was a powerful demon who had received a boon from the god Brahma that made him invincible against all male gods. With his newfound power, Mahishasura began to wreak havoc on earth, destroying villages and terrorizing people.
The gods realized that they could not defeat Mahishasura on their own, and so they approached the goddess Durga for help. The goddess agreed to help them and took the form of Katyayani, the daughter of Sage Katyayana. She rode into battle on a lion, wielding powerful weapons, and after a fierce battle, she defeated Mahishasura and restored peace to the earth.
Another popular local story associated with the temple is that of a Brahmin who was blessed by the goddess Katyayani. The Brahmin was a poor man who was struggling to make ends meet. He prayed to the goddess Katyayani for help, and one day, the goddess appeared to him in a dream and told him to go to the temple and worship her. The Brahmin followed the goddess’s instructions and was blessed with wealth and prosperity, which he used to help the poor and needy.
These stories and legends add to the allure and appeal of the Katyayani Temple and continue to inspire and captivate visitors from all over the world.
How to Reach:
Katyayini Devi is located on the premises of Atma Veereshwar Temple at Ck-7/158, Scindia Ghat which is a famous locality in Varanasi. One can reach this place by boat through Scindia Ghat. Alternatively, one can travel by cycle rickshaw up to Chowk and walk down the gullies to reach the temple.
The entire vicinity comes under the religious boundary of Pancha Mudra Maha Peeth. Any kind of pooja or Archana is said to yield multiple results.
Katyayini is one of the Nine Durgas and devotees throng this temple on the 6th day of Navaratri falling in September-October.
By Air: The nearest airport to Varanasi is the Lal Bahadur Shastri International Airport, which is located about 25 kilometers from the city center. From the airport, you can take a taxi or a bus to reach the Katyayani Temple.
By Train: Varanasi is well-connected to other parts of the country by rail. The Varanasi Junction Railway Station is the main railway station in the city and is located about 10 kilometers from the Katyayani Temple. From the railway station, you can take a taxi or an auto-rickshaw to reach the temple.
By Road: Varanasi is well-connected to other parts of the country by road. The city is located on the National Highway 2, which connects it to other major cities in India. You can take a bus or hire a taxi to reach the Katyayani Temple from the city center.
Once you reach Varanasi, you can hire a taxi or an auto-rickshaw to reach the Katyayani Temple. The temple is located in the Bhelupur area of Varanasi and is easily accessible by road.