Chamunda Devi is a Shakti shrine, 10 km west
of Palampur, on the Baner River. This colourful shrine has
a wrathful form of Durga or Chamunda. The idol in the temple
is considered so sacred that it is completely hidden beneath
a red cloth.
It is situated on the bank of Ban Ganga. With all the natural
surroundings ideally suited for meditation prayers and spiritual
attainments. This was the cremation ground for 22 villages
and supposed to be a place which gives solace, spiritual attainments
in the form of Mahakali Chamunda. Here Lord shiva is present
in the form of death, destruction & dead bodies along
with Devi Chamunda. Devotees offer prayers, worship and give
offerings for their ancestors. It is thought to be sacred
to take a dip in Ban Ganga and to read and recite the writings
of Shat Chandi. In the old days, people used to offer sacrifices
also to the deity. Kanyas (unmarried baby girls) are worshiped.
Also Lord shiva is worshiped with Holy water from Ban Ganga.
Chamunda Devi is located at a spot where the famous battle
described in the Devi Mahatmaya took place. It is heard that
Kali killed the two generals of Shumbha and Nishumba. Their
names were Chanda and Munda. As a result of this battle Kali
received the name Chamunda. The temple was originally located
in dangerous remote spot. It was relocated to its current
location. Around 400 years ago the king and a Brahmin priest
prayed to Devi for permission to move the temple to some easily
accessible location. Devi appeared to the priest in a dream
giving her consent. She directed him to dig in a certain spot
and an ancient idol would be found and that idol should be
installed in the temple and worshipped as Her form.
The king sent out men to bring the idol. Although they were
able to locate it but were not able to lift it. Again Devi
appeared to the priest in a dream. She explained that the
men could not lift the holy relic because they considered
it an ordinary stone. She instructed him to get up early in
the morning, take a bath, wear fresh clothes and go to the
place in a respectful manner. He did as he was told and found
that he could easily lift what a large group of men could
not. He told the people that it was the power of the Goddess
that brought the idol to the temple. In the temple now you
can see scenes from the Devi Mahatmya, Ramayan and Mahabharata.
On either side of the Devi's image is Hanuman and Bhairo.
The Goddess Chamunda was enshrined as chief Goddess with the
title of Rudra in the battle between demon Jalandhra and Lord
Shiva which made this place famous as “Rudra Chamunda”. Another
legend has it that “Savarni Manamantra” battle between the
gods and demons, Chamunda emerged as Chandika from an eyebrow
of Goddess “Kaushiki” and was assigned the task of eliminating
the demons “Chand” and “Mund”. Chandika fought a fierce battle
with these two demons and at last killed them. Goddess Chandika
took the slain heads of the two demons “Chand” and “Mund”
to the Goddess “Kaushiki” who being immensely pleased, blessed
Chandika and bestowed upon her the title of “Chamunda” ,the
name which is famous all around the world.