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Chamunda Devi Temple Himachal Pradesh

Chamunda Devi Temple Himachal PradeshChamunda 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.

THE PAST
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. Himachal Pradesh Pligrimage tour operator

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 LEGEND
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.

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