Kanaka Durga temple is one of the famous piligrim centres in Vijayawada .Kanaka Durga temple is situated on the mountain named Indra Keeladri on the banks of the river Krishna in Andhra Pradesh.
Significance of the Temple
The legend says, that Indrakeela, a shaakteya devotee did great penance and when Goddess appeared, he requested her to be present on him. Then Goddess Kanaka Durga asked him to assume the form of a mountain and after killing Mahishaasura, she resided on the Indrakeeladri. On the request of the other Gods, Goddess Durga killed the demon Durgama. At that time she has been described to have been in the golden colour. So the Gods praised her as Kanaka Durga. In Dwaapara Yuga, Arjuna, one among the Pandavas, did great penance on this mountain (Indrakeeladri) for Lord Shiva in order to get the most powerful astra called Paashupataastra. Later, Lord Shiva appeared to fulfil the desire of Arjuna and called him as Vijaya (victorious).
The place came to be known as Vijayawada after Arjuna's victory. Arjuna felt that he could get the astra called Paashupata only by the grace of Goddess Kanaka Durga and worshipped her and named her as Brahmaastreshwari. Arjuna is also known as Phalguna. Since he did penance here, this place is also called as Phalgunikshetra.
Vijayawada Kanaka Durga is very famous in Andhra pradesh. The temple of Maa Kanaka Durga is next to only the temple of Lord Venkateswara swamy in attracting devotees. She is considered as Shaktipeetham. But, there is no reference to her in "Ashtadasa Shakti peetha stotram". A calender is sold in Kanaka durga temple, keeping her at the center of all 18 Shakti peethas.
It is said that Brahma, Vishnu, Rudra, Indra, Parashurama, Rama, Krishna, Agastya, Bharadwaaja, Markandeya, Paandavaas, Aadishankaraacharya, Sri Krishnadevaraya and many others worshipped the deity in Vijayawada. Her original idol in the temple will be in the form of Mahishasura mardini. A lion and Mahishasura are also present. Previously, the diety was worshiped by Vamachara devotees who used to give animal sacrifice to her. But during the period of Shankaracharya, he converted the temple to Dakshinachara by establishing a Srichakra before her. He stopped sacrificing the animals. Even though people are doing the same now at times.
Then to change the behavior of people, he decorated the Goddess. Apart from Kanaka Durga, Lord Shiva is also worshipped here as Malleeshwara. The legend says that Lord Brahma did penance for Lord Shiva and worshipped him with jasmine (malle) flowers, owing to which Lord Shiva is known as Malleshwara. In Kaliyuga, Aadi Shankaraacharya, in order to pacify the furious form of Kanaka Durga, installed Shri Chakra and worshipped her. Many people visit this temple. The number of pilgrims goes up every Friday.
The temple is good to visit during Chaitra Shuddha Pournami, when Vasanta Kalyanam is performed to Goddess Durga and Lord Malleshwara. The Brahmotsavams in the temple are performed in Vasanta Ritu and the kalyana performed during the utsavams is known as Vasanta Kalyana.
Accommodation Facilities at the Temple
Vijayawada is facilitated with adequate boarding facilities and many other sites to complete the tour. The temple committee of Kanaka Durga makes elaborate arrangements to cater to the needs of the countless devotees who throng the temple everyday.
How to reach the Temple
Vijayawadada has good transport facililties by road, train and air .
APSRTC runs many buses from all main depots to Vijayawada.
There are number of trains to Vijayawada from within Andhra Pradesh and from other states as well.