The Durga Kund Temple: Kashi
I wanted to get out of my hotel room and wander off into the narrow, dusty by-lanes of Kabir Nagar in Banaras. It was 4;00 pm and before the sunset I wanted to pray and take blessings of the Goddess Durga, the fearsome avatar of Parvati, who slays demons while riding a tiger, she had eight hands and carries a sword, a trident, a lotus flower, a sea shell and much more. The temple was built here to worship her and praise the Goddess for her valour as she won a righteous war here in Kashi. The temple is red in color which is the color of the goddess. Its inner sanctum is square with the temple and the idol kept inside. In front of the temple, you have the two main flower sellers who sell flower garlands, lilies, roses, and marigold. I decided to take a short interview with the flower seller called Jai Prakash who has been selling flowers as Pooja samagri since his father’s time. “ Sir this is a very famous temple daily 15,000 people come to the temple to do prayers .” I was mazed that is quite a number, then I venture into the temple with the flower offerings and a garland as well. I went into the square-shaped courtyard and climbed the temple steps so that I could slap the brass bells.
I prayed for a while and bowed down towards the idol as if on cue the Pujari on the left understood me to be a rich man, he must have got the clue from my clothes and my large leather sling bag, my fathers also give it away that I am Urban from a big city. Instantly he took me under his wing and took me to the idol directly from another door on the side of the temple. I got a back door entry and a front view seat to Ma Durga. I put Rs 500 in the wooden daan Pete and the Pujari looked pleased he stood beside me and said a mantra, then he asked me to prostrate in front of the idol and offer flowers and prayers. I duly obliged and did exactly as told. On the way out the pujari painted my forehead with turmeric paste and a large red tikka. The man wanted more for his endeavor, I declined and walked out of the caged gate into the fresh air of the courtyard. I decided to do a Parikrama and took five rounds of the square courtyard, circling the temple.
The Mythical Story of Durga Kund
The legend of how the temple got built here in the 18th century says that there was once a king of Kashi Dhriva Sandhi who had two wives the older was Manorama and the younger was Lilavati. He had two sons Sudarshana born from Manorama and Satrijith for the younger Lilavati. Once the King went on a hunting expedition and got killed by a lion. With the king’s death the ministers decided that the elder son Sudarshan should be king, but the younger wife Lilavati was opposed to this. She with the help of her father Yathajith decided to kill Sudarshan. The older wife Manorama got wind of the plan and ran away with her son to take shelter with the great sage Bharadwaj
The great saint asked Sudarshan to worship goddess Vaishnavi, who was associated with Kama Shakti. The goddess was pleased and gave him a boon of bow and arrow that would help him win great wars.
The king of Kashi Subahu had a beautiful daughter by the name of Shashi Kala. When she was asleep goddess Vaishnavi appeared in her dreamed and asked her to marry Sudarshana. A grand Suyamvar took place where Sudarshan’s brother Satrijith was also present with his grandfather Yathajith. Yathajith threatened the king with death if he did not get his daughter married off to his grandson Satrijith. The father Subahu was afraid and was about to relent when Shashikala intervened and explained her dream to her father. She told him the goddess Vaishnavi will protect them and their families.
On that same day, Subahu married off his daughter to Sudarshana. As news of this got out Yathajith surrounded Kashi and Subahu and there was a battle fought. As Yathajith and Sudarshan approached each other the Goddesses Vaishnavi appeared and killed both Satrijith and Yathajith, thus bringing victory to Kashi . on the request of the King she stayed back to bless the city near the water Kund where a temple was erected to worship goddess Durga.
On the way out I was offered Prasad, coconut, a flower garland, and a red chunni were wrapped around me, like a protect tire shield. It was the skill of Tiwari that got the perfect shot of me draped in the mata’s red chunni holding the Prasad. Indeed Chunni ke niche kya hei! Well, you guessed it aim under the red chunni. Anuj Tikku doing a tour of the three holy cities of Kashi, Ayodhya, and Mathura only on www.tikkustravelthon.in Watch my live videos and see me temple trekking across Kashi, celebrating Diwali in Ayodhya, doing the dandiya in Mathura at the Krishna Janam Bhoomi.