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Chandrika Devi Mandir: Lucknow’s Ancient Temple of Goddess Durga

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  • Post last modified:August 7, 2021
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In this post, we’ll share our real experience of visiting Chandrika Devi Mandir (temple), make you aware of the popular legends, tell you some travel tips and show you why you should consider visiting this auspicious place in Lucknow, India.

I have always been saying that we are the people of a nation where God is enshrined in every particle. We are standing on a diamond mine, the deeper we dig, the more we will dive into the religious and cultural ocean.

What I am most proud of is that people from every corner of the world visit India to see its diverse culture and traditions.

One of the many Goddesses is Durga Mata, who is worshiped in every part of India. Durga Puja (a huge celebration) is held in the Bengal while the Navratri festival celebrated all over India. During this time, all the people are filled with devotion and lose themselves in worshiping the deity.

Today I will talk about Chandrika Devi temple located in Lucknow, capital of Uttar Pradesh. Chandrika Devi is an incarnation of Mata Durga. Although I had once visited this pilgrimage in my childhood. I was a kid back then, so nothing much that I remember.

When I came to know about the glory of this place, the desire to visit it again grew in my heart and this curiosity pulled me here one day.

Enroute to Kathvara Village where Chandrika Devi Mandir is situated
Enroute to Kathvara Village where Chandrika Devi Mandir is situated.

Chandrika Devi Temple’s Brief History

The history of the temple is related to the Mahabharata and the Ramayana period. Although no correct information is available about its construction it is said that this temple dates back to the 12th century.

When the foreign invaders came, around the 12th century, they hunted down and destroyed many great temples. In the same invasion, Chandrika Devi temple was also destroyed up to a great extent.

Entry gate for Chandrika Devi Mandir or Temple
Entry gate for Chandrika Devi Mandir or Temple

The temple establishment at the present time is about 300 years old and was built by the locals. Another story that is prevalent is that a person once saw the goddess in a dream and the very next day he/she installed an idol and slowly the local people contributed to the rest of the outline of the temple.

Temple’s Architecture, Design & Environment

The atmosphere of Maa Chandrika Devi temple is divine and spiritual. Lush greenery, Gomti river flowing adjacent to it, and a wonderful peace all around, which will leave no stone unturned to engulf anyone in devotional spirit.

The Image of Goddess Durga Avatar Maa Chandrika Devi
The Image of Goddess Durga Avatar Maa Chandrika Devi

The courtyard of the temple is quite huge and you will have to go through steel-made pipes to have a glimpse of the deity. There is also a Havan Kund and Yagyashala nearby the main temple. The trust of the temple has an establishment nearby and a hall-like structure for the people to stay.

A Kund (pond) is located next to the temple, which is known as Sudhanva Kund or Mahisagar Tirtha.

Beautiful Statue of Lord Shiva in the confluence of Gomti streams
Beautiful Statue of Lord Shiva in the confluence of Gomti streams

The stream of Gomti River flows in the north, west, and south directions from the Chandrika Devi temple, and in the east direction are the Mahisagar shrines. There is a huge statue of Lord Shiva in the middle of the pond, which is undoubtedly a center of attraction.

Popular Legends

There are many legends associated with this historic temple. Let me tell you some of them.

The Penance of Barbareek

According to the Skandha Purana, it is believed that in Dwapara Yuga, Shri Krishna had asked Barbareek, son of Ghatotkacha, to meditate at this Mahisagar shrine to attain amazing powers.

He practiced this harsh penance for three years, following the word of Shri Krishna. For information, let me tell you that Ghatotkacha is the son of Hidimba Devi based in Manali, meaning Barbareek was the grandson of Hidimba Devi. Barbareek is better known as Khatu Shyam. His main temple is located in Rajasthan.

When A Dark Night Turned Into Moonlight

According to another belief, during the Treta Yug, Lord Lakshman’s son, Chandraketu, was passing through a dense forest. The forest was long and he couldn’t pass through it. He decided to spend the night in the forest. The dark night (Amavasya) scared him. Then he prayed to the Navdurgaas as told by his mother, Devi Urmila.

It is said that even the dark night was transformed into the moonlight by the grace of Goddess Durga’s avatar Chandrika Devi. She herself appeared before him and assured him of protection.

Relation to the Mahabharata Period

According to another belief, during the Mahabharata period, Yudhishthira resided here during the exile and performed Ashwamedha Yajna. After he released the horse (a custom of Ashwamedha Yajna), it was stopped by the ruler of that period, King Hansadhwaja, which resulted in a battle between Pandavas and Hansadhwaja.

Hansdhwaj’s second son Sudhanva did not join the battle. He was a great devotee of Goddess Chandrika Devi. The king got angry and put him in the boiling oil in the Mahisagar region in order to test his devotion. The deity’s magic helped and there was nothing happened to his body. After this, the Mahisagar shrine also came to be known as Sudhanva Kund.

People say that Yudhishthira’s army, also known as Katak, inhabited this area, due to which the place became famous as Katakwasa, which is known as Kathwara in the present day.

Another legend is that Chandradeva himself came to this place and took a bath in this holy pond to get rid of the curse given by King Daksha Prajapati.

Celebrated Festivals at Chandrika Devi Mandir

The festival of Navaratri in Chandrika Devi temple is celebrated with great pomp and full devotion. In these 9 days, the entire temple complex is packed with refugees and mother’s devotees from the surrounding districts. Apart from this, the festival is also celebrated on the day of Amavasya, and on the eve and a large number of devotees come here to join.

Havan Sthal at Chandrika Devi Temple Lucknow
Havan Sthal/Kund at Chandrika Devi Temple Lucknow

After exchanging a few words with the priest of the temple, we came to know that every morning and evening there is an aarti involving the people of villages happens. According to the priest, Maa Chandrika fulfills everyone’s wishes.

Pooja (Aarti) Timetable

Summer – 7 am to 9 pm
Winter – 6 am to 10 pm

Aarti daily at 7 am and 8 pm.

The temple is closed from 1 pm to 2 pm in the afternoon.

The Temple of Barbareek

This newly built temple is situated at a walking distance from Maa Chandrika Devi Mandir or Temple and is dedicated to Khatushyam i.e. Barbareek Ji. After visiting Chandrika Devi, we came here too to receive the blessings.

The Image of Khatu Shyam situated in the vicinity of Chandrika Devi Mandir
The Image of Khatu Shyam situated in the vicinity of Chandrika Devi Mandir

Barbareek was a great warrior. He followed his mother’s education to be helpful to the loser and that everyone supports the winner, you always support the loser. He did so, following the path set by his mother. Therefore he is also called ‘Haare ka Sahara.’

Some Important Travel Tips

  • There is no public transport available to come directly to the temple, you’ll either have to hire a private taxi or have to have your own vehicle.
  • You can visit in the morning, enjoy throughout the day and go back in the evening. A day is more than enough, the typical time people spend here is approximately 2 hours.
  • There are Dhabas and Indian styled restaurants situated in the vicinity of the temple.
  • Spend some time in the temple courtyard or in the surrounding greenery. If possible, spend time near the pool.
  • In his novel, “Karwat” the late Amritlal Nagar Ji, has described the glory of Chandrika Devi, in which the hero of the novel comes to this place and worships the mother.

How to reach Chandrika Devi Mandir?

This pilgrimage site is located in a village called Kathwara at a distance of 28 km on the Lucknow-Sitapur National Highway in the northwest direction of Lucknow. The distance from Lucknow airport is 45 km. You can go by taxi or own vehicle to reach here from any corner of Lucknow as there is no other feasible way to reach here.

Our Experience

I and my fellow traveler Vipin reached this place with his Mohini – the scooter. Since we traveled here in the CORONA period, the number of devotees was very less. After washing our hands and feet in the Kund (pond), we proceeded towards the court of Goddess with our offerings. Instructions were in place in the temple and all the rules of COVID-19 like social distancing were being followed well.

After having darshan, we spent some of our time sitting near the pond and envisioned the period when all these legends would have had taken place. We felt a wonderful peace and joy. On the way back, we took some great pictures and also visited Barbareek Ji’s temple which was located nearby.

Overall it was very satisfactory visit for both of us.

I hope that through this article I have been able to convey all the information about Chandrika Devi temple to you. If I have missed anything or you have any thoughts in your excited mind, feel free to express them in the comment box below.

We will try to answer your questions and improve Misfit Wanderers.

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This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Veidehi Gite

    I love ancient temples. Adding this one to my bucket list.

    1. VivaciousVipin

      That’s great Veidehi. I hope you soon tick this item off of your list.