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

In this post, we’ll share our experience visiting Chandrika Devi Mandir (temple), tell you some famous legends, travel tips, and show you why you should consider visiting this auspicious place in Lucknow, India.

India is a nation where God enshrines 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.

I am proud 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, worshiped in every part of India. Durga Puja (a vast celebration) is held in Bengal, while the Navratri festival is celebrated all over India. During this time, all the people are filled with devotion and lose themselves, worshiping the deity.

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

Enroute to Kathvara Village where Chandrika Devi Mandir is situated
En route to Kathvara Village, where Chandrika Devi Mandir is situated.

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

Video Travel Guide

Chandrika Devi Temple’s Brief History

The temple’s history is related to the Mahabharata and the Ramayana period. Although no correct information is available about its construction, 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, they also destroyed up the Chandrika Devi temple to a great extent.

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

The temple establishment at present is about 300 years old, built by the locals. Another prevalent story is that a person once saw the Goddess in a dream, and the very next day, they 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, the Gomti river flowing adjacent to it, and an incredible peace all around will leave no stone unturned to engulf anyone in the divine spirit.

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

The temple’s courtyard 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 temple’s trust has an establishment nearby and a hall-like structure for the people to stay.

A Kund (pond) is next to the temple, 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 the 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 massive 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 incredible 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 woods. That no-moon night (Amavasya) scared him. Then he prayed to the Navdurgaas as told by his mother, Devi Urmila.

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

Relation to the Mahabharata Period

According to another belief, during the Mahabharata period, Yudhishthira resided here and performed Ashwamedha Yajna during the exile. After releasing the horse (a custom of Ashwamedha Yajna), King Hansadhwaja, the ruler at that time, stopped it. Consequently, a battle happened 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 to test his devotion. The deity’s magic helped, and nothing happened to his body. After this, the Mahisagar shrine also became 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

People celebrate the festival of Navaratri with great pomp and devotion in the Chandrika Devi temple. The entire temple complex is packed with refugees and devotees from the surrounding districts in these nine days.

There’s one more festival celebrated on the day of Amavasya.

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 learned 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.

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 keep 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 bring 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 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 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 incredible peace and joy. On the way back, we took some great pictures and visited Barbareek Ji’s temple, located nearby.

Overall it was a very satisfactory visit for both of us.

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

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

An appeal: Please do not throw garbage around. Use a dustbin and if you can’t find a dustbin, take the trash with you and throw it when you find a dustbin. Your small help can make India clean and green.

Misfit Wanderers
Misfit Wanderers

Misfit Wanderers is a travel portal that helps you explore a place in its true essence. Captivating stories, strange facts, hidden gems, unexplored trails, fascinating history, and more — everything’s by travelers, for travelers.

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