Chamunda Devi Temple is one of the oldest Lord Shiva Temples in the Indian state of Himachal Pradesh. The temple, located 15 km away from Dharamshala, is believed to be more than 700 years old.
The name ‘Chamunda’ is a combination of Chanda and Munda, two demons which Devi vanquished. Overlooking the mighty Dhauladhar ranges, this enchanting spot is located on the bank of river Ban Ganga at the height of 1000mt.
The temple complex holds a sacred kind in it where devotees take a holy dip. The main deity of the temple is not accessible to the devotees as it is wrapped with a red cloth. Located at the back of the temple is a cave-like scoop that represents an embodiment of Lord Shiva in the form of stone Lingam.
The temple of Chamunda Devi is associated with myths from Hindu legends.
According to the Hindu mythology, Devi Sati burnt herself alive in the fire of heaven after her father Prajapati Daksha insulted her husband, Lord Shiva. The infuriated Shiva then picked the corpse of Sati on his shoulder and started wandering the Earth. To save the Earth and Heaven from Shiva’s wrath, Lord Vishnu cut Sati’s body into fifty one pieces with his Sudarshan chakra. It is believed that the trunk of Sati had fallen into the place where the Chamunda Devi Temple is situated.
Another myth related to the temple has it that a fierce battle took place between gods and demons in which the goddess of the temple beheaded two monsters Chand and Munda. Thus the temple is called Chamunda Devi Temple.Mahakali is the other name given to Chamunda Devi. The image of the goddess is now flanked by the idols of Hanuman and Bhairo on either side.
There is another famous saga related to the formation of this temple. Many centuries ago, this famous temple was located in the dangerous remote place which was difficult to access. The then king and a Brahmin priest prayed to Goddess Kali for permission to move the temple to the current location.
How to Reach
Aptly known as Chamunda Nandikeshwar Dham, this enchanting temple is located in Kangra district of Himachal Pradesh. The closest airport is some 28 km away at Gaggle. The nearest railway station is about 30 km away at Moranda near Palampur. State transport buses or private taxis can be hired to reach the temple.
Chamunda Devi Temple is one among a number of famous shrines, pagodas and Temples in Himachal Pradesh. All the Temples in Himachal witness heavy inflow of pilgrims from near and far away places to get blessings from deities. Most of the Temples in Himachal Pradesh are situated in the lap of Himalayas.