The Chandi Devi Temple of Haridwar is a charming temple perched on the Neel Parvat of the Shivalik Hills. Built in the year 1929 by the then king of Kashmir, it is believed that this temple has existed in one form or the other since the 8th century. This is a very famous pilgrimage and gathers devotees all around the year. Chandi temple is also known as Neel Parvat Teerth is one of the five pilgrimages of Haridwar. It is also known as Siddha Peetha, a place where devotees worship to fulfil their desire. Because of its location, the Chandi Devi temple is also a preferred choice for trekking tourists. You can also reach the temple zenith by the means of a ropeway, the view from which is exhilarating.
The presiding deity of Chandi Devi Temple is Goddess Chandi, who is also known as Goddess Chandrika. Legend says that a long time ago, demon kings Shuhnmbha and Nishumbha had captured the kingdom of Heaven and banished all the gods from there, including God-King Indra. Seeing no way out, all the gods prayed to Goddess Parvati when she assumed the form of Chandi, an extremely beautiful woman.
Chandi visited the demon kings and upon gazing at her face, Shumbha was mesmerised and decided to marry her. However, Chandi refused him and which enraged Shumbha to no end and he sent demon chiefs Chanda and Munda to kill her. Upon being confronted by the two, Chandi's anger gave rise to Chamunda who killed Chanda and Munda. Shumbha and Nishumbha then attempted to kill Chandrika but were killed by the goddess. After destroying the two demons, Chandrika rested for a while on top of the Neel Parvat after which the temple was created here to mark the legend. The two peaks located in the mountain range are called Shumbha and Nishumbha, after the slain demon kings.
The foundation of the Chandi Devi Temple in Haridwar is believed to have been laid down by Adi Shankaracharya sometime in the 8th century, and it is believed that the great Hindu priest had installed the Goddess's idol here himself. A formal shrine was built in the year 1929 by Kashmiri king Suchat Singh, after which the temple rose to great prominence as a revered shrine of Chandi Devi.
The beautiful temple located atop the hill is a trekker's delight and you will find visitors walking uphill to the temple. If you wish to enjoy a bird's eye view of the entire city of Haridwar, hop aboard one of the many cable cars that have been recently installed here for the convenience of the devotees. As the car makes its ascent towards the temple, you can see an astonishing view of the valley below. The temple architecture in itself is an embodiment of simplicity and humble bearings. With a simple facade bearing a flag, the Chandi Devi temple attracts millions of devotees every year.
Chandi Temple is located at the foothills of the Himalayas, which makes it the perfect destination for trekking. The trek up to the temple is about three kilometres long and begins at Chandighat. The trek is mildly steep and has a few impediments on the way, but the scenery of the region makes it worth a try, With an easy to medium difficulty level, the trek to Chandi Devi temple is an unlikely destination for hikers as well.
A more convenient way to reach the top of the Chandi Devi Temple is by the means of a ropeway ride. It spans over the mountains for a distance of about 4-5 kilometres and takes you through a scenic route from where you can witness the beauty of this place first hand. Known as the Chandi Devi Udankhatola, a ride through the same costs about INR 84 per head.
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Located atop the Neel Parvat, you can either trek your way up to the Chandi Devi Temple or take the ropeway which takes 5-10 minutes.
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