Weather :

Time Required : 1 - 2 hrs

Timings :

Summer Timings
5:00 AM to 12:00 PM
1:00 PM to 10:00 PM

Winter Timings
6:00 AM to 12:00 PM
1:00 PM to 9:00 PM

Chamunda Devi Temple, Palampur Overview

This hilltop temple of Chamunda Devi, one among the 51 Shakti Peethas is approximately 10 kilometres towards west Palampur, on the banks of river Baner. It is one of the most revered religious sites in Himachal. Chamundeshwari Devi is said to be one of the most powerful avatars of Goddess Durga. Navratri is a prominent festivity of the Chamunda Devi Temple. It attracts several devotees.

The temple has engravings from the scenes of Mahabharat and Ramayana. The temple is designed in traditional Himachali architecture and is bracketed within the serenity of nature. It is believed that the Chamunda Devi Temple came into being during the 1500s when goddess Chamunda appeared in the local priest's dream and urged the idol to be shifted to a specific spot which hosts the present-day temple.

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Chamunda Devi Temple

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Temple Architecture

The temple is designed in traditional Himachali architecture and is bracketed within the serenity of nature. Although it does not carry out any exquisite architectural elements, the temple is highly significant. Chamunda Devi Temple sites images of Chamunda Devi, Lord Bhairava and Hanuman. The main image of the goddess is vibrant and fierce with garlands of serpents, skulls and scorpions. It is visible from the temple entrance.

Considered to be the protectors of Goddess Chamunda, the temple also hosts sanctuary for the Hindu deities, Bhairava and Hanuman. It is said that a corner within the temple sites the footsteps of the goddess on a rock. The temple also has a staircase in marble that leads downwards to a Shiva cave, where the Lingam is worshipped. The Shiva temple here, known as Nandikashwar Mahadev is also a popular religious site within the temple premises.

Legend of the Temple

Also referred to as Raktha Kali, Charchika and Chamundeshwari, Chamunda Devi is a terrifying version of Mother Durga or Durga Maa as locals refer her. It is believed that Goddess Durga created another goddess with immense power and strength to destroy the demons, Chanda and Munda. Upon destruction, the goddess was then named Chamunda Devi, or the one who triumphs over evil. 

About four centuries ago, some priests and a king were trying to build a temple dedicated to Chamunda Devi. When a priest prayed to the goddess to help them out with the process, she appeared in the priest's dream and demanded that the temple must possess an idol that would be revered in her name. She described the spot that would have the idol buried underneath the ground. This event furthered the priest to inform the king, and thus the king sent a group of men to bring the idol. However, none of them could move the idol even by an inch.

It was then that the priest prayed again in fright and confusion to the goddess. Chamunda Devi then warned the priest that his men approached the holy site with a casual and physically unclean state. The next day, the king ensured his men were clean and devoted before they went to the idol and they were able to bring the statue, which was kept in the present-day's Chamunda Devi temple. 

How to Reach Chamunda Devi Temple

The most convenient way to reach the Chamunda Devi Temple is a combination of flight and road transport if you're travelling from a considerable distance. There are several buses, trains and flights plying from Delhi to Palampur. 

Distance: (nearest to farthest)
Dharamsala to Palampur - 20 kms
Kangra to Palampur - 24 kms
Mcleodgunj to Palampur - 33 kms
Pathankot to Palampur - 110 kms
Una to Palampur - 124 kms
Gurdaspur to Palampur - 140 kms
Dalhousie to Palampur - 140 kms
Phagwara to Palampur - 156 kms
Kullu to Palampur - 175 kms

Via Flight
Travellers can board a flight from Delhi to different stopovers such as Dharamsala, Pathankot, Kullu, Jammu, Chandigarh and Amritsar. The rest of the distance from these respective airports to the temple can be covered via taxi. 

Via Train
There are an array of overnight and day trains from Delhi. Some of the overnight train-stopovers plying from Delhi are Pathankot, Dalhousie, Phagwara, Jalandhar and Anandpur Sahib. Some of the day trains available from Delhi to Palampur are via Amritsar, Ropar, Una, Gurdaspur and Phagwara. 

Via Bus
There are a couple of bus routes from Delhi to Palampur. There are overnight and day buses for the same. The bus options to Palampur from Delhi would halt at Jalandhar, Amritsar, Chandigarh and Katra and the night buses would stopover at Katra, Chandigarh, Rampur, Jammu, Shimla, Manali and Amritsar. 

Parking
The premises of Chamunda Devi Temple offers sufficient parking space on the temple grounds and along the main road as well. It's a short walk from the parking lot to the temple. Although not very well maintained, these parking spaces are usable.

Tips

  • Avoid weekends and holidays if you don't want much crowd. 
  • In case you wish to donate to the temple, they have a bank account number inside the temple. They accept cards as well. 
  • The temple premises also has changing rooms, toilet facilities and a resting house. 
  • Ensure not to carry many eatables as there are quite a few monkeys here.  

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