The Kanaka Durga temple is located in Vijaywada, Andhra Pradesh. The city is famous for its quintessential temples and serene surroundings. The temple is located on the hill called “Indraleeladri”, located near the banks of holy river Krishna. It is a Swayambhu temple which means it is a self manifested temple.
The temple has a rich history to share with their visitors with many memorials for their devotees. The temple is the second largest in Andhra Pradesh. It is commonly known as “Vijaywada Kanaka Durgamma Temple”. Another popular name given to temple is the “Sri Durga Malleswara Swamy Vara Devasthanam”. It has many legends to support its different names.
According to history, in Krithayuga, Goddess Durga killed Mahisasura on the Indrakeela hill and appeared as “Mahisasura Mardini” on the hills. The story starts from a Yaksha named Keela. He performed tough rumination to get the blessings from Goddess Durga. Pleased by the penance of Keela, Goddess Durga agreed to offer him a boon. Keela being a highly motivated Yaksha didn’t want any materialistic things. He asked the Goddess to remain in his heart. And the Goddess gave the boon to him that he would remain here on the plains of river Krishna in form of mountain. The Goddess will again come here to assault Mahishasura in the Krithayuga and then she shall reside on the mountain as she promised.
Indra and the other devas praised her and chanted “Kanaka Durga” everyday as a form of worship. The Goddess appeared with golden ring encircled around her and hence also called “Kanaka Durga” and “Kanakanchala”.
Sri Adi Guru Shankracharya visited this place in Kalyuga and re-established this temple with Malleswara Swamy Temple to its north. He installed Srichakram at the feet of Goddess Durga. Other shrines that can be seen in the temple are of Sri Nataraja Swami, Sri Subrahmanyeshwara to their north-east and north respectively.
Another interesting story is that when Indrakeeladri came in way of river Kirshna, the devas requested him to give way to the river so that it can merge into the sea. As a result, the hill gave small passage to river and this named the place as “Thelukonda” or the “Floating Hill”.
The temple celebrates Dasara Navratri and Bhavani Deeksha Virmana as its main festivals. The Bhavani Deeksha Virmana is celebrated every year in Karthik month that follows huge crowd of devotees.
Everyday a huge meal is prepared that serves around 5000 people a day and 1, 50,000 people in a month. This is called the “Anna Prasadam”. The main ingredients and the raw materials for the food are bought from the money donated by the devotees to the temple’s trust. This temple receives huge donation every year that is used to maintain the temple and serve food to the devotees that visit the temple everyday in massive quantity.
The temple remains open from 4 a.m. to 5:45 p.m. and 6:15 p.m. to 10 p.m.. Entry fee for Dharma Dharshanam is free, Rs 20 and Rs 100 respectively for Mukha Mandapam and Antaralayam Dharshanam.
How to reach:
By Air: Devotee can hire Taxis from Vijayawada Airport, Temple is about 21 km far.
By Rail: Vijaywada Railway station is well connected with all parts of India and just 1.5 km from temple.
By Road: Regular buses and taxis are available from all parts of Vijaywada city.
Vijaywada is a very famous city in AP. There are many dharamshalas, hotels available at very reasonable cost. Visitor or devotee can find all types of food through out city.