I had the opportunity to visit this temple this Sunday as per the wishes of the Kanchi acharyas who are camping here for their chaturmasa vratam. The Krishna river will have the pushkar festival from Aug 12 to 24 this year hence hectic construction activity is taking place. I had previously visited this temple in 1983 and remember climbing up the Indra keeladri hill but today there is a magnificent 7 floored multistory building engulfing the hill which is the modern queue complex. There is a lift available for the physically challenged also.
How to Reach:
The temple is on a hillock where the NH 5 enters the city from the south at the Krishna river barrage. It is very close to the station and you just can't miss it.There is a road up the ghat road and vehicles were allowed up previously. For the pushkar it has been stopped.
Indra Keela a sage obtained a boon that Ma Durga would stay Atop his head and protect the people from asuras in the previous Yuga .True to her word After killing mahishasura, Durga came to rest on the Indrakeeladri hill protecting the people of Bezwada. The 10 day Dasara festival is grandly celebrated here with daily adornments and alankara of Durga Devi.Since she shines in a holden hue she is called Kanaka Durga. Kanaka is gold in Telugu and Sanskrit.
There is another story that Durga playfully removed the nose ring from Krishnaa and ran up the hill.Krishna has promised that at the end of the Yuga she will rise up to the hill and redeem her nose ring
In the Mahabharata Arjuna has a fight with Shiva as a hunter in claiming a wild boar killed by his arrow,Shiva tests him and this is where he gives Arjuna the pasupata astra.
The Chola king Vijaya adithya conquered this land and built the Vijayeshwara temple below the hill to commemorate Arjuna's receiving the astra.
The river Krishna was stopped by the hills here . Answering the peoples prayers Shiva created caverns and tunnels in these hills to allow free flow of the river to irrigate the land and make it fertile. Locally these tunnels are called Bejjalu hence the name Bejjalu wada or Bezwada for this city. To commemorate this the Mallikarjuna shiva temple is built on another hill adjoining the Durga temple.
Adishankara visited this place and has codified Pooja here and has done a Srichakra yathrai sthapana in this temple
When you visit the temple please leave the cell phones in designated lockers and you can move up 7 floors in dedicated queues for Rs.5/20/100 and free darshan. Tickets will be issued in the queue itself with laddu .
You will be allowed in front of the sanctum for a brief period to pray.
The temple has a dedicated website for all special Poojas and sevas .
Everything is peaceful inspute of the crowd above at the temple .please do visit and enjoy the benefits of Ma Durga