Located 2 km from Varanasi, the 18th century Durga temple is one of
the most important temples in Varanasi. Built by a Bengali maharani, this
temple has Nagara Style. Stained red with ochre, this temple is built with a
multi-tiered shikhara(spire). The shikhara of the temple is formed by many
small spires which are built one on top of the other.
One of the most popular temples, dedicated to Goddess Durga, it sits on the
large rectangular tank called Durga Kund in the Southern sector of the city.
The Puranas locate Durga Ji at her present site, and she has kept this place
for many centuries. She is said to protect Varanasi from the south, as one
of the fierce goddess guardians of the sacred zone. According to some who
serve this temple, the image of Durga was never established by human hands,
but is a self-manifest image. It appeared here of its own accord.
Durga is the 'terrible' form of Shiva's consort Parvati, so at festivals
there are often sacrifices of goats. Non-Hindus can enter the courtyard but
not the inner sanctum. It is commonly known as Monkey Temple due to many
frisky monkey that have made it their home.