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Dunagiri Temple

Dunagiri Temple

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Built in - Ancient
Diety - Goddess Durga
Location - 14 kms from Dwarahat
Timings - 05:00 A.M. to 06:00 P.M.

Dunagiri Temple, Dwarahat, Uttarakhand

Dunagiri temple is located 14 km from Dwarahat area of Almora district of Uttarakhand state, this temple is situated on the top of Drona Mountain. The temple is dedicated to goddess Durga. It is believed that when Hanuman Ji was carrying the mountain with ‘Sanjiwani buti’ for Laxman, a piece of it fell here and since that day this place is known as ‘Doonagiri’ (‘giri’ meaning fell). Maa Dunagiri Temple is also known as ‘Dronagiri’. On this mountain, Dronagiri was named after Dronacharya, a Guru (Teacher) of Pandav, on austerity. The name of this temple comes from Uttarakhand, the oldest and the Siddha Shakti Peeth temples.

This temple of Mother Dunagiri is the second Vaishno Shaktipeeth in the Kumaon of Uttarakhand after Vaishno Devi. There is no idol in the Dunagiri temple. Naturally produced Siddha pinds are worshipped in the form of Mata Bhagwati. Akhand Jyoti in the Dunagiri Temple is a special feature of the temple. Dunagiri Mata’s being a Vaishnavi form does not offer any kind of sacrifice in this place. Even the coconut offered as an offer to the temple is not even broken in the temple premises.

Dunagiri Temple is situated on the top of the mountain. This temple is situated at an altitude of 8,000 feet above sea level. The road leads to the temple by approximately 365 stairs. The stairs are covered, and thousands of bells are hanging all the way, which are almost identical. Dunagiri Temple Uttarakhand is covered with black granite stones and has a small sanctuary within its enceinte. Wide corridors and stairs at different levels have been constructed to make it easy for people from all walks of life to climb up toward the shrine. It is surrounded by lush green & thick forest of pine & deodar. The mind becomes so calm in the cold breeze and spectacular view of the mighty Himalayas. The maintenance work of the Dunagiri Temple is done by ‘Aadi Shakti Maa Dunagiri Mandir Trust’. Daily bhandare are organised by the Trust in the Dunagiri Temple. The full range of Himalaya Mountains can be seen from the Dunagiri Temple.

Mythology Associated with the Temple

It is said that Laxman was hit by a power shot by Meghnath in the Ramayana war in Tretayuga then Susan Vedya asked Hanuman ji to bring Sanjivani booti from the mountain named Dronachal. Hanuman ji was carrying the entire Dronachal Mountain and a small piece of the mountain fell on it and then thereafter the temple of Dunagiri was built in this place. Many varieties of herbs are still found here since that time.

According to another legend, the Devi Purana, during the time of agyatvas, Pandavas won the war and draupadi worshipped Maa Durga in the dunagiri temple to protect virtuousness. Pandavas won the battle during their exile and Draupathi worshipped Dunagiri as Durga to protect her chastity.

Dunagiri is also mentioned in Manas khand of Skanda Purana. Dunagiri Devi is described as Mahamaya Harpriya (Manaskhand, 36.17-18). Manaskhand of Skandpuran bestows Dunagiri with the title of Brahma- parvat (Divine Mountain).

The name of a peak named after Lord Ganesha, situated on this mountain, is popular from the east, Ganeshadhar. It is said that during the Lanka war, the treatment of Lakshmana from the Dronachal mountain and the story of the elusive demon Kalnemi and Hanuman war tells its Tretayugi history.

Historical and Beliefs of the Dunagiri Temple

Karturi ruler Dharmadev established the temple in 1318 AD and installed a Durga Idol. Lord Hanuman, temple of Shri Ganesh and Bhairav ji are before the temple of Goddess. According to the article of Himalaya Gazeterian ET Edkikshan, the evidence of the temple is found in 1181 inscriptions.

There is a very mythical and proven Shaktipeeth in Uttarakhand district. Dronagiri Vaishnavi Shakti Peeth is one of those Shakti Peethas. After Vaishno Devi, “Dunagiri” is the second Vaishno Shaktipeeth in Kumaon, Uttarakhand. Not only this, the idols of Shiva and Parvati are seated in the temple.

It is also named Dronagiri after the Pandavas’ guru Dronacharya did penance on this mountain. The Puranas, Upanishads and historians have identified Dunagiri as Maya-Maheshwari or Prakriti-Purusha and Durga Kalika.

Beliefs : It is also believed about the Dunagiri temple that any woman who worships here by lighting a monolithic lamp to get a child. Goddess Vaishnavi gives him the happiness of children.

It is also a belief of the Dunagiri temple that the one who comes to the court of this superpower with pure intellect and wishes with a sincere heart, it definitely gets fulfilled. Devotees offer gold and silver parasols, bells, conch shells to the temple on fulfilment of their wishes.

Thousands of bells in the temple are a symbol of love, faith and faith, which the devotees have towards Maa Doonagiri.

Best Time To Visit Dunagiri Temple

Although this temple is established in Dwarahat, there is a queue of devotees throughout the year. But in Navratri, devotees of Maa Durga come here in large numbers to seek blessings from far and wide. In this place “Maa Doonagiri” is worshipped in Vaishnavi form.

Along with visiting the Dunagiri Temple in Almora, you can also visit the Chitai Golu Devta Temple.

Weather of This Place : The best time to visit is March – June and September – October. The summer season extends from April to June. The winter season is from September to February.

Winter in this region is from November to February with temperatures ranging from 7 – 20 degree Celsius. The months of December and January can also see the mercury dropping further to -2°C accompanied by snowfall. This may sound exciting, but the weather usually puts a halt on outdoor activities and sightseeing. Winter is good if you plan to stay mostly indoors with occasional sightseeing. Being in a geographic location within the Kumaon Hills results in the town receiving quite a large amount of rainfall every year. Monsoons technically begin in July (or late June) and last till September. Therefore, it might not be a good time to visit during this time.

The temperature stays between 29°C and 21°C, but the climate is constantly wet and humid. Outdoor activities usually take a hit, however, if you want to get a taste of the Himalayan monsoon, visiting during this time will prove to be the experience of a lifetime. If visiting during July-August, tourists may visit the Jageshwar Temple to witness the Jageshwar Monsoon Festival. It begins on 15th of July and goes on till 15 th August every year. In September, one may also want to catch the Nanda Devi Festival.

Devotees visit to offer prayers to Goddess Nanda at the Nanda Devi Temple and seek blessings for a prosperous life. It has a pleasant climate all year round, though the summer months (March – June) are best for sightseeing. Summer is an ideal time for outdoor activities, and sightseeing as the skies remain clear with the temperature hovering around 20 – 25 degree Celsius.

Dunagiri: The Abode of Dunagiri Devi

Dronagiri or Doonagiri – is a region in Kumaon, an amazingly attractive setting within the glorious Himalayas. At height 8,800 feet, above sea level in the Almora district of Uttarakhand India. Dunagiri is a beautiful hill town to be found at a height of 1780mts above sea level in the Almora district of Uttarakhand India. Legends believe that when Lord Hanuman was carrying the Sanjiwani Buti a small portion fell here and since that day the place came to be recognized as Dunagiri. It is well identified for the revered the temple devoted to Dunagiri Devi or goddess Vaishnavi Devi. The temple offers a panoramic vision of the Gogas Valley.

Location of Dunagiri, Dwarahat

Dunagiri Temple is located in Malla Surana, Dwarahat. One needs to climb 365 steps to reach the temple premises.

Dwarahat is a town and Nagar Panchayat snuggled in the Almora district of Uttarakhand. It is located at a distance of 37 km from Ranikhet. Dwarahat is situated in the midst of Ranikhet and Gairsain, at the intersection of Ranikhet-Kausani Road and Almora-Badrinath road.

How to Reach Dunagiri Temple, Dwarahat

Dunagiri Temple is located at a distance of about 400 Km from Delhi and 100 Km from Nainital.

By Air : The nearest airport is Pantnagar Airport. There is a direct flight from Delhi to Pantnagar to reach Dunagiri with a flying time of just one hour. Buses are available from Haldwani, Kathgodam, Almora, and Nainital to Dwarahat.

By Rail : Kathgodam is the nearest railway station to Dwarahat, situated at a distance of 88 kms. It is well connected by the Railway networks with major destinations of India like Lucknow, Delhi, and Kolkata. Trains are frequent to Kathgodam as it is the gateway of the Kumaon region and buses and Taxis are easily available from the station to Dwarahat.

By Road : Dwarahat is well connected by motorable roads with major cities of Uttarakhand state and northern India. It is well connected with major destinations of Garhwal and Kumaon region as it is situated on National Highway 87 which connects the Kumaon region with Garhwal. Buses to Kathgodam, Nainital, and Almora can be taken from ISBT Anand Vihar, Delhi. Taxis to Dwarahat are easily available from major char dham destinations of Uttarakhand state. Buses and taxis are available from Almora, Kausani, Ranikhet, Nainital, Karnaprayag and Kathgodam to Dwarahat.

What is Dunagiri Temple Famous for?

This temple is famous for a variety of reasons:

  1. It has rich history and legends that will teach you and give knowledge about the past centuries.
  2. It is famous for its pilgrimage and culture.
  3. This place has various sacred Hindu temples, and it is also famous for the festivals.
  4. Thousands of bells in the temple are a symbol of love, faith and faith, which the devotees have towards Maa Doonagiri.
  5. Being a lesser-known destination in Uttarakhand, Dwarahat does not have many sightseeing and places of interest that would attract a large number of tourists. It does have some ancient temples and shrines that would fascinate history enthusiasts. The main highlight is a group of temples (Mrityunjay, Dhwaj, Badrinath, Durga, Duijar Deval, Ratan Dewal, Maniyal & Kachri) dating back to the 11 century.
  6. The main attraction of this pilgrimage site is the presence of an ancient Banyan tree, under which Swami Samartha Sadguru Swami Samarth Maharaj used to meditate (also known as Mahavatar Babaji)

Places To Visit in Dunagiri – Dunagiri Tourist Attractions (Within 30 Kms )

Dunagiri Temple : 1.5 kms vertical trek is required to reach the temple devoted to Mata Vaishnavi Devi. The temple attracts many pilgrims from all over the nation yearly. The temple as well provides an attractive sight of the royal Himalayas in their high magnificence.

Pandukholi : 10 kms from Mangalikhan. It is a gorgeous hill resort bounded by thick forests. Myths consider that the Pandavas lived here throughout their 14 yrs of banishment era. Pandukholi too provides an attractive sight of the Himalayan Mountains and the close by environment.

Lakhanpur Temple : Lakhanpur Temple is a revered Hindu temple that was built by the Katyuri Kings during their reign around 800 to 1100 AD. The ancient temple is situated on Jaurasi-Chaukhutia road about 25 km from Dwarahat in Almora district of Uttarakhand.

Bhatkot : A few kilometres from Dunagiri is the peak of Bhatkot. The peak is to be found at 9086 ft, it is the uppermost peak in the Kumaon area.

Badrinath Temple Dwarhat : Dedicated to Lord Vishnu, Badrinath temple in Dwarahat in the Almora district of Uttarakhand is a beautiful example of imported Gahadavala-style architecture which was prevalent in the regions of Uttar Pradesh and Bihar. The Badrinath group of temples consists of three temples with black stone idol of Vishnu in the main temple.

Yogoda Satsanga Sakha Ashram : Yogoda Satsanga Sakha Ashram at Dwarahat was inaugurated in 1983, which serves to disseminate the teachings of our Gurudeva and Founder, Sri Sri Paramahansa Yogananda in the Indian subcontinent. Self-Realisation Fellowship (SRF), a sister organisation of YSS, spreads Paramahansaji’s teachings in the rest of the countries across the world.

Mahavatar Babaji Cave : Mahavatar Babaji cave is the Most Spiritual Caves in Himalayan Region, which is the origin of Kriya yoga and Where Yoga Guru Lahiri Mahasaya got Kriya Yoga teachings directly from Mahavatar Baba Ji. Every day many pilgrims and Kriya Yogis that follow different gurus visit the cave.

Sukhdev Muni Ashram : 2 kms is a quiet and serene picnic place.

Chaukhutia : It is situated 18kms from Dwarahat on the Ranikhet -Badrinath highway. The historical past of Chaukhutia is as clear as a glittering piece of gold. The religious significance can be seen basking in its glory in nearby areas. Kali temple, Vaishno Devi’s temple, ancient forts and ruins of the Katyuri dynasty make Chaukhutia a traveller’s pleasure.

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