Did you know that there is a Hindu temple in Amritsar that looks almost identical to the famous Golden Temple of the Sikhs? The Durgiana Temple, also known as the Lakshmi Narayan Temple or the Sitla Mandir, is a Hindu temple dedicated to Goddess Durga, Goddess Lakshmi, and Lord Vishnu.
It was built in 1921 by Guru Harsai Mal Kapoor on the site of an ancient temple that dates back to the 16th century. The temple is considered to be one of the most sacred places for Hindus in Punjab and attracts thousands of devotees every year.
In this article, we will explore the history, architecture, timings, and other aspects of the Durgiana Temple Amritsar that make it a unique and fascinating destination for tourists and pilgrims alike. By the end of this article, you will have a comprehensive understanding of the Durgiana Temple Amritsar and why you should visit it on your next trip to Punjab.
History of Durgiana Temple
The temple has a rich and interesting history that spans over several centuries. Here are some of the highlights of its origin and significance.
Origin and Significance of the Temple
The temple is named after Goddess Durga, who is worshipped as the supreme power and mother of the universe in Hinduism. The temple also has a special link to the Ramayana, the epic story of Lord Rama and his wife Sita. According to legend, Sita gave birth to her twin sons Lava and Kusha at this place after being exiled by Rama. The temple also has idols of Sita, Rama, Lava, and Kusha in its premises.
The temple is also associated with another legend that involves Lord Krishna and his consort Radha. It is believed that Krishna visited this place with Radha and performed a dance called Raas Leela. The temple has a separate shrine for Radha Krishna where devotees can witness their divine love.
The temple is also a symbol of communal harmony between Hindus and Sikhs in Punjab. The temple was built with the support and cooperation of the Sikh community, who donated land, money, and materials for its construction. The temple also shares some rituals and festivals with the Sikh community, such as Diwali, Baisakhi, and Karva Chauth.
Founder and Construction of the Temple
The temple was founded by Guru Harsai Mal Kapoor, a prominent Hindu leader and philanthropist in Amritsar. He wanted to create a temple that would resemble the Golden Temple of the Sikhs and symbolize the harmony between the two communities. He hired architects and craftsmen from Lahore and Delhi to design and construct the temple. The temple was completed in 1921 and inaugurated by Pandit Madan Mohan Malaviya, a famous Indian politician and educationist.
The temple was built with marble, gold, silver, and other precious materials. It has a magnificent dome covered with gold plates that shines brightly in the sun. It also has four entrances facing four directions that welcome visitors from all walks of life. The temple is surrounded by a water tank that reflects its beauty and adds to its serenity.
Architecture of Durgiana Temple
The temple has a striking resemblance to the Golden Temple in terms of its layout, structure, and style. However, there are also some differences between the two temples that make them unique and distinctive. Here are some of the features and elements of the temple that you should not miss.
Features and Elements of the Temple
The temple has a central dome covered with gold plates that dominates its skyline. The dome is supported by four pillars that are adorned with intricate carvings and paintings. The dome also has a lotus-shaped finial on top that represents purity and enlightenment.
The temple has four entrances facing four directions that symbolize openness and inclusiveness. The entrances are decorated with silver doors that depict scenes from Hindu mythology and scriptures. The doors also have bells that ring when opened or closed.
The temple has a water tank surrounding the main shrine that creates a calm and peaceful atmosphere. The water tank is filled with fish that are considered sacred by Hindus. The water tank also has fountains that create a mesmerizing effect at night.
The temple has a marble pathway leading to the sanctum sanctorum where the main idol is placed. The pathway is lined with lamps that illuminate the way for devotees. The pathway also has statues of lions that guard the entrance to the shrine.
Idols and Deities of the Temple
The temple has three main idols that are located in three separate shrines within the complex. The main idol is that of Goddess Durga, who is enshrined in a dome-shaped structure in the center of the water tank. The other two idols are those of Goddess Lakshmi and Lord Vishnu, who are enshrined in two smaller structures on either side of the main shrine. The temple also has idols of other Hindu gods and goddesses such as Lord Shiva, Lord Ganesha, Lord Hanuman, Lord Krishna, Lord Rama, Goddess Sita, and Goddess Saraswati.
The idols are made of marble, gold, silver, and other metals. They are adorned with jewels, flowers, and clothes that enhance their beauty and grace. They are also worshipped with offerings of fruits, sweets, incense, and lamps that please them and invoke their blessings.
Timings and Aarti of Durgiana Temple
The temple is open for visitors and devotees from 6:00 AM to 10:00 PM every day. However, the timings may vary slightly depending on the season and the weather. The temple may close earlier in winters or during heavy rains. The temple may also remain closed for some hours during special occasions or festivals.
The temple also performs aarti twice a day, once in the morning and once in the evening, by the priests and the devotees. Aarti is a ritual of offering light and prayers to the deities in the temple. It is a sight to behold as the lamps are waved in front of the idols and the chants fill the air with devotion and joy.
The temple also distributes prasad to the devotees after the aarti or at any time during the day. Prasad is a sacred food that is offered to the deities and then given to the devotees as a blessing. It consists of sweets, fruits, and dry fruits that are delicious and nutritious.
Nearby Attractions and Hotels Near Durgiana Temple
The Durgiana Temple is located in the heart of Amritsar, which is a city rich in history, culture, and spirituality. There are many other attractions that are close to the temple and can be easily reached by foot, rickshaw, or taxi. Some of these attractions are:
The most famous and sacred place for Sikhs in the world, the Golden Temple is a stunning sight to behold with its golden dome, marble walls, and serene water tank. It is also a place of peace, harmony, and service, where anyone can enjoy a free meal at the langar (community kitchen) or volunteer for various tasks.
A historical site that commemorates the tragic massacre of hundreds of unarmed Indians by British troops in 1919. It has a memorial garden, a museum, and a well that marks the spot where many people jumped to escape the bullets.
A museum that documents the history and impact of the partition of India and Pakistan in 1947. It has exhibits, artifacts, photographs, audio-visuals, and personal stories that depict the events and emotions of one of the largest migrations in human history.
There are also many hotels near Durgiana Temple that cater to different budgets and preferences. Some of these hotels are:
Hotel City Park:
A budget hotel that offers clean and comfortable rooms with basic amenities such as air conditioning, television, wi-fi, and attached bathroom. It also has a restaurant, a terrace, and a travel desk. It is located at a distance of 0.5 km from Durgiana Temple.
Hotel HK Continental:
A mid-range hotel that offers spacious and elegant rooms with modern amenities such as air conditioning, television, wi-fi, mini-fridge, tea/coffee maker, and attached bathroom. It also has a restaurant, a bar, a banquet hall, and a conference room. It is located at a distance of 1 km from Durgiana Temple.
Hotel Radisson Blu:
A luxury hotel that offers lavish and stylish rooms with premium amenities such as air conditioning, television, wi-fi, mini-bar, safe locker, tea/coffee maker, hairdryer, ironing board, and attached bathroom with bathtub and shower. It also has a restaurant, a bar, a spa, a gym, a pool, and a business center. It is located at a distance of 2 km from Durgiana Temple.
The Durgiana Temple Amritsar is a remarkable place that showcases the beauty and diversity of Hinduism in Punjab. It is not only a place of worship but also a place of history, culture, and art. It is also surrounded by other attractions that add to its charm and appeal. Whether you are a religious person or not, you will surely find something to admire and appreciate in this temple.
If you are planning to visit Amritsar, do not miss the opportunity to visit the Durgiana Temple.