Devbhoomi Uttarakhand has a major ritual of worshipping Goddess Shakti in her various forms. Kumaon and Garhwal regions worship Devi Durga's different faces. The crowd of devotees, particularly on the Navratri days, can be spotted in the below twelve temples of Goddess Durga which are believed to have a historical tale.
1. Naina Devi Temple
A well known Shakti Peeth of Hindu religion,Naina Devi Temple is a sacred place of great devotion in Nainital.Goddess Naina Devi is diety of this temple which is located at the northern end of famous Nainital Lake. It is believed that the eyes from burned body of Goddess Sati fell on this place when her corpse was being carried by Lord Shive. Due to this belief goddess is praised here in the form of eyes.
2. Garjiya Devi Temple
The temple is located in the Garjiya village of Uttarakhand on the outskirts of the Corbett National Park.It is a sacred Shakti shrine where goddess Garjiya Devi is the presiding diety. The temple rests on a huge rock in the Kosi River,visited by a thousand of devotees during Kartik Poornima.
3. Maa Purnagiri Temple
Also known as Punyagiri ,Purnagiri Temple is situated at an altitude of 3000 m above sea level in Champawat district.The temple is visited by thousand of devotees throughout the year,especially during Chaitra in March-April. These days mark the beginning of 3 months long fair when the resonance of chants,hymns, and devotional songs reverberate the entire Punyagiri valley.As per a common belief,every person who comes here with sincere faiths and devotions has his prayers answered.
4. Maa Chandrabadni Devi Temple
The temple is located at 2,277 meters above sea level.Legends say that the torso of Sati fell here and her weapons got scattered all over the place.Sati’s torso is worshiped in the temple of Chandrabadni, but the devotees are restricted from its sight.
5. Surkanda Devi Temple
This temple is situated on Mount Surkut. According to the legend, Sati’s head was fallen here when Lord Shiva passed through this place to Kailash with the dead body of Sati. This temple is 2757 metre above sea level on Chamba-Mussoorie motorway.Due to the fall of Sati’s head, its name became ‘Sirkhinda’ which has now changed to ‘Surkanda’.
6. Kasar Devi Temple
Dating back to the 2nd century CE,the Kasar devi temple is the shrine dedicated to Kasar Devi in Almora.The immense power of this temple mesmerizes it’s visitors.The entire temple area has an amazing magnetic force which has even led NASA to research on the temple’s enticing natural beauty.
7. Kunjapuri Temple
Kunjapuri is the temple of Goddess Durga located on a hillock around 15km away from Rishikesh.It is one of the thirteen Shakti Peethas in Shivalik Range and one of the three Shakti Peethas in Tehri district established by Jagadguru Shankaracharya.Goddess Sati’s leg is worshiped in this temple. One will find no idol in the Sanctorum of Kunjapuri Temple; instead, devotees will find a crater-shaped site.
8. Dhari Devi Temple
Dhari Devi temple is located on the banks of the Alaknanda River in the Garhwal Region of Uttarakhand. The shrine is one of 108 Shakti Dhari that according to local lore,changes it’s appearance during the day from a girl to a woman,and then to an old lady.The idol’s lower half is located in Kalimath,where mata is worshipped in Kali roop.
9. Maa Kansamardani Temple
Kansamardani temple is situated in Srinagar Garhwal region.It was built on the order of Adi Shankaracharya. According to Puranas, Mother Mahamaya established herself in this temple after Kansa slapped her on the rocks. Here Goddess is worshiped as the Destroyer of Kansa’s pride.
10. Chudamni Devi Temple
Devotees come for the blessing to the Chudamani Devi Temple in Chudiyala village of Haridwar. There is a legend about the temple that mother Sati's father King Daksha held a yajna in which Lord Shiva was not invited, resulting mother Sati to destroy Havan Kund by jumping in it. As Lord Shiva was carrying away the dead body of the mother goddess, her Chuda fell in the dense forest. Since then a beautiful temple was made after installing the Goddess Pindi.
11. Chandrika Devi Temple
Temple of Mahishmardini Chandika located in Gopeshvar has a belief that visiting and worshiping in this shrine during the Navratri bless worshippers by removing the sorrows and fulfilling their desired wishes.
12. Goddess Ansuya Temple
In Ansuya Devi Temple, Devi Ansuya gave birth to God Brahma, Vishnu, and Mahesh. Since then the goddess is worshipped as ‘The Putradayni’. Childless couples worship in the temple and are believed to be answered by the goddess.