The Kanaks Durga temple is located at the Indra Kiladri Hill, Vijayawada, Andhra Pradesh. It is dedicated to the Goddess Kanak Durga, the Goddess who had killed the demon Mahishasura. Goddess Kanak Durga is known as Swayambhu, meaning self-manifested in the Treta Yuga.
Many stories go behind the importance of the place. One among them is that this place was once totally infertile and the flow of the river Krishna, located in this region, was obstructed due to the rocky terrain. Lord Shiva was then invoked and he made the hills allow the easy flow of the river. This brought fertility to this land, which flourishes beautifully today. The river flowed through the tunnels or bejjam and this is why it is called Bezewada.
Another story says that Arjuna, the Pandava hero, had acquired the Pasupath Astra from Lord Shiva after hard penance and meditation at this place. He had also prayed to Lord Shiva for victory in the battle at the same. Because of that, the place came to be known as Vijayawada.
However the most famous story behind this temple is that of Goddess Kanak Durga. A demon named Mahishasura had attacked the place. All the inhabitants of this region were badly tired of the demon Mahishasura's tyranny. There was a sage named Indrakila. He sat in deep penance to invoke the Goddess Kanak Durga. When the Goddess was pleased by his worship and devotion, she appeared before him. The sage asked the Goddess to reside on his head and keep a vigil on the demons. The Goddess granted him the wish and later killed the demon Mahishasura. The whole region of Vijayawada was relieved from the tyranny and regained the old state of peace and happiness. Since then the deity was worshiped with even more fervour in this region. Later, the temple was built in the memory of the event.
There is a four-feet-tall statue established in the temple. The Goddess Kanak Durga is shown to have eight arms. She is holding eight different weapons in her hands. With a trident in one of the hands, the Goddess is seen killing the demon Mahishasura. This form of the Goddess is believed to be so powerful that the image of the Goddess is established in the house, it drives away all the negativities from the place, along with the fear of the demons. Beautifully decorated with jewels, the Goddess is an embodiment of beauty.
The chief deity, Goddess Kanak Durga, is shown blessing the devotees in three different forms. It is believed that this temple was established by Arjuna, one of the Panadavas. This place attracts a huge number of tourists, because of the beautiful infrastructure, scriptural significance and the various famous pujas, or worships that are performed there. The temple has been mentioned in the holy books, as various Shiva Leelas and Shakti Mahimas were performed in and around the temple.
The most famous among the Pujas done here are the Saraswati Puja and the Theppotsavam. The celebrations become more famous and beautiful and are full of enthusiasm during the time of Dussehra.