About 8 kilometres away from the river Ganga, is located the the temple of the Goddess Vindhyavasini, in Uttar Pradesh at the Vindhyachal ranges. Vindhyavasini is just another name given to Goddess Durga, who killed the demon Mahishasura. Vindhyavasini means the one who stays on the Vindhyas.
The great war between the Goddess and the demon is believed to have taken place on this mountain range, on the sixth day of the Jyeshtha month during the brighter half, that is the Shukla Paksh. This day is commemorated as the day of victory of the Goddess over the demon and his malefic intents.
This year, the day falls on June 19th, which is the sixth day of the bright fortnight of this month as per the Hindu calender.
The Story Of Her Birth
As written in the Durga Saptashati part of the Markandey Purana, Goddess once told all the gods that she would take birth in the house of Nanda and Yashoda to kill the demons.
As per the story of Lord Krishna, on the same day that Lord Krishna was born to Devaki, a girl child took birth as the daughter of Nanda and Yashoda. Krishna's maternal uncle Kansa had it as a foretelling that he would be killed by the eighth child of his sister Devaki. Since Krishna was that eighth child, Kansa feared from him and wanted to kill him in order to escape from his death.
Vindhyavasini Replaced Krishna
Devaki's husband, Vasudeva, had received instructions from Lord Vishnu that he must replace their newborn with the baby girl of Nanda and Yashoda. He replaced the newborns soon after their birth on the same night amidst heavy rains. Unaware that the babies had been replaced, Kansa believed the girl to be the eighth child of his sister.
He came to kill her in the prison where Vasudeva and Devaki had been made captive. As he held the baby girl in his hands to kill her, much to his surprise, the girl escaped from his hands. She was the incarnation of Goddess Durga, also known as Mahamaya.
She appeared in her original form as Durga and declared that the boy who shall bring death to him is already safe in Gokul. Soon, she turned into lightning and is believed to have gone to live in the Vindhyachal ranges.
She Is Also Known As Mahishasura Mardini
There is a temple dedicated to the Goddess; known as the Vindhyavasini temple located at the hilltop. She is worshipped as Goddess Kali as well. As per the story of the death of the demon Mahishasura, she was the one to bring an end to him, and is also known as Mahishasura Mardini.
In this form, she is often depicted as either slaying the head of the demon or carrying his cut head in her hand. The word Mahishasura Mardini is taken from Hindi, and it means the one who killed the demon Mahishasura.
As per a story, the Shakti Peethas are the places where the body parts of the Goddess Sati fell. This place is one of the Shakti Peethas, the Goddess here also known as Kajala Devi.
Different Pujas Undertaken
Various holy worships and pujas are undertaken on this day to please the Goddess, who is believed to bless the devotees with success. Different pujas fulfil different wishes of the performer. However, since the puja is dedicated to one of the forms of Goddess Mahakali, it is always advised to perform it under the guidance of a priest.