Kanaka Durga Temple is a famous Hindu Temple of Goddess Kanaka Durga located in Vijayawada, Andhra Pradesh. The temple is located on the Indrakeeladri hill, on the banks of Krishna River.
Vijayawada is famous all over the world for the temple of Kanaka Durga, also called as Sri Durga Malleswara Swami Temple. Kanaka Durgamma as the locals call is the presiding deity and is said to be the Goddess of power, riches and goodwill. The temple is said to be the second largest temple in Andhra Pradesh and equally popular as Tirumala.
Kaalika puraana, Durgaa sapthashati and other vedic literature have mentioned about Goddess Kanaka Durga on the Indrakeelaadri and have described the deity as Swayambhu in Triteeya kalpa.
According to a legend, the now verdant Vijayawada was once a rocky region strewn with hills that obstructed the flow of River Krishna. The land was thus rendered unfit for habitation or cultivation. Invocation to Lord Shiva for His intervention directed the hills to make way for the river. The river started flowing unimpeded with all its might, through the tunnels or "Bejjam" bored into the hills by Lord Shiva. That is how the place got its name Bezawada.
One of the many mythologies associated with this place is that Arjuna prayed to Lord Shiva on top of Indrakeela hill to win His blessings and the city derived its name "Vijayawada" after this victory. Another popular legend is about the triumph of goddess Kanakadurga over the demon King Mahishasura. It is said that the growing menace of demons became unbearable for the natives. Sage Indrakila practiced severe penance, and when the goddess appeared the sage pleaded Her to reside on his head and keep vigil on the wicked demons. As per his wishes of killing the demons, Goddess Durga made Indrakila Her permanent abode. Later, She also slayed the demon king Mahishasura freeing the people of Vijayawada from evil.
At the Kanakadurga temple, the enchanting 4-foot-high (1.2 m) icon of the deity is bedecked in glittering ornaments and bright flowers. She is shown eight arms, each holding a powerful weapon, in a standing posture over the demon Mahishashura and piercing him with her trident. The goddess is the epitome of beauty.
Adjacent to the Kanakadurga temple is the shrine of Malleswara Swamy on the Indrakiladri. By ascending the steps on the hill, one comes across little images of different deities, prominent among them are Kali, Shiva, and Krishna.
The deity in the temple is considered very powerful as it is said to be Swayambhu (self-manifested). The great saint Sri Sri Sri Sankara Bhagavatpadulu (Adi Shankaracharya) visited this temple in 8th century and installed "Sri Chakra" at the feet of the goddess.
Mother Kanakadurgeswari seated atop the Indrakilaparvatha at Vijayawada is the supreme Goddess of Andhra Pradesh, attracting lakhs of tourists since time immemorial. This temple occupies a covetable place in the scriptures; for several of the Sivalilas and Saktimahimas were enacted on and around it, making the region a place of unparalleled spiritual eminence of everlasting significance.