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Goddess Tulja Bhavani & Goddess Chamunda

Temple History

Devi Vaishini hill in the city, commonly known as Tekri has a temple of deity Devi Tulja Bhawani, Chamunda Mata and Kalika Mata. The word Dewas is also believed to be a sandhi of words Dev deity and Vas Marathi for abode, thus Dewas means abode of the deity or god. Swami Shivom Tirtha wrote the History of the hill (Tekri) of Dewas in his book—Sadhan Shikhar. E.M.Forster wrote a Travelogue named -The Hill of Devi in 1953. Dewas lies on the foot of a conical hill, known as Chamunda hill about 300 ft. above the ground level on top of which the shrine of Chamunda is located. The image of the Goddess is cut in rocky wall of a cave. It is, therefore, known as Devi Vashini or the Goddess's residence.

The hill has two big temples of Devi Chamunda (Choti Mata) and Tulja Bhavani Mata (Bari Mata). Near Chamunda temple is the Bhairav Temple. It is a cave temple. According to ancient belief it belongs to the time of Vikramaditya reign. Historical proofs shows that it is a religious temple constructed during Raja Bhoj’s reign, and reconstructed during Rajput and Maratha reign. On the tekri is the Shakti Peeth of the Nath Yogis. The priest if the peeth traditionally belongs to the Nath community. According to the Nath history, we find Bhrathari, brother of King Vikramaditya, who has relation with this region belonging to Naths. Yogi Gorakhnath was also related to this region. According to evidences of 250-300 years, it has been proved that this is a region of meditation of the Nath yogis. The Hanuman temple situated on the Chamunda mountain belongs to this ancient range. Near this is the Kalika temple in which is situated a water pool.

In 1899 famous Nath yogi Satguru Sheelnathji had come to Dewas. He had established his Dhuni in the Malhar and the Lal Bhawan on the tekri below the temple. This building is above the arena. Famous classical singer Ustad Rajjabali Khan Saheb was the disciple of Sheelnathji.

In the south of the tekri is the temple of Tulja (Elder ) Mata. According to historians it is contemporary to the temple of Chamunda Mata. In the temple is the half statue(upper portion) of the Goddess Tulja. Goddess Tulja and Chamunda are both sisters. On the tekri of Dewas is situated the temple of chhoti (younger) mata. The Goddess is revered as the Kuldevi of the kings of Dewas. Even now the Marathi devotees from Akola and Amravati visit the temple so that their forthcoming year be fortunate.

The statues has been traced the archeological department to the Parmar reign. The eyes have been placed afterwards. The priest of the temple claims that he has a tamrapatra (copper plate) in which the date of carving of statue is written as 12 century A.D., however the tamrapatra had not been shown to people. A possibility has been stated that there was a huge temple during the reign of the Parmars which was destroyed with the passage of time. Past king of Dewas had a dream and after that the renovation of the temple was done.

 

Additional Information

In this temple varied forms of Goddess have been beautifully carved but at time the architectural norms are not considered and the sculptures have carved out of their own imaginations. Among these images is the image carved out on the rock is God of Dewas. It is a unique image in itself. From the traits it is true that it is not the statue of Chamunda Mata. From the image it seems it is the image of Mahish Mardini but no indication of Mahish demon is shown. This 3.60 meter statue is believe to be if Rashtrkuta age i.e. of 8-9 A.D. The Goddess is depicted with four hands carrying Trishul , Khadag, Dhal and human head in the first, second, third and fourth hand respectively. On the left side of the image is carves the swan. It is decorated with the necklace around the neck, earrings in the ear, crown on the head, bracelet in the hand and anklets in the legs. This image of the Goddess is special in itself. The image cannot be identified on the basis of the Puranas and Agam scriptures. This image is from the imagination of the sculptor. The stones of the mountain are of Deccan Drape type. Incomplete attempt have been made to cut rock of the right side of the image to construct a cave which is famous as the Bairav cave.

From Devi Ahilya Bai Holkar Airport Indore Dewas tekri is 52 KM from Dewas Railway Station it is 1.5 KM and from Dewas Bus Stand only 1 KM.

Three wheeler autos are easily available from Dewas Bus stand and railway station.
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