Perched atop a rock – the Garjia Devi Temple in Ramnagar
Navratri Delight – Fifteen Sterling Destinations. Abounding Divinity.
Goddess Parvati is considered to be the true embodiment of femininity in spirituality. It is therefore not surprising that she is one of the most enigmatic and revered Goddesses in Hinduism. She is worshipped in many forms and known by different names in different places.
As Durga, she is the ‘Slayer of Demons’; As Uma, she is a benevolent protector. She is the fish -eyed warrior princess, Meenakshi in Madurai and the diplomatic peacemaker Shantadurga in Ponda. In Ramnagar in Uttarkhand, she is worshipped as Garjia Devi, ‘Daughter of the Himalayas’ and a temple erected for her stands in the middle of the river Kosi and continues to draw thousands of tourists from around the world every year.
Garjia Devi temple is situated in the village of Garjia, located 14 km from Ramnagar on the way to Ranikhet. Goddess Parvati is known as Garjia Devi here. It is believed that long ago, this area was covered by dense forests and an idol of the Devi moved to its current location during a deluge in the river Kosi. Lord Shiva spotted the Goddess floating over the waters and requested her to stay with him there. The Goddess agreed and later, villagers spotted her idol on top of this rock. A temple was built over her idol and dedicated to Garjia Devi.
Another prevailing belief of the villagers here is that the shrine never submerges in water even during heavy floods and that it has remained for years here without being affected. One needs to take a steep fleet of stairs to reach the temple on top of the cliff. Inside the temple, there are idols of many Gods and Goddesses, including those of Goddess Parvati, Baba Bhairon (a prominent God around here), Lord Shiva, Lord Ganesha and Goddess Saraswati. Baba Bhairon’s puja is done after puja of the Devi and it is believed that Garjia Devi blesses her worshippers only after they have worshipped Baba Bhairon.
The next time you are around in this area, don’t forget to visit this pretty little shrine, surrounded by abundant greenery and flanked by the gushing Kosi river.
Nearby Sterling Holidays resort: Corbett – The Riverview Retreat
Distance from The Riverview Retreat: 10 km, 15 mins
Closest city: Delhi – 235 kms