DANTEWADA - The holy pilgrim of Goddess Danteshwari
by Jitendra Nakka

It was a low weather condition today. The wind was blowing soft. The breezes were cool. The month of ‘Sawan’ just started. It is the peak time of winding up initial cultivation processes. Today I got a chance to visit the exotic, aesthetic land of Dantewada. Dantewada comes under the Division of Bastar. The land of Bastar is basically known for the holy pilgrim of Goddess Danteshwari, situated at Dantedara.Dantewada TempleThe divine ancient temple of Goddess Danteshwari (Photograph by: Jitendra Nakka)

From where and how to reach?
The holy temple of Goddess Danteshwari comes under the southernmost district of Chhattisgarh i.e. Dantewada, which is nearly 11km away from NH-221 at Geedam, a small town of District Dantewada and comes in the mid-way of National Mineral Development Corporation, Bailadela and around 87 kilometers away from the Divisional Head Quarter, Jagdalpur. This city is connected from capital city, Raipur nearly 383 kms away from it. It is also connected from Vishakhapatnam by Railways. Being a temple its always open but the best time of visiting it, is in the month of Chaitra Nav-Ratri(Ram-Navmi), Sharadey Nav-Ratri(Dussehra), and Fagoon Mela.Dantewada MapFig: Dantewara Distt (courtesy:
Regarding Lodging and boarding, Board of Chhattisgarh Tourism has made a beautiful rest house at the mid-way from Geedam to Dantewara.As it is near from Jagdalpur, any tourist can take lodgng at Jagdalpur also. Regarding tourism, many hotels are available with transport facilities like Aakanksha Hotel, Hotel Akash, Hotel Rainbow, Hotel Devansh, Hotel Reekha, Hotel Atithi e.t.c.

Historical Importance:
In the 14th century, Annam Dev, brother of Pratap Rudra Dev,Warangal, succeed in establishing the Kaktiya Dynasty, over the Nagwanshi rule, before renovating the Danteshwari temple. He renamed the Village ‘Madhota Tarla’ as Dantewada and made it his capital.

Religious Importance:

This region is also called Dandkaranya. Situated at the bank of confluence of River Dankini and Shankini, this temple is dedicated to a form of Mahishasur-mardini ‘Maa Durga’. Worship of ‘Maa Shakti’ was prevalent among the local tribes of Bastar, much before the kaktiyas came to plunder this land. She is considered as one of the Form of Nav-Durga. Initially Earlier the temple was a Gudi(means the place where only the priest and royal family can enter), but later on it was made a huge temple and open for the common people. It is also considered as one of the Shakti Peeth of India.

Mythological Importance:
In the ancient mythology, it is believed that getting offended by her father Prajapati Daksha, Goddess ‘Sati’ committed suicide on the Yagya fire. Lord Shiva took the body of Goddess Sati and started roaming all over restlessly . In order to make him silent, Lord Vishnu slowly cut all the body parts of Goddess Sati.

It is believed that the tooth part of her body fall on the bank of this land, later named as Dantewada (taken from two words dante means tooth, wada means boundary, completely known as the boundary of the holy tooth).
One more mythological reason adding to its importance is… in the 14th century, after conquering the region of Nagawanshi rulers by the grace of Goddess Danteshwari, Annam Dev reached upto Madhota Tarla(later called as Dantewara), Goddess took a promise from him, that he will never see back until his conquest was over. He too promised her, until he will continue to hear her ornaments sound. On the bank of confluence of River Shankini and Dankini, due to dense sand, her legs got into it, and the continuous sound of her ornaments stopped. Suddenly the king, Annam Dev moved behind in order to see her, But the moment, she disappeared and with all he was left, was the footprints of the Goddess, after which he led the foundation of the temple.

Archaeological Importance:
From an archeological point of view, this temple hold importance as it’s a holy museum of idols of around 14th century and above. Including the main idol (statue) of the goddess, this temple has an artistic view of sculpture showing perfect symmetry of the designs in all parts of the temple. This temple is a centrally protected monument by Archaeological Survey of India, Raipur Circle.

Art and Sculpture :
The art and sculpture of this temple is as spectacular as its simplicity. To the very front, lies the Main Gate called the Mukhya Dwar, following the hundred meter path, which goes to the front of the temple. In the front of the temple, lies the Garud Stambh. It is believed that if a person can able to join his hands across the pillar, he will be considered as a noble soul and find place in paradise.

Main Gate Dantewada Temple
Fig: Mukhya Dwar (Main Gate) Photograph by: Jitendra Nakka

Garud Stambh
Fig: Garud Stambh Photograph by: Jitendra Nakka
The temple in its simplest form consists of 6 chambers. The first four chambers are considerably big in comparison to the last 2 chambers. In the first three component chambers, we can see some of the most ancient statues( idols) of the Hindu Gods and Goddesses. In the second chamber, lies the small temple of Shree Bhairav Baba, followed by numerous ancient statues and idols, some of which are placed as the Dwar-pal (gate-keepers). The chamber is meant for offering bestowing prayers, poojas, and wearing "Raksha Dhaga". Here its a mandatory for males to enter only in Dhotis. The fourth chamber is used for worshippers, visitors, and followers to offer their prayers.Baba Bhairam DevFig: Idol of Baba Bhairam Dev(Second Chamber) Photograph by: Jitendra Nakka
The second last chambers is for the priest to offer prayers and other hyms and rituals and accept the other prayer materials from the worshippers like coconuts, kumkum, incence sticks, sweets, mata ki chunri etc. The last or the final chamber is the chamber where the holy statue/idol of Goddess Danteshwari is placed.Garbh GrihaFig: way to Garbh-Griha Photograph by: Jitendra Nakka


Fig: Inside view of Idol of Goddess Danteshwari (by the courtesy of Chhattisgarh Tourism Board)
The whole temple is made such that it represents a spectacular example of symmetry of formation of designs, statues and idols of gods and goddesses like Jai-Vijay, Vishnu , Ganesha, Shiva, Narshimha e.t.c all over along the walls and pillars.Danteshwari MataFig: way to Garbh-Griha Photograph by: Jitendra Nakka

Other Important Monuments:
On the adjacent right side of Goddess Danteshwari temple lies the holy temple of Maa Kachhin Devi, who is also considered as one of the sisters of Goddess Danteshwari.

Just to the back of the temple, there lies a beautiful garden called as Mataji ki Bagiya(Goddess’ garden).Dantewada ParkFig: mataji ki bagiya Photograph by: Jitendra Nakka

Dantewada Tourism
Fig: mataji ki bagiya Photograph by: Jitendra Nakka
On the back of the temple, to the mid-way of the Baba Bhairam Dev temple, you can see the holy imprints of the foots of the Goddess.footprints godFig: footprints of Goddess Photograph by: Jitendra Nakka
Gods footprintFig: place of footprints of Goddess Photograph by: Jitendra Nakka

2km back to the Goddess Danteshwari temple, there is a way which lies to the temple of Bhairav baba temple, which is also spectacular to see for its ancient idols and statues of the 14th century and above.Bhairav baba templeFig: Ancient temple of Baba Bhairam Deo Photograph by: Jitendra Nakka

Near to this temple, there is one mountain of religious importance called Chudi Dongri.

On the conclusion, I should say, if you wanna fill up your soul with the spirituality, divine mantras, hyms, rituals, wanna take a divine bath, wanna make any annual funeral of your ancestors, wanna name your child, You should come this SHAKTI-PEETH, You should come to bow your heads under MAA DANTESHWARI, You should visit DANTEWADA.

Want to know more about Chhattisgarh,read my post on Narayanpal Temple and Jagdalpur also know as city of squares Chhattisgarh...

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