Hinduism, Chamunda or Camunda is an aspect of Devi, the supreme mother goddess. The
name is a combination of Chanda and Munda, two monsters
which Devi killed.
The famous temple of Ma Chamunda is in Kangra district
of Himachal Pradesh, India. It is around 10 km west
of Palampur, on the Baner river. Around 400 years ago
the king and a Brahmin priest prayed to Devi for permission
to move the temple to some easily accessible location.
Devi appeared to the priest in a dream giving her consent.
She directed him to dig in a certain spot and an ancient
idol would be found and that idol should be installed
in the temple and worshipped as Her form.
The king sent out men to bring the idol. Although they
were able to locate it but were not able to lift it.
Again Devi appeared to the priest in a dream. She explained
that the men could not lift the holy relic because they
considered it an ordinary stone. She instructed him
to get up early in the morning, take a bath, wear fresh
clothes and go to the place in a respectful manner.
He did as he was told and found that he could easily
lift what a large group of men could not. He told the
people that it was the power of the Goddess that brought
the idol to the temple.
The temple now depicts scenes from the Devi Mahatmya,
Ramayan and Mahabharata. The Devi's image is flanked
by the images of Hanuman and Bhairo on either side.
The famous Chamunda Nandikeshwar Dham is
an abode of Shiva Shakti since the saga of Puranas.
According to a legend, the Goddess Chamunda was enshrined
as chief Goddess with the title of Rudra in the battle
between demon Jalandhra and Lord Shiva which made this
place famous as “Rudra Chamunda”. Another
legend has it that “Savarni Manamantra”
battle between the gods and demons, Chamunda emerged
as Chandika from an eyebrow of Goddess “Kaushiki”
and was assigned the task of eliminating the demons
“Chand” and “Mund”. Chandika
fought a fierce battle with these two demons and at
last killed them. Goddess Chandika took the slain heads
of the two demons “Chand” and “Mund”
to the Goddess “Kaushiki” who being immensely
pleased, blessed Chandika and bestowed upon her the
title of “Chamunda,” the name which is famous
all around the world.