One of the most revered Durga Mata temples in India is the Vindyavasini Beejasan Durga Devi Temple located in Salkanpur village at a little distance from Hoshangabad that lies on the Narmada Parikrama. This ancient temple is situated atop a hillock at an elevation of 800 feet and accessed by a flight of about 1000 plus steps or ropeway. The temple offers a panoramic view of the nearby densely wooded forests and hills.
Though the actual temple is believed to be thousands of years old, the structure seen today has been built by the Gonds around 1100 CE. Historians opine that this temple was constructed around the same time as the Ginnorgarh (Ginnaurgarh) Fort in Ratapani Tiger Reserve.
The presiding deity is also called Vijayasana Mata and this place used to be known as Vijayasana Dham. According to the Hindu scriptures, Divine Mother manifested as Durga Mata in this place to kill Raktabeeja. Locals say that there are marks and impressions of this great battle in various parts of the hill.
Durga Mata came to be known as Beejasan Durga Devi and took the name of Vijayasana after the battle. The idol of Vijayasana Mata in the sanctum sanctorum is Swayambhu. She is depicted as Parvati Devi with Lord Ganesha on her lap and is always adorned with vermillion. Vijayasana Mata faces south with Lord Bhairava consecrated in front of her and Lakshmi Devi and Saraswati Devi also enshrined in this sacred temple.
According to the locals, a tiger has been seen circumambulating the temple often and residing in a nearby cave. Thousands of devotees throng this temple during the auspicious occasion of Navaratri.
It is believed that Durga Mata will hear the prayers of one and all and rid them of disease, anguish and delusion.
Written by Lakshmi Subramanian
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