Solahbhuji Durga Mandir (Deori Mandir)

After a long time, all three of us are at home this time. We thought of visiting the ancient solahbhuji (sixteen-armed) Durga temple at village Deori, near Tamar, around 60 km from Ranchi, on the Jamshedpur-Ranchi Highway (NH-33) to pay our obeisance to Maa Deori – the sixteen-armed goddess Durga and the resident deity of Tamar’s Deori Mandir.

I have been visiting this temple from the time it was in its original shape – a small, ancient structure housing the stone idol of Goddess Durga inside a dark chamber with a big lamp providing light inside the sanctum sanctorum. I came to Ranchi for the first time from New Delhi on my promotion in the middle of 1997. My bank colleagues in Ranchi told me about this temple and we started visiting this temple often.

Durga is a warrior goddess, and she is depicted to express her martial skills. Her iconography typically resonates with these attributes, where she rides a lion or a tiger, has between eight and eighteen hands, each holding a weapon to destroy and create. The main attraction is that the idol is having sixteen hands, normally goddess Durga is seen with eight or ten hands.

Legends & Folklores

There are many legends related to this temple. It is believed that this temple exists since the time of Mahabharata. Some believe that the Pandavas prayed here during their ‘agyatvas’ (secret abode).

It is also believed by many here that Emperor Ashoka (Reigned ca. 268 – ca. 232 BCE) and his army worshipped and invoked Maa Durga’s blessing for victory at Kalinga War (ca. 260 BCE) at this temple while marching en route Kalinga region.

According to folklore, a king of Tamar, believed to be in the 18th century,  once saw a dream. The goddess told him that there was a temple in Deori, where she must be worshipped. Villagers, as directed by the king, cleared a forested patch to find a small temple with a stone statue of Durga. Ever since the deity is worshipped here.

Legend has it that whoever has tried to alter the structure of the temple has had to face the wrath of the gods and suffer consequences. Therefore, new construction is being done from outside keeping the original temple intact.

In the basic structure of the temple, the stones were built by placing them on top of each other, without any cementing material in between, like many ancient structures. In the precincts of the temple, the ancient idol of Maa Durga with sixteen hands, as well as the idol of Lord Shiva, is enshrined. In Mundari language, the word ‘deori’ means ‘stone’. Both the idol and the temple are made of stone.

I still find peace in the temple and so I love visiting Deori Mandir. Whenever I am in Ranchi, I try to visit the temple once.

The former Indian cricket captain MS Dhoni is a regular visitor to the temple and often seeks blessings from the goddess before any important series or tournament. He has been doing this since his international debut in 2004. Dhoni is one of the most successful captains and players in the history of Indian cricket and has won many laurels for the country.

सर्वमङ्गलमाङ्गल्ये शिवे सर्वार्थसाधिके ।
शरण्ये त्र्यम्बके गौरि नारायणि नमोऽस्तु ते ॥
ॐ जयंती मंगला काली भद्रकाली कपालिनी ।
दुर्गा क्षमा शिवा धात्री स्वाहा स्वधा नमोऽस्तु‍ते ॥

13 thoughts on “Solahbhuji Durga Mandir (Deori Mandir)

  1. Interesting to read about the temple where tribal priests worship the deity of Durga Ma with 16 hands. The dome of the temple is very beautiful. Many of these ancient structures are built of stones interlocked with each other and have survived for a very long time. Thank you for sharing.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Rajesh Kumar

    Just now visited this temple…so old and yet not known.Great place…requires govt attention for infrastructural dev.


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