Jodhpur, Sep 30 (IANS) The presiding deity of the Chamunda Mata temple in Rajasthan's Jodhpur town is worshipped by people who believe the goddess is their protector and can fulfil all their wishes.
The temple is situated in the southern end of the Mehrangarh Fort located on a hill top in Jodhpur, 330 km from Jaipur. An early morning stampede in the temple early Tuesday killed at least 90 people.
Chamunda Mata, a form of goddess Durga, was the favourite deity of Rao Jodha, the founder of Jodhpur. He brought her idol from the old capital of Mandore near here in 1460 and installed it in the Mehrangarh Fort.
The goddess remains the Isht Devi (patron deity) of the erstwhile royal family.
The fort, one of the largest in India, is situated 400 feet above the city and is enclosed by imposing walls. It comprises several palaces known for their intricate carvings and sprawling courtyards.
The Chamunda temple draws tens of thousands of devotees, specially during the Navaratri period.
The pathway leading to the temple is not more than five-six feet wide, one reason why so many people died in Tuesday's stampede.
People in Jodhpur believe that Goddess Chamunda is their guarding deity. Pilgrims coming here tie a piece of cloth or thread to a trident in the temple in the hope that the goddess will answer their prayers. When their wishes are fulfilled, devotees pay a thanksgiving visit.
The temple is maintained by the Maharaja Ummaid Singh Religious Trust.
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