Location: Amber Fort , Jaipur, Rajasthan
Built by: Maharaja Man Singh I
Dedicated to: Goddess Durga
Shila Devi temple houses the famous idol of Goddess Durga situated in the Amber fort. It is believed that Maharaja Mansingh brought the statue of the Goddess Shila Mata from Jessore, Bangladesh in 1604. Legends say that the Goddess appeared in his dreams and asked him to recover her statue lying under sea near Jessore (now in Bangladesh) and install it in a Temple. According to the orders the idol was recovered from the sea in the form of a Shila (Slab). It was brought to the Amber Fort where it was cleaned and washed. The outcome of the process was the idol that is present today. Hence the name Shila Mata. It took ten long years to build the temple.
The Shila Mata Temple also known as the Kali Temple was built by Maharaja Man Singh, a great devotee of goddess Kali in the 16th century. It is said that he used to worship the goddess for victory during battles. This temple is located in the Amber Palace complex. Legends say that Maharaja Man Singh I worshiped the Goddess for victory over the rulers of Bengal during his battle. The temple is named after Shila Devi. Shila meaning stone slab from where the statue has been polished. It has an image of Lord Ganesha on the doorway that is wonderfully carved from a single piece of coral.
The nine incarnations of Shakti or Maa Durga i.e. Shail Putri, Brahmcharini, Chandra Ghanta, Kooshmanda, Skand Mata, Katyayani, Kaal Ratri, Maha Gauri, and Siddhi Daatri along with the ten Mahavidyas namely Kali, Tara, Shodashi (Tripur Sundari), Bhuvneshwari, Bhairvi, Chinnmasta, Dhumawati, Baglamukhi, Maatangi, and Kamla are beautifully engraved on the silver doors of the temple.
There are different timings for worship, aarti and bhog in the temple.
Darshan, Bal Bhog (10 min.).
Jal Bhog (Dahi and Patasha).
Poojan, Bhog of Gunji (name of a sweet dish) and seasonal fruits.
|10:00 a.m.||:||Aarti (5 minutes).|
|10:30 – 11:00 a.m.||:||Rajbhog (visitors are not allowed during Rajbhog).|
|12:00 noon – 4:00 p.m.||:||Shayan (Rest or sleeping hours of deity, so temple get closed).|
|4:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.||:||Darshan (Temple opened for visitors).|
|At the time of sunset||:||Sandhya Aarti and Bhog (schedule keep changes seasonally according to the change in time of sunset).|
|8:00 p.m.||:||Shayan Aarti.|
8:00 p.m. – 5:00 a.m.
Navratras are celebrated with great prom in the temple. It falls in the Ashwin and Chaitra months of the Hindu calendar. Millions of people in and out of Jaipur come for Darshan of Maa Shila Devi. The surrounded hills reverberate with loud drums and other instruments. Period of those nine days are special for international tourists as they get to witness the prayer service held with great significance.