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Purana Durga Bari – Idol No-one Could Lift

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Purana Durga Bari/Badi is a hidden temple located amidst the lanes of Varanasi in Madanpura, Bangali Tola. It has a very miraculous backstory. Every year, the idol of Maa Durga is installed for a 10-day period in various locations during the Durga Puja. After ten days or Vijayadasami, the idols are immersed in water as a mark to end the festival. Like every year, in 1767, the idols were installed here. But at the time of Visarjan(immersion), the idol did not move at all.

Idol of durga at Purani Durga Bari (Picture by Priyanshu Singh)

In the same night, the goddess appeared in the dream of the head of the Mukherjee family. “Don’t try to displace me from here as I intend to stay here all along for Kashivas” were her words from the dream. Since then, this temple has stood here. 

oldest idol of durga in world at Purana Durga Bari
Zoomed-in view of the idols show absolutely no sign of decay

This 255-years old figure is composed of conventional materials like straws, clay, bamboo, and thread. Although they are two and a half centuries old, they still look fresh. The goddess is offered with gram and jaggery as prasad. On the right hand side of the icon of Maa Durga, you’ll find a statue of Lord Vishnu carved out of black stone. It is claimed to be of 11th century AD by the Mukherjee family. You can visit this place in Varanasi during the festival of Durga Puja to witness its real vibe.

Idol of Vishnu at Purani Durga Bari (Picture by Priyanshu Singh)
Purana Durga Bari notice board
Noticeboard in Purani Durgawadi

How to reach Purani Durga Bari

Purani Durga Bari is located in the Madanpura area of Varanasi. To reach here one can take an auto till Sonarpura road and get down at J&K Bank. You will find a small shop of Puri Sabzi here by the name of “Anil Puri Sabzi” take the left turn from there and follow the street, look out for the small red house. You can also ask any local and they will happily escort you to the location.

What to See/Nearby Places

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