Amidst the resplendent grandeur of the newly consecrated Sri Ram Mandir in Ayodhya, another sacred haven has emerged as a focal point of devout pilgrimage – the Badi Devkali Mandir. Steeped in cultural significance and historical reverence, this age-old Mandir has witnessed a remarkable surge in devotee footfall, marking a profound shift in its prominence within the religious tapestry of the region.
Nestled in the heart of Ayodhya, the Badi Devkali Mandir holds a sacred aura, drawing seekers of solace and spiritual seekers alike. Legend has it that the Mandir finds its roots in the ancient annals of history, dating back to the era preceding the advent of Sri Ram. Dedicated to the Kuldevi of Sri Ram, it is believed that after the birth of the divine prince, his mother Kaushalya sought blessings at this hallowed abode, thus sanctifying its sacred precincts.
The recent surge in devotee influx can be attributed to the monumental events that have unfolded in Ayodhya, particularly the Pran Prathistha of the new murti of Ram Lalla at the grand Sri Ram Mandir on January 22. This auspicious occasion has reignited fervent devotion and kindled a renewed spiritual zeal among the faithful, casting a radiant spotlight on the Badi Devkali Mandir.
Sunil Pathak, the venerable head pujari of the Mandir, attests to the remarkable transformation witnessed in recent times. He remarks, “Following the Pran Pratishtha, the Mandir has witnessed an exponential rise in devotee turnout. From a modest average of 50-60 devotees per day, the numbers have soared to a staggering 500 daily visitors.” This surge, he asserts, is emblematic of the deep-seated reverence and unwavering faith that devotees harbour towards the divine mother.
The historical significance of the Mandir is deeply intertwined with the historical lore of King Raghu, the illustrious ancestor of Sri Rama. As per ancient scriptures, the joint deity of three goddesses – Mahakali, Mahalakshmi, and Mahasaraswati – appeared in King Raghu’s dream, beseeching him to perform a sacred ‘Yagya’ to secure victory in battle. Heeding the divine decree, King Raghu emerged triumphant and, in gratitude, commissioned the consecration of the revered idol of ‘Badi Devkali’, thus enshrining her eternal blessings.
Mahant Raju Das of the renowned Hanuman Garhi Mandir in Ayodhya underscores the pivotal role of Badi Devkali as the ‘Kul Devi’ of Sri Rama, emphasising, “No endeavour is conceivable without invoking the benevolent grace of the Mother Goddess.” Such sentiments echo the sentiments of devotees like Mitthu Lal, for whom a visit to the Mandir is not merely a ritualistic pilgrimage but a soul-stirring odyssey imbued with profound tranquillity and inner resilience.
As devotees from far and wide converge upon the sacred precincts of the Badi Devkali Mandir, it stands as a beacon of unwavering devotion and timeless reverence. In its hallowed halls, amidst the incense-laden air and resonant hymns, seekers find solace, strength, and a timeless connection to the divine. As the Mandir continues to bask in the glow of newfound prominence, its legacy of faith and spirituality endures, beckoning pilgrims on a timeless journey of devotion and enlightenment.