Kankali Devi Temple Mathura

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Kankali Devi Temple Mathura

September 30, 2021 | Total Views : 225
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Who is Kankali Devi?

The city of Mathura is very famous for its temples, and it is one of the holiest places for Hindus. The temples here are mostly dedicated to Lord Krishna in his various forms. Some temples, however, are dedicated to Devis or goddesses. Among these Devi temples is one for the goddess, Kankali Devi. This temple is the second most sacred place after Krishna Janmabhoomi. It is at Bhuteshwar Road in Mathura city. The temple stands on a rock stone called Kanak Tila. Kankali Devi is one of the many forms of Goddess Shakti. She is depicted with 8 hands and sitting on a lion.

Legend of Kankali Devi

Interestingly, the story of Goddess Kankali Devi is related to the story of Lord Krishna. Her name appears in many religious texts like the Vishnu Purana, Bhagwad Gita, and Krishna Katha. The goddess was called Kans Kali some years back, but eventually, the name became distorted and became Kankali Devi. As per legend, the people of Mathura had to undergo many problems due to the tyranny of their ruler, King Kamsa. Kamsa had deposed his own father and ascended the throne. He was the brother of Devaki, who was the mother of Krishna. A divine prophecy predicted that Kamsa would die at the hands of Devaki’s eighth child.


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Terrified by the prophecy, Kamsa threw Devaki and her husband, Vasudev, into a dungeon. He killed all the children born to them until it was the turn of the 8th child. But the 7th child, Balarama, escaped in a miraculous manner. When Krishna, the 8th child, was born, Vasudev was helped by divine forces to escape with the infant and reach Gokul, where he left the baby with his friend, Nanda, and his wife, Yashodha. He also took his friend’s newborn daughter and returned to the prison, undetected. On hearing about the birth of his sister’s 8th child, Kamsa arrived at the dungeon to kill it. Seeing a baby girl instead of a boy, he was surprised but decided to kill her anyway. When Kamsa tried to kill her by hurling the baby on a rock, she slipped from his hands and flew away. She also declared that Kamsa would be killed soon, as per the prophecy. Then she vanished. Since then, this place has been called Kans Kali or Kankali.

An Important Archeological Site

The place is quite important, as it is also an archeological site. The whole area was excavated by the Archeological Department of India, which recovered many ancient statues and idols during the excavation work. These now reside in different museums in and near Mathura. There is evidence of ancient stupas and other temples like the Kubera Devi temple, which once existed here. They also found some ancient Jain statues and remnants of Buddhist maths. Huns had attacked the place and wrought large-scale destruction. The goddess’ deity was installed here during this era, and she is one of the four major goddesses of Mathura.

One can find some Dharamshalas near the Kankali Devi temple. Hotels, guest houses, and government lodges are also available.

Autos, cabs, and rickshaws can take you to the temple.  

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