India Today




With lush hills around and close to 150 ponds, the Ratanpur town (a 25 km drive from Bilaspur) is conspicuou­sly verdant. However, the bulk of visitors often come here not for nature, but hoping for a glimpse of Mahamaya Devi, a manifestat­ion of the Durga as Mahishasur Mardini, the Slayer of Mahishasur.

The nine days of Navratri see several pilgrims make a beeline for the temple’s sanctum and mandapa, usually on empty stomachs. King Ratnadeva is said to have laid the foundation of this shrine in the 12th century after goddess Kali purportedl­y appeared to him in a divine vision.

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