Shri Mahamaya Devi Mandir is situated at Ratanpur
, along the Bilaspur
State Highway, just 25 km from Bilaspur, in Chhattisgarh
. This 12th century temple, rich in cultural heritage, is built in Nagara Style
of temple architecture. The temple enshrines an awe-inspiring dual-statue of Goddess Mahamaya Devi - the front image of Mahishasuramardini
and the rear statue of Goddess Saraswathi
Supported by 16 stone columns, Shri Mahamaya Devi Mandir is surrounded by an 18 inch thick boundary wall. Most of the statues and motifs used in the temple are taken from the remnants of some ancient temples; some of them were Jain temples. The main complex of the temple has smaller statues of Goddess Kali, Bhadrakali, Surya, Lord Vishnu, Lord Hanuman, Bhairav and Lord Shiva. It is said that the first puja and abhishek of Devi was performed by Kalinga King Ratna Dev in 1050 AD.
A popular belief among the devotees is that one should visit the Kaal Bhairav Mandir, before visiting Goddess Mahamaya Devi as Kaal Bhairav is regarded as the door keeper of Devi.
Navratri festival celebrated here is a major draw attended by thousands of devotees from far and near.
Mahamrityunjaya Panchmukhee Shiv Mandir and Kanthi Dewal Temple, situated nearby, are worth visiting.
Bilaspur Junction Railway Station, on the Mumbai-Howrah main line is the nearest railhead.