|Shila Devi,temple, Amer Fort, silver-plated entrance door wirh embossed images of deities.en.wikipedia.org|
|Idol of Shila Devi, Amer fort, Jaipur. www.holidayiq.com|
Shila Devi temple located within the historical Amer Fort in Jaipur, Rajasthan is dedicated to goddess Durga and lots of devotees come here for prayer and blessings. It is on the right side of the Jaleb Chowk, a part of the massive fort. The popular idol enshrined here, it is believed, was brought by Raja Man Singh I of Amber from Jessore (now in Bangladesh) in 1604 CE. The main deity inside the sanctum is flanked by two lions made of silver. The entrance to the temple is through a silver-plated double door embossed with various images of deities.
The legend has it that Maharajah Man Singh prayed to Goddess Kali intensely and sought her blessings for victory in the ensuing battle against the Raja of Jessore in Bengal. The goddess appeared in his dream and advised him to retrieve her image from the bottom of the sea bed and install it in a temple. Having won the war in 1604, the Raja, followed the instruction given by the deity in the dream and finally had the retrieved idol installed as per Sastras in the temple. He called it Sila Devi because it was carved out of one single stone slab. At the entrance to the temple, there is also a monolithic idol of Lord Ganesha which is made out of a single piece of coral rock.
Amer palace, Jaipur.Rajasthanwww.indiacatalog.com
There is yet another version related to the installation of Sila Devi inside the Amer fort, according to which after victory, Raja Man Singh received a black stone slab as a gift of from the defeated ruler of Jessore. This one is said to have a link with the epic story of Sri Krishna Avatar in which unjust king Kamsa had killed older siblings born before the birth of Lord Krishna on this stone. In exchange for this gift, Man Singh generously returned the kingdom he had won to the Raja of Bengal. This stone was then used to carve the image of Goddess Durga Mahishasura Mardini, who had slain the demon king Mahishasura. Sila Devi is the incarnation of Kali or Durga. ,Since then the descendants of Rajput rulers of Jaipur have become ardent devotees of Sila Devi though their family deity is Jamva Mata of Ramgarh.
Navaratri (nine nights dedicated to nine forms of Goddess) is a major Hindu festival celebrated with devotion in this temple, just like other goddess temples across India. Animal sacrifice (a buffalo and goats) was in practice for a long time. Because of strict government regulations it has been banned since 1975.Ref: