50 Indian Cities Named After Devi or Goddess

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Indian Cities named after Devi is the result of a random quiz that we posted on IndiTales FB Page and Twitter Handle. When we posted the quiz, I could think of 5 cities that were named after Devi. I put the 3 most obvious ones and asked for more.

Indian Cities Named After Devi
Indian Cities Named After Devi, Image – Shutterstock

I had no idea that the response would take me to so many cities. Some were obvious, Like Ambala, but I never noticed the connection. Others like Meerjapur that we often confuse as Mirzapur, led to some questions with some delightful answers.

When I sat down to compile the list from Twitter and FB, it looked like the whole India had an imprint of Devi on it. She is present through her shrines. We, of course, know of her 51 Shaktipeethas that are present across the length and breadth of Indian sub-continent. However, none of these cities were named after those Shaktipeethas. So, if you add those 51 places and place them on the map of India, you would see how dominant the Shakti is.

A couple of cities came from outside the current political boundaries of India. Can you believe the capital of Bangladesh – Dhaka gets its names from a Goddess – Dakineshwari Devi.

Personally, it was a sheer revelation to know about all these Indian cities that get their name from the name of a Devi. Each city has the temple of the Devi they are named after. I wanted to have the pictures of all these temples, but that would take some time. So, sharing the list as it is.

You can help us build this post by sharing images of the temples mentioned here:

List of Indian Cities Named Devi

  1. Mumbai (Maharashtra) – Mumba Devi or Maha-Amba Devi – the patron goddess of Koli community.

  2. Chandigarh (Chandigarh)– Chandi Devi

  3. Mangalore (Karnataka) – Mangla Devi

  4. Shimla (Himachal Pradesh)– Shyamala Devi

  5. Kolkata (West Bengal) – Kali Devi

  6. Kanyakumari (Tamil Nadu) – Kanyakumari

  7. Tuljapur (Maharashtra) – Tulja Bhawani

  8. Tripura (Tripura) – Tripur Sundari

  9. Hassan (Karnataka) – Hassanambe

  10. Ambejogai (Maharashtra) – Amba Jogeshwari

  11. Mysuru (Karnataka) – Mahishasurmardini

  12. Ambala (Haryana) – Bhawani Amba Devi

  13. Durgapur (West Bengal) – Durga

  14. Nainital (Uttarakhand) – Naini Devi

  15. Patna (Bihar) – Paatan Devi

  16. Kiriteshwar (West Bengal) – Kiriteshwari Devi

  17. Bhaucharji (Gujarat) – Bahuchar Mata

  18. Sri Nagar (Jammu & Kashmir) – Sri Devi or Lakshmi Devi. It is also Sri Chakra manifesting itself at Sharika Devi Peeth on Hari Parvat.

  19. Jind (Haryana) – Jayanti Devi – Jaintapuri – believed to be setup by Pandavas

  20. Ambaji (Gujarat) – Amba Devi

  21. Vijaywada (Andhra Pradesh) – Vijay Durga or Kanak Durga

  22. Sambalpur (Odisha) – Samalai Devi / Samleshwari

  23. Dantewada (Chhattisgarh) – Danteshwari

  24. Kalka (Haryana) – Kalika Devi

  25. Solan (Himachal Pradesh) – Shoolini Devi

  26. Ambikapur (Chhatissgarh) – Ambika Devi

  27. Ara (Bihar) – Aranya Devi

  28. Meerjapur (Uttar Pradesh) – Lakshmi Meerja means born from ocean, which is Laxmi.

  29. Cuttak (Odisha) – Katak Chandi

  30. Bhadrak (Odisha) – Bhandrakali

  31. Sambhar (Rajasthan) – Shakambari Devi – You might remember Sambhar Salt Lake – it is the same town.

  32. Tarapith (West Bengal) – Ma Tara

  33. Kolar – Kolaramma Devi

  34. Mt Abu – Arbuda Devi Temple, Arbudaranya

  35. Chotila (Gujarat) – Chamunda Devi

  36. Dewas (Madhya Pradesh) – Dewas comes from Devi Vaas after Devi, On Vaishini Hill there are three Devi Temples Tulja Bhawani, Chandika, Kalika

  37. Chandipur (Odisha) – Bhudara Chandi Devi

  38. Sitamarhi (Bihar) – Janki Devi – the birthplace of Sita

  39. Vishakhapatnam (Andhra Pradesh) – Vaishakha – this temple is now believed to be submerged in sea

  40. Vallikavu (Kollam, Kerala) – Sri Valli Devi

  41. Dhaka (Bangladesh) – Dakineshwari Devi or Dhakeshwari Devi – Internet tells me that this is the National Temple of Bangladesh.

  42. Chittagong (Bangladesh) – Chhateshwari Devi. Chittagong was also known as Chhatagram

Names I do not have confirmation on:

  1. Tarapur (?) – Should be named after Ma Tara, but I could not find the reference.
  2. Amdavad (Gujarat) – Ahmedabad was once known as Ashaval, Karnavati, Rajnagar, and Srinagar or Shripur. Would the last name come from the association of Devi? Are there any temples dedicated to Sri or Laxmi?
  3. Kangra (Himachal Pradesh) – Kangra Devi also known as Vrajeshwari Devi.
  4. Colaba in Mumbai – Kalbadevi.
  5. Sitabhengra (Chhattisgarh) – It is a cave, not sure if it is a city.
  6. Delhi – Was once known as Yoginipura. There is one surviving Yogini temple – Yogmaya.
  7. Kolhapur (Maharashtra) – Kollamma Devi.
  8. Ambattur (Tamil Nadu) – Named after 51st Shakti Peetha of Devi, Goddess worshipped here is Vaishnavi.

You may not recognize the names of some of the Devis mentioned in this list. Remember, these may be the Gram Devi’s or local deities.

Do you know of any other cities named after Devi or a Goddess? Please do let us know in the comments below and we will add it to the list.

Indian Cities Named After Devi
Indian Cities Named After Devi

Thank you, everyone, on Twitter who responded to the question. This is our second crowdsourced post after Indian Cities with Two or More Rivers.

Would you like to participate in more such collaborations? Please share your ideas in comments below.

42 COMMENTS

  1. Eye-opening post, Anuradha! Just wondering if you have deliberately excluded the temple towns like Nainadevi, Vaishnodevi, Jwalaji, Chintapurni, etc. Those are clearly ‘Devi’ towns.

  2. Colaba is a bit far from Kalbadevi temple so difficult to establish any connection and anyways the surrounding area near the temple is called Kalbadevi itself, famous for metal products wholesale market

  3. There is Kamakhya Temple and Kamakya town in Assam, Sri Nagar in Uttarakhand, Janakpur in Nepal (Birthplace of Sitamata), Lakhimpur in UP and in Assam, Gorakhpur (Not Devi but Deva), Kathmandu after Kastha Mandap (wooden temple)

    • Who is Lakhimpur named after? Can you please share the temple name. I will not include Gorakhpur or Kathmandu as I am looking at cities named after Devi only for this post. Kamakhya is a temple around which town came up much like Vaishno Devi, Jwalaji or Naina Devi – still in two minds if I should include all of them.

  4. This is such a fascinating post and I remember the overwhelming response to your tweet. I am sure there must be many more in down south….Will try to find at least a couple more…I am hooked to this now 🙂

  5. I had absolutely no idea that the imprint of Devi was so strong in India! I don’t know any others but the list is impressive!

    • Christina – in ancient India, every city, town, and village had a Gram Devi or the presiding deity of the village. Lot of them named themselves after the presiding deity. Lot of these places are sacred places.

  6. What a super fun list, I am always fascinated to learn the history of place names, and how those names have shifted and changed over time. I’m so amazed how many you discovered that were named for Devi!

  7. So interesting to see that so much of India has the imprint of Devi! I find that when people name cities and places, they’re usually not too creative, they stick to one theme and run with it lol – we have cities and towns in Australia for instance which pop up 4 or 5 times across different states! Same with street names lol! Probably makes the post mans job more difficult!

    • Megan – that is true for some popular names in India too. We have so many Rampurs, Ramgarhs & Srinagars. Gods are all time favorite to name the cities followed by kings who named the cities after themselves when they built cities.

  8. Who is or was Devi? She must have been pretty important to have all of these places named after her! I love finding out how names came to be – they often mean more than we first expect!

    • Devi is the common name used for Goddesses. There are so many of them in India and each of these cities is named after one of them. You are right – Etymology is an interesting science.

  9. What an interesting post. I don’t often think of why a city has its name, but this post has inspired me to do so from now on. I love how much history and culture have played into all aspects of Indian life.

  10. Such an interesting post. I only knew 1/5 of the information you have listed here. You are so right, Devi Goddess has left her imprints on the whole of India. I am sure about Kangra Devi and Tarapur names.

  11. such a nice post and really add my valuable time reading your blog this is my first visit to your website and my first comment have a nice day

  12. What a fantastic compilation Anu! Mirzapur was a revelation to me as well…I was there recently and never heard of the devi connection at all. Maybe on my next visit I can see it through new eyes 🙂

  13. This is so informative. Even I have grown up hearing about the holy tales of Devi, the shaktipeeths and have visited many of her famous temples and Shrines. But I had no idea, so many cities and towns in India are actually named after Devi. So many places are connected to her and to each other in this way. And to even think that Dhaka derives it’s name from the name of Dakineshwari Devi was completely beyond my imaginations 🙂

    • Neha – this post happened because Devi wanted us to realize her imprint on India or Bharat. I had no idea when I simply asked a question on social media that I would end up discovering so many cities named after Devi. I am sure there are many more that I am yet to discover.

  14. This is so informative article. I think you surfing a lot for collecting this information. I am always fascinated to learn the history of place names.
    Thanks for this nice post, Keep it up.

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