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.
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 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 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
Mumbai (Maharashtra) – Mumba Devi or Maha-Amba Devi – the patron goddess of Koli community.
Chandigarh (Chandigarh)– Chandi Devi
Mangalore (Karnataka) – Mangla Devi
Shimla (Himachal Pradesh)– Shyamala Devi
Kolkata (West Bengal) – Kali Devi
Kanyakumari (Tamil Nadu) – Kanyakumari
Tuljapur (Maharashtra) – Tulja Bhawani
Tripura (Tripura) – Tripur Sundari
Hassan (Karnataka) – Hassanambe
Ambejogai (Maharashtra) – Amba Jogeshwari
Mysuru (Karnataka) – Mahishasurmardini
Ambala (Haryana) – Bhawani Amba Devi
Durgapur (West Bengal) – Durga
Nainital (Uttarakhand) – Naini Devi
Patna (Bihar) – Paatan Devi
Purnia (Bihar) – Purna or Poorna Devi
Kiriteshwar (West Bengal) – Kiriteshwari Devi
Bhaucharji (Gujarat) – Bahuchar Mata
Sri Nagar (Jammu & Kashmir) – Sri Devi or Lakshmi Devi. It is also Sri Chakra manifesting itself at Sharika Devi Peeth on Hari Parvat.
Jind (Haryana) – Jayanti Devi – Jaintapuri – believed to be setup by Pandavas
Ambaji (Gujarat) – Amba Devi
Vijaywada (Andhra Pradesh) – Vijay Durga or Kanak Durga
Sambalpur (Odisha) – Samalai Devi / Samleshwari
Dantewada (Chhattisgarh) – Danteshwari
Kalka (Haryana) – Kalika Devi
Solan (Himachal Pradesh) – Shoolini Devi
Ambikapur (Chhatissgarh) – Ambika Devi
Ara (Bihar) – Aranya Devi
Meerjapur (Uttar Pradesh) – Lakshmi Meerja means born from ocean, which is Laxmi.
Cuttak (Odisha) – Katak Chandi
Bhadrak (Odisha) – Bhandrakali
Sambhar (Rajasthan) – Shakambari Devi – You might remember Sambhar Salt Lake – it is the same town.
Tarapith (West Bengal) – Ma Tara
Kolar – Kolaramma Devi
Mt Abu – Arbuda Devi Temple, Arbudaranya
Chotila (Gujarat) – Chamunda Devi
Dewas (Madhya Pradesh) – Dewas comes from Devi Vaas after Devi, On Vaishini Hill there are three Devi Temples Tulja Bhawani, Chandika, Kalika
Chandipur (Odisha) – Bhudara Chandi Devi
Sitamarhi (Bihar) – Janki Devi – the birthplace of Sita
Vishakhapatnam (Andhra Pradesh) – Vaishakha – this temple is now believed to be submerged in the sea
Vallikavu (Kollam, Kerala) – Sri Valli Devi
Coimbatore (Tamil Nadu) – Name is Koyambatoor or Koni-Amman Pudur after Koni Amman
Bharmour (Himachal Pradesh) – Bharmani Mata
Dhaka (Bangladesh) – Dakineshwari Devi or Dhakeshwari Devi – Internet tells me that this is the National Temple of Bangladesh.
Chittagong (Bangladesh) – Chhateshwari Devi. Chittagong was also known as Chhatagram
Karachi in present-day Pakistan is named after Kolachi Devi
Names I do not have confirmation on:
- Tarapur (?) – Should be named after Ma Tara, but I could not find the reference.
- 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?
- Kangra (Himachal Pradesh) – Kangra Devi also known as Vrajeshwari Devi.
- Colaba in Mumbai – Kalbadevi.
- Sitabhengra (Chhattisgarh) – It is a cave, not sure if it is a city.
- Delhi – Was once known as Yoginipura. There is one surviving Yogini temple – Yogmaya.
- Kolhapur (Maharashtra) – Kollamma Devi or Kolhasur?
- 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.
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 the comments below.
For Hassan, it should be Hasanaambe.
Thank you Nithin – corrected it.
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.
Thanks, Ajay. Yes, I did not include the temple towns as I was not sure if they have towns around them or just the temples. I need to explore them a little more. Do you think we should include them? This is a crowdsourced post, please share your thoughts and more names if you have.
Anuradha, these were only temples, but have grown to be towns… Your call… Also, one of the Shaktipurs (there are more than a couple in India ????) must have been named after Shakti (another manifestation of Durga)… Maybe you’d like to check…
That is new – Shaktipurs. I am sure your observation is right. Any idea where these are?
One is in Uttrakhand, another one’s in UP…
Thank you so much, Ajay Ji. I will try to find more information about these two. Keep sharing.
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
Any idea how Colaba got its name? I will also try to find this.
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.
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 🙂
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!
Danila – I had no idea myself, despite being an Indian who has spent most of her life in India.
I’d be really curious here to know what Devi is?
Caitlin – Devi is the great Goddess – the manifestation of the divine feminine that we worship in India. She is the supreme Goddess who is the world.
Wow, I never realised all these cities were named after Goddesses. That’s really interesting. I’m sure there must be heaps more. Is there a reason these cities were named after Devi?
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.
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!
Kavita – I was as amazed when I discovered all these with my Twitter followers. It was a revelation and yes, I too enjoy studying etymology.
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.
It doesn’t surprise me at all that there are fifty cities with goddess names. Goddesses are everywhere in India. It is kind of cool though
Right Anne, Goddesses are everywhere in India, specially given the fact that we treat our rivers as Goddesses.
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.
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.
Thanks, Paige. Glad this post made you think of the city names. We all begin somewhere in our explorations.
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.
Please share more details about Tarapur if you know.
Really interesting post about cities names with Devi’s. No doubt our country is the only place of good spiritual center.
Absolutely, India is one sacred space, we just need to understand it and respect it.
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
Welcome to IndiTales! Glad that you found us valuable.
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 🙂
Sid – if you find more information about Mirzapur – please do let me know about it.
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.
Modhera Sun Temple at Modhera Dist-Mahesana Gujarat
named of Goddess Modheswari Mata.
Thank you Sh Shah, we will add it to the list.
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.
Mahim in Mumbai was known as Mahikavati, named after same deity and still has temple there.
Gajanan ji, many areas in Mumbai are named after Devi – it probably deserves a full post in itself.
Akluj, a prosperous village in Solapur district of Maharashtra state derives its name from Goddess Akkalai Devi.
Thank you Sir, for adding to the post.
Gad Hinglaj , Hingoli , Hingane are named after HINGULAJA devi !
MumbaDevi , KalbaDevi, PrabhaDevi ,Jogeshwari in Mumbai after Sthanic devis .
GamDevi in Mumbai after the Graam Devataa Of Mumbai .
Many More ….
A town in Bihar named Dumraon, named after local deity Dumrejni mata. A temple also exists
Sitapur, Uttar Pradesh is named after Sita Devi.
Also Parbhani which is a apabransha word of Prabhavati named after Goddess Prabhavati
Dugadda, Uttarakhand is named after Durga Devi temple also I think. It is also potentially an apabramsha version of “Durga”-Adda
Shaktigarh, Uttarakhand and also Sitargarh, Uttarakhand
Amravati city in Maharashtra is named after Amba Devi.
It is said that Rukmini Haran by Lord Krishna happened from this Amba Devi Temple.
Also, it is an amazing post.
Unnati – thanks for sharing that. I am yet to visit Amravati, hopefully soon some day.
Many many Thanks to you Anuradha for this wonderful compilation. Please accept my Namaskaar.
There is a village in Karnataka called “Dinka”.
The graama devate here is a form of Adi Shakti called “Dinka-da-Amma”. Literal meaning is “Dinka-ki-Maa” or ” Dinka’s Mother”. She is the presiding deity of our family.
She incarnated to kill Dimbakasura.
You can find an informative video here
Also you have Kolar in your list. That is correct. However if you could add the state name Karnataka next to it, it would be matching the format of other cities in the list.
Also, I am a bit of a self proclaimed language enthusiast. Do pardon my nit picking. Mangalore is the anglicized version of ‘Mangalooru’. It literally mean ‘Mangala Town/City’.
If this original version of the name is also written, it would make more connection to the ‘Mangala Devi’.
1. Kamarupa- Assam named after Kamakhya
2. Bhubaneswar named after Devi Bhubaneshwari
3. Brindavan named after Devi Vrinda ( Tulasi)
Thank you for sharing these, will update soon.