Duryodhana a Major Character in Epic Mahabharata, he is also said to be the greatest warrior and villain of all time, he was the one who led to the fierce battle of Mahabharata leading to the Slaughter of Millions of Soldiers and great warriors. The word Duryodhana is derived from two words which are- Dur (दुर्) and Yodha or Yodhana (योध or योधन). Dur means difficult or unconquerable, Yodha means ‘fighting’ and Yodhana means ‘warrior. So this name has two meanings. Either it is, ‘the one with whom fighting is difficult’ or ‘unconquerable warrior’.
No doubt that in the Epic he was a great Villain, who led the slaughter, but was he Good or Was he bad? If he is Good then Why he is a Villain, if he was bad then Why Worshipped? Worship of Duryodhan may sound a bit odd but there are a number of temples in Uttrakhand’s Kumaon region and also one in Kerala.
Duryodhan Temple in North India
One of the largest temples dedicated to Duryodhana in the Mahabharata is found at Oslo in Uttarkashi District in Uttarakhand. The popular belief is that the soldiers and people who supported Duryodhana escaped from the Kurukshetra and took refuge in this area of Uttarkashi. They built temples in memory of Duryodhana and Karna here. Today they are the protecting deities of the region.
A couple of temples dedicated to Duryodhana can be found in the region at Saur, Sarnaul, Gangar, and Datmir. Oslo village is on the way to Har Ki Doon, a popular location with trekkers. From Mussoorie, one has to travel through Yamuna Bridge, Naugaon, Purola, Saur, and Sankri to reach Osla.
Duryodhan Temple in South India
Poruvazhy Peruviruthy Malanada, popularly known as Malanada is located at Edakkad Ward (Kara) of Poruvazhy village in Kunnathoor Taluk of Kollam district Kerala State, India.
Malanda Means There is a Temple (Nada) on the Hill (Mala). Unlike other temples, It is believed that the ‘Sankalpa Moorthy ‘at Malanada is ‘Duryodhana’, the Great Epic Hero of Mahabharatham. The myth unravels: as part of his efforts to trace out the ‘Pandavas’ in exile, Duryodhan traversed the forests in the south and reached Malanada hill. By that time he was much tired and went to a nearby house on the northwest of Malanada and asked for drinking water. An elderly woman gave him toddy which was customary at that time as a mark of respect.
The king enjoyed the drink but realized after seeing the ‘Kurathali’ worn by the woman that she belonged to an untouchable lower cast. The king consoled himself and appreciated the divinity of the place and its people who possessed supernatural powers (Siddha). Thereafter, in furtherance of his ‘Rajadharma’, the king sat on the hill and worshipped Lord Siva, praying for the welfare of his people. As an act of charity, he gave away 100s of acres of agricultural land and paddy fields as freehold to the ‘Devasthanam’. Even now the land tax of the above property is being levied in the name of ‘Duryodhana’.