A detailed description of Kaila Devi Ji is given in the SkandaPurana in the 65th Adhyaya wherein the goddess is said to have proclaimed that in Kalyug her name would be “Kaila” and she would be worshipped as Kaileshwari by her devotees. Furthermore the Vedas say that in Kalyug the worship of Kaila Devi will grant immediate fulfillment.
The goddess Kaila Devi is considered to be a form of the same goddess-Maha-yogini Mahamaya who had taken birth as the child of Nanda-Yashoda, and with whom Lord Krishna was replaced as per the direction of Lord Vishnu. When Kansa tried to kill the girl child, she transformed into her Devi Roop and informed him that the one he attempted to kill was already safe and sound. She is now worshipped as Kaila Devi, and as Vindhyavasini and Hinglaj Mata at other places.
The arrival of the goddess’s likeness to this destination is a fascinating story. The statue was being carried on a bullock cart by a Yogi baba, fleeing from Nagarkot, to protect it. Kaila Devi meanwhile appeared to the sage Kedargiri assuring him that she would come to the people of the area. The Yogi’s sole bullock stopped in the central part of the hill amid the dense forest and refused to budge. By divine ordinance the statue was established at that very place.
With the blessings of Kaila Devi, the Yaduvanshi rulers of Karauli have always maintained a deep connection with the temple.
Maharaja Gopal Singh Ji laid the foundation of the temple in 1723 and the work was completed in 1730. He also established the statue of ChamundaJi, bringing it from the fort of Gagraun where it had been placed by the Khinchi ruler Mukund Das Ji in 1150.
Arjun Pal Ji built a large Kund, which exists to this date and was one of the earliest large-scale, man-made sources of water in the area.
Maharaja Bhanwar Pal Ji, coming to the throne in 1886, had the temple reconstructed with more modern architecture and had several facilities constructed for the pilgrims such as DurgaSagar well, and the BadiDharamshala. In 1927 Maharaja Bhom Pal Ji had improved roads constructed and established a power house. In 1947, Maharaja Ganesh Pal Ji had both the interior and exterior of the temple refurbished in marble. The current Maharaja, Krishna Chandra Pal Ji has also made several radical improvements and added multiple modern facilities. The courtyard has been expanded, and several additions made including the administrative block, the staff quarters, the Annapurna Canteen, a large pandal for waiting devotees, and demarcated channels to implement queues for darshan. New dharamshalas, Ram Bhavan and KansalBhavan have been built and some existing ones-SitaBhavan, Ratan Devi and the DholpurDharamshalahave been reconstructed.
Furthermore under the aegis of the Kaila Devi Charitable Trust a hundred bed hospital, the Kaila Devi Senior Secondary School with about 900 students, and a student’s hostel have been set up and are progressing rapidly. A large dam on the Kalisilriver has been repaired and expanded and two smaller dams have been constructed downstream.
The Kaila Devi temple has a glorious past and with the blessings of Kaila Devi Ji herself and with the prayers of her worshippers, has an equally great presence in the future.