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Kalkaji Temple, New Delhi


Situated beyond the commercial complex of Nehru Place lies Kalkaji temple dedicated to the Goddess Kalka Devi. Kalkaji mandir is very famous and has numerous devotees thronging it on many religious occasions, throughout the year. Small red flags decorate the temple then, and women outnumber men among the devotees. Folklore is replete with tales of the Kalkaji temple, so much so that one does not know where legend ends and history begins.

History of Kalkaji Temple

This is a very old temple and the oldest part was built up in 1764 A.D. The Kali Temple in Kalkaji boasts of an existence of 3,000 years, although the oldest surviving portion of it dates to 1764-1771 when the Marathas were in power. Looking at the present-day Kalkaji temple one may find it hard to believe that this shrine to Kali is an antique one, where perhaps even the Pandavs and Kauravs had worshiped during the reign of Yudhisthir, whose citadel of Indraprastha had the fabled fairy gates of which bards sang, much like Homer of old, right up to the time of Prithviraj Chauhan.

The modern temple is a 12-sided structure completely made out of marble and black pumice stones. This structure houses the black stone that denotes goddess kali. The temple building is very simple and has no ornamentation as such. There is an inn in the backyards of the main structure known as Kali Dharamshala. The entire structure is devoid of any ostentation and comes across as very plain and simple. Everyday, the idol of the deity is bathed with milk in the morning and an aarti is conducted in the evening. People coming to the temple can purchase offering from the vendors sitting just before its entrance. In the backyard of the main structure is an inn, which is known as Kali Dharamshala. The entire temple is made up of white marble and black granite tiles and the usual number of worshippers is a few hundred every day. The backside of the temple has a Dharamshala or a rest house which has been built with the help of donations given to the temple. The Kalkaji Temple in Delhi is decked up like a bride during Navratras and extra police force is deployed to check miscreants and control the crowed of almost two million. The pomp and show is such that many leading news channels come to cover the proceedings. People should be careful here since a lot of pick-pocketeers frequent the area in hope to ‘earn’ something. Existent from past 3,000 years, Kalkaji Temple traces many legends regarding its origin. However, the oldest part of the shrine dates back to the 1764 A.D. Kalka Temple is said to have been constructed by the Maratha Rulers in the late 18th century. Kalkaji Mandir is believed to have been survived from the times of Mahabharata.The temple is situated on a hill and is dedicated to Kali. There is a very distinctive feeling there and the devotees are overwhelmed by light, which stay during the whole night. The power of Ma Kali is ambiguous but powerful. Devotees also try to meditate there and a spectacular tantric aarati is held at about 7 pm. The temple is also quite near to the Bahai Temple, which is just opposite on the other side of a big road. As per the folklore, the Pandavas and Kauravas had worshipped Kalka Devi during the reign of Yudhisthir. In the words of Laura Sykes, “Marathas plundered the fair at Kalka Devi, near Okhla” at some stage in the battle of 1738 with the Mughals at Talkatora. Raja Kedarnath (Peshkar of Emperor Akbar II) made some changes and additions to the original structure of Kalkaji Temple.The major ritual consists of offering and bathing the idol with milk followed by an Aarti in the evening. This, in turn, is followed by hymn recitation. Offerings can be purchased just before the entrance of the temple. Visitors should be alert in the area as the place is very crowded and there can be few anti-social elements (pickpockets) after your wallet or precious possessions.

Special Attraction and Special Festivals and Annual Event at the Kalkaji Temple Delhi

There are four Prayer Sessions everyday. These Prayer Sessions are unique, as prayers from all religions are recited during these Prayer Sessions. Prayer Session Timings: 1000 hrs – 1015 hrs (15 minutes), 1200 hrs – 1215 hrs (15 minutes), 1500 hrs – 1515 hrs (15 minutes), 1700 hrs – 1715 hrs (15 minutes).This is the very beautiful places for worship in delhi.Also the durga puja festival is celebrated by the temple and more hindu festivals also celebrated by the temple.


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