Shri Adhya Katyani Shakti Peeth Mandir or the Chhattarpur Temple is situated in Delhi. It was constructed in 1974 under the tutelage of Baba Sant Nagpal Ji, its founder. The temple follows a magnificent blend of Northern and Southern styles of architecture. It is located just 4 km away from Qutub Minar in the Mehrauli area of South Delhi.
Chhattarpur Temple is devoted to Goddess Katyayani, the sixth of the nine avatars of Goddess Durga generally referred to as the Navadurga. Katyayani, as the legends reveal, is the avatar which manifested into Mahishasurmardini, the avatar which had slain the fierce Rakshasa, Mahishasur.
The primary shrine houses the Goddess. Apart from the main shrine, there is the Shayankaksh (bedroom) which comprises of a bed, dining table with nine chairs and a dressing table, all of which is made out of pure silver.
The Chhattarpur Temple is spread over 70 acres of sprawling greens and comprises over 20 small and large temples which are divided into three different complexes. Several other temples devoted include the Shiv Mandir, Ram Mandir, Maa Katyayani Mandir, Maa Mahishasur Mardini Mandir, Maa Ashtabhuja Mandir, Hanuman Mandir, Laxmi Vinayak Mandir, Jharpeer Mandir, Markandeya Mandapam, Baba Ki Samadhi, Nageshwar Mandir, the Trident (Trishul), 101 feet high Hanuman Murti which form the special attractions of the place. There is also a museum devoted to the late saint which is a tourist attraction.
The stunning white marble architecture with serene surroundings makes the Chhattarpur Temple all the more divine and admirable. Thousands of devotees of all castes and religions flock together at the temple every single day. The lungar which is served on special occasions of the two Navratras, Janmashtami and Mahashivaratri to the devotees, is one of the largest in the world with approximately 1 lakh devotees joining in every year.
Run by the Sree Adya Katyayani Shaktipeeth Mandir Trust, the temple also regularly donates to several social causes and charities.
Chhattarpur Temple History
As per the puranas, there was a sage name Katyaya who after meditation and rigorous penance was granted the boon to be the father of Maa Durga, whom he prayed to.
Goddess Durga was sent to earth by the Trideva: Brahma, Vishnu and Mahesh to be born as Katyaya’s daughter Katyayani.
The temple was founded by Baba Sant Nagpal Ji who was born in Karnataka. He lost his mother at a very young age and it was during her cremation, did an unknown lady come and give him shelter who called herself as the mother of the universe and took him under her wing.
Significance of the Chhattarpur Temple
The sixth avatar of Durga, Katyayani was the one who slayed the evil demon Mahishasur, who had wreaked a havoc to all the three lokas.
This form of the Goddess came to be known as the Mahishasurmardini, the destructor of Mahishasur.
A manifestation of Shakti, the Goddess as visualized, carries 10 weapons in her 10 arms, to destroy all the evil in the world. She is represented by fiery expressions and a long flowing hair.
The ailing devotees tie a thread or a bangle to the Kalpavriksha tree located inside the premises of the temple, which according to legends grant their wishes. It is believed that once the wish is fulfilled, the devotee must come back and untie the thread.
Chhattarpur Temple Timings
- Chhattarpur Temple opens at 4 am and closes at 11 pm.
- The daily rituals encompass the morning aarti which happens at 4 am and the evening aarti.
- Devotees can drop in anytime for worship.
Dress Code at Chhattarpur Temple
Men and women are advised to wear decent clothing. Short dresses and inappropriate pieces of apparel are strictly prohibited. It is mandatory to take off one’s shoes and wash his hands and feet.
Festivals Celebrated at Chhattarpur Temple
- Navratra Celebrations- Both the Vasant Chaitra Navratras (New year of the Hindu Calendar) in March/April which is celebrated on the occasion of the birthday of Lord Rama and the Sharad Navratras, coinciding with Durga Pooja, are celebrated in September/October that culminates into Vijay Dasami when Shri Rama along with Sita and Lakshmana returned to Ayodhya after completion of 14 years exile, are celebrated with pomp and glory inside the temple premises. The celebrations start with Kumbhabhishek i.e. holy bath of Maa Katyayani a few days before the start of the Navratras. The mandir is open round the clock during Navratras.
- Mahashivratri- Celebrated every year in the temple on the 14th day of the Hindu month of Fagun (February-March) as the marriage day of Lord Shiva and Maa Parvathi.
- Krishna Janmashtami- It is celebrated on the Bhadrapad Ashtami (8th day) of the Hindu month of Bhadon (August/September). At midnight, Vishnu Sahasranam is recited in the temple followed by aarti, and prasad distribution.
- Guru Purnima- Guru Purnima in August every year. A procession is carried out which starts around 10.00 am from Shree Shiv Shakti Mandir, Kilokari village, which after travelling a distance of 20 kms terminates around 2 pm at Babaji’s Samadhi in the main temple complex at Chhattarpur.
- Babaji’s Birthday- The day is celebrated on the full moon day in February/March i.e. in the Hindu month of Fagun. All the devotees play Holi at the Markandeya Hall which is followed by lunch. Cultural and religious programmes are also held during the day.
- Babaji’s Nirvaan Divas- Babaji attained Samadhi on 15th December 1998. The Samadhi is decorated with flowers and illuminated with lights on the day. Abhishek of Babaji’s statue is perfomed. Bhajans Free lungar (food, fruits etc) is arranged for all the invited saints. Woolen clothing, blankets, shawls etc are also given to them.
Chhattarpur Temple Sevas and Poojas
The daily pujas are carried out at all times of the day. Special pujas such as the Kumbhabhishek and Guru Purnima processions are specifically done during Navratras and Guru Purnima.
How to Reach Chhattarpur Temple
- By Air- The nearest airport is the Indira Gandhi International Airport at Delhi which is connected to all the major cities across the world
- By Rail- There are direct trains from Delhi connecting over the entire length and breadth of India. There are trains which connect major cities like Mumbai, Kolkata, Lucknow etc.
- By Road-Well connected roads with buses available across three inter-state bus terminuses namely Kashmere Gate, Anand Vihar and Sarai Kale Khan connect many important cities in India.
Chhattarpur Temple Accommodation
The temple owns a Dharamshala which houses devotees who come there for a short stay. The Dharamshala has 12 halls with a capacity of 30 people each and 36 rooms with a capacity of 6 people each.
Nearby, several hotels are also available for pilgrims and tourists.
Where to eat
The devotees visiting the temple generally eat at the temple during the lungars. Many lodges and hotels are also present in the near proximity catering to different tastes.
- Bala Hanuman temple- A beautiful temple located near the Connaught Place. This temple has earned itself a name in the Guiness Book of Records for the 24-hour chanting of the “Sri Ram, Jai Ram” slogan since August 1964.
- Gauri- Shankar temple- One of the holiest Shiva temples of Delhi, the temple is famous for its 800-year-old lingam.
- Aurobindo Ashram- A centre of yoga and meditation which is located at the Aurobindo Marg.
- Digambara Jain temple- Considered to be the oldest Jain temple, it was built in 1526. The main shrine houses the twenty-third Tirthankara, Parshvanath.