Chittaranjan Park Kali Mandir, Delhi
Chittaranjan Park Kali Mandir or CR Park Mandir is situated in the Bengali-dominated locality, CR park of south Delhi. It was founded in 1973, first as a small temple shrine for God Shiva. It was soon added with Goddess Kali and was later – by late 1980s – developed into what is today’s CR Park Mandir complex that hosts three shrines devoted to God Shiva, Goddess Kali, and Radha-Krishna. A modern age temple, the architecture, during its expansion in the 1980s, took the form of Bengal terracotta temple art. It has grown into a cultural and traditional hub of Bengalis in Delhi. As Bengalis are synonymous to the grandeur celebrations of Durga pooja, the tradition of celebrating the pooja at this temple began in the late 1970s.
Situated on a small hill top, the mandir is known for its calm and serenity within the hustle – bustle of Delhi. It is surrounded by a vast garden which was declared as the ‘Best Kept Garden’ by Agri-Horticulture Society in 1999. The mandir complex also houses halls for cultural functions and discourses, and spaces crafted to accommodate festivals like Durga Puja, library, tirthashram, homeopathy, naturopathy yoga centres, children’s park, and a musical fountain.
The mandir maintains a Charitable ‘Balanada’ Dharmashala, viz., ‘Yatri Niwas’ – meaning a ‘Traveller’s Home’, and a canteen. Any visitor to the city is welcome here, and would be accommodated for a maximum of seven days at a nominal price.
CR Park History
- A resolution to build a temple was taken in 1973 by the residents of CR Park, and a steering committee, ‘Chittaranjan Park Kali Mandir Society’ was formed. A proposal for the construction of a temple within two acres lands on the ‘Rock Garden’ was sent to the government in 1974.
- On 25th April 1974 on the eve of ‘Akshay Tritiya’, a Shivlinga was installed in a temporary shed.
- Foundation of Kali Mandir was laid in 1979, and the idol of Goddess Kali was established on 21st February 1985.
- The Radha-Krishna establishment and temple inauguration was conducted in February 1994.
- The terracotta ar
- The Musical Fountain in the mandir complex was inaugurated by Dr. Anita Bose, daughter of Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose in February 2013.
Significance of the CR Park
- In 1947, during the India – Pakistan partition, the state of Bengal separated into two entities – East Bengal in Pakistan and West Bengal in India. A large group of government employees who was a refugee of East Bengal migrated to Delhi. Forming East Pakistan Displaced Persons (EPDP) Association, they lobbied for a residential colony in 1954.
- In 1967, the 218-acre barren rocky land was assigned to the applicants with refugee status. 2147 people with the status were given plots in the area now known as Chittaranjan Park or CR Park.
- The colony was founded with plots going exclusively to migrants from East Bengal; but over time, it attracted general Bengali settlers resulting in demographic diversification.
- The residents of CR Park founded and established the Chittaranjan Park Kali Mandir by 1980s.
- The Kali Mandir soon grew into a traditional hub of all the Bengalis in Delhi with various religious and cultural activities all round the year.
- Durga pooja is celebrated, during Durgashtami, at the mandir annually; with barrels of Bengal-specific flowers, such as Shuli (night flowering jasmine) and blue-lotus, flown in fresh for pooja everyday, and includes a typical Bengali cuisine, bhog.
CR Park Temple Timings
Due to the extreme variation of temperature in Delhi, the mandir timings change according to the season.
Summer (April – October): 4.45am – 12.30pm & 5.00pm – 10.00pm
Winter (November – March): 5.45am – 1.00pm & 4.30pm – 9.00pm
Everyday Arati timings are as follows:
|(April – October)||(November – March)|
|Mangal Arati||4.45am – 5.15am||5.45am – 6.15am|
|Bhog Arati||11.20am – 11.50am||11.20am – 11.50am|
|Sandhyarati||6.30pm – 7.30pm||6.00pm – 7.00pm|
Musical Fountain Timings
Tuesday – Sunday: 7.00pm – 7.15pm (after Sandhyarati. No show on Mondays)
Poojas and Rituals at CR Park Mandir
Regardless of any particular ritual or pooja, this shrine is an emblem of great fidelity. Various customary Bengali poojas are offered to the Gods on special occasions.
- Bipattarini Pooja – The Bipattarini Pooja/Vrata is observed by women on the Panchami, fifth day of the Shukla paksha(waxing moon) in the month of Ashadha according to the Hindu calendar, in order to overcome troubles. Bipattarini is an avatar of Goddess Durga. Legends established her name, Bipada – Tarini, which literally means ‘deliverer from troubles’.
- Jagadhatri Pooja – ‘Jagadhatri’ is the ‘Protector of the World’. She is celebrated on Gosthastami. It is also referred to as another Durga Pooja as it also starts on Asthami tithi and ends on Dashami tithi. The date of the pooja is decided by the luni-solar Hindu calendar.
- Satyanarayan Pooja – It is done on special occasions and during times of achievements as an offering of gratitude to God Vishnu.
- Shani Pooja – Shani Pooja is performed to appease planet Saturn; it is sought for mental peace and to get rid of various diseases.
- Shradh Ceremony – ‘Shraddha’is a Sanskrit word meaning anything or any act that is performed with all sincerity and faith. Shradh Ceremony is a ritual that one performs to pay homage to one’s ancestors, especially to one’s dead parents.
- Til Tarpan – It is a specific form of Tarpan (offering made to divine entities) involving libationsoffered to the Pitrs (deceased ancestors) using water and sesame (Til) seeds during a death rite.
The mandir also celebrates Kali Mandir Pratistha Diwas, Shiv Mandir Pratistha Diwas, and Radha Krishna Mandir Pratistha Diwas to commemorate the mandirs’ installations.
Mandir also assists devotees in conducting personal obeisance.
Hari Sabha and Ladies regularly conduct Sankirtan and evening Kirtan (devotional songs), at the three temple shrines.
Festivals Celebrated at CR Park Mandir
- Durga Pooja – Durga Pooja festival marks the victory of Goddess Durga over the evil buffalo demon Mahishasura. Celebrated all over India, it is the biggest festival of the year for Bengali Hindus.
- Maha Shivratri – It is a festival celebrated annually in reverence of the God Shiva. Shivratri is celebrated during the night by keeping a “jaagaran” – a night-long vigil with worship, as it is believed that God Shiva saved the universe from darkness and ignorance.
- Ram Navami – It is a festival celebrating the birth of the god Ramato King Dasharatha and Queen Kausalya in Ayodhya.
- Neel Sashti – It is the day in the Bengali month of Chaitra when Bengalis celebrate the marriage of Lord Shiva with Devi Parvati by offering puja to the Lord.
- Holi Milan – It is a spring festival, also known as the festival of colours or the festival of sharing the love.
Apart from the religious activities, CR Park Kali Mandir Society conducts and organizes many sports, cultural, developmental, and social activities throughout the year. They accept donations, whatever amount they may be, and use the amount for the service of God and mankind.
Sports & Cultural Activities
The ‘Chittaranjan Park Mandir Society’ actively promotes cultural and sports events.
- As a part of cultural events, it celebrates Naba Barsha (Bengali Poila Baisakh/ New Year), birth anniversaries Bengali dignitaries such as Rabindranath Tagore, Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose, Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar, Rishi Aurobindo, Thakur Sri Sri Maa Sarada, Swami Vivekananda and Acharya Jagadish Chandra Bose.
- Arranges exchange of Cultural Artists from different states and region for varieties of the programme.
- Arranges four days cultural programmes by selected artists during Durga Pooja.
- Emphases are given more on local talents for their exposure. Similar programmes are also arranged by the prominent artist on other public pooja days.
- Organises Children’s day in the month of January. The programme is for the children and by the children. A platform is provided for them to expose their hidden talents. The programme is conducted by children themselves.
- Netaji Subhash hall is set to organise regular religious discourses by different religious and philanthropic organisations.
- Cultural Division felicitated to Bengali dignitaries, who have excelled in different fields, every year as “Gunijan”
- Organizes Annual Sports in January every year.
The CR Park Mandir Society exhibits tremendous socio-economic values through their charitable and social events.
- Running free Homeopathy and Naturopathy Dispensaries
- Running Free Reading Room and Library. About 5000 books covering all sections are stacked in the library. There is a special section for the children. A good number of Magazines and News Papers are subscribed on a regular basis.
- Running free Yoga Centre
- Assisting students from Under-privileged section in meeting their educational expenses
- Organizes free Bengali Learning Classes every week
- Assisting the patients from down-trodden sections towards their medical expenses
- Assisting the senior citizens who are staying alone in the colony, in case, they suddenly fall ill or otherwise.
- Facilitate the citizens to meet together in the Mandir Prangan everyday for the exchange of views and pleasantries.
- Making donations to Religious Organization for the pursuit of their religious activities.
- Organizing “Daridra Narayan Sewa” once a month.
Where to eat
The mandir hosts a canteen, attached to the Dharmashala, which provides both veg & non-veg cuisines at nominal rates.
For the food savvies, Chittaranjan Park area houses a variety of traditional Bengali veg & non-veg cuisine (it is home to one of the city’s main markets for freshwater fish, an important part of Bengali Cuisine).
Where to Stay
The ‘Yatri Niwas’, a charitable Dharmashala, has 30 double bedded rooms with attached bathrooms. Common hot water during winter, and room coolers during summer are provided by the Dharmashala. It accommodates any visitor of the city for a maximum of seven days at a nominal price with a two-month advance booking.
There are also several hotels and lodges in and around CR Park area which provide good accommodation options, with several markets nearby.
How to reach
CR Park is an area in south Delhi which is very well connected with the rest of the city.
By Air: Indira Gandhi International Airport is the official airport of Delhi, and is around 15.2km from CR Park Kali Mandir.
By Rail: Delhi Junction Railway station is the major rail station of Delhi. It also has full-fledged metro rail system also operating within the city.
The nearest metro station is Nehru place metro station, 2 km from CR Park guest house.
By Road: Several state government run buses and taxis operate round the city which transports to CR Park area.
Delhi is a city with rich history housing several monuments and temples with great cultural and political significance. Below are some of the places which are nearby CR Park.
- Kalkaji Temple – Built in the mid-18th century, Kalkaji temple/Mandir is a renowned temple dedicated to Kalka Devi or Goddess Kali. Certain changes and additions were made to the temple in mid-19th century by Raja Kedarnath, treasurer of Emperor Akbar II. The whole temple is built using white marble and granite. In the sanctum sanctorum is the stone that represents Goddess Kali, housed in a 12-sided structure. There are many Dharmashalas (rest houses) in the vicinity of the temple, built with donations from devotees. The temple is open to devotees from 6 am to 10 pm every day.
- Lotus Temple – Bahá’í Temple, popularly known as the Lotus Temple is a masterpiece of 20th-century architecture which was designed by Fariburz Sabha, a Canadian Bahá’í of Iranian descent. Built between 1980 and 1986, it is the latest among the seven Bahá’í temples across the world. Shaped akin to a half-open lotus, light and water have been used as fundamental elements of design of this house of worship. Set among sprawling green lawns, the petals of the grand lotus are surrounded by nine pools that represent floating leaves. The Lotus Temple is conducive to meditation. There are no priests, idols, pictures, sermons or rituals. Religious discrimination does not exist here as its symbol, the lotus, connotes peace, purity and a manifestation of God. It is open to all free of cost from 9 am to 7 pm, six days a week except for Mondays.
- ISKCON Temple – Built in 1998, ISKCON Temple is one of the 40 temples built by the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON). The actual name of the temple is Sri Radha Parthasarthy Temple, popularly known as Hare Krishna Temple. It has three shrines dedicated to Radha–Krishna, Sita–Ram and Guara–Nitai. Decorated beautifully with fresh flowers, the air is thick with spiritual discourses and chants, enhancing the divine atmosphere. Multimedia shows are organized regularly to educate the devotees about the Hindu epics. One can savour a delicious Saatvik (pure vegetarian) meal at ‘Govinda’, the temple cafeteria. It is open daily from 4.30am to 1 pm and from 4.30pm to 9 pm.