There are many places where one can visit in Delhi. There can be a shortage of time but there can never be a shortage of places. From monuments to the zoo, museums to shopping malls. There are various Temples which one should visit. Visiting temples make one mind peaceful and rejuvenating. One of them is Kalkaji Temple which is located in South Delhi. Kalkaji Mandir is a very famous tourist destination. People from all over the country come here to offer prayer and seek blessings.
Kalkaji Temple is one of the oldest temples. Kalkaji Mandir is dedicated to Maa Kalka, an avatar of Goddess Durga. This temple is also known as “Jayanti Peetha” or “Manokamana Sidha Peeta”. So it is believed to be the holy shrine where Maa Kalika Devi gives blessings so that one can fulfill one’s desire and wish. Kalkaji Temple is a highly respected Hindu Temple and is famous among Hindus. This temple is one of the major tourist attraction of Delhi. This temple is always crowded with people but the apex time is during Navratra. During Navratras, the temple is all decked up like a bride and followers from all over the world come here to seek blessings and offer prayers. Kalkaji Temple is very much crowded during this time of year. As Navratras take place twice in a year, both the time a large number of devotees come here to worship Goddess Kalka Devi.
Kalkaji Mandir History
- Built in 1764, legends say that Pandavs and Kauravs came here to worship. It was the treasurer of Emperor Akbar Second, Raja Kadarnath who made changes in the mid 19th century. It was by the contributions of devotees that the present structure was built. The new structure was built in the 20th century.
- The story behind Maa Kalika Devi is that many years ago, the gods who lived near the present temple were troubled by two demons. As a result, gods went to Lord Brahma to save them. Lord Brahmais considered being the Lord of all the gods.
- Lord Brahma refused to interfere in the matter but also referred Goddess Parvati. It was Kaushki Devi who sprung out of Goddess Parvati, who slaughtered the demons. But because their blood fell on the barren land, thousands of other demons came into life. This battle was alone fought by Kaushki Devi.
- Out of the eyebrows of Kalika Devi came Maa Kali whose lower lip touched the sky. She drank the blood of all the slaughtered demons which poured out from their wound. Tis has how Kali Devi won the battle against the great odds.
- It is believed that Kalka Ji Temple has a very ancient origin. But it is said that the oldest portion of the present building was not constructed earlier than 1764 A.D.
- Legends say that hundred years ago Baba Balak Nath of Nath Sampradaya visited this holy place and had Kalka Devi’s darshan. After which the Goddess asked him to stay there and construct a temple. That temple got ruined after the passage of time.
- It is also said that Goddess Kalka took the form of Maa Kali to kill the demon Raktabija. It is said that the shrines of Goddess Kali are self-manifested. This happened in Satyug era.
Significance of the Kalkaji Mandir
- People from all over the country come here to offer prayer to the Goddess Kalika Devi. This temple is always crowded with devotees but the apex point is during the festival Navratri.
- This temple is surrounded by pyramidal towers. It is constructed of the bricks, finished with plasters and then marbles. The Central Chamber is 12 sided and there are 36 arched opening in the temple.
- There is a doorway on each side. Each doorway is surrounded by the verandah. This verandah is 8’9” wide which contains 36 arched openings. The verandah is enclosed with the Central Chamber on all the sides.
- There two red sandstone tigers sitting on a marble pedestal opposite the eastern doorway. The subscription article is Urdu. Between the tigers there is an idol of Kaali Devi with the name engraved on it in Hindi.
- Visitors should be alert while visiting temple as the temple is always crowded and there can be the presence of lots of pickpockets.
- This temple is made up of marble and black pumic stones. The black stone inside the structure represents Maa Kali.
- It is said that Kalkaji Mandir has its existence from the very first yuga. It is believed that this temple has survived all the four yugas: The Satya Yuga, The Treta Yuga, The Dvapara Yuga and the Kali Yuga.
Poojas and Rituals at Kalkaji Mandir
- Each day the Goddess’s idol is bathed with milk and is followed by Arti. Arti is done two a day: 6 am in the morning and 7:30 pm in the evening.
- There are many stalls outside the Mandir where devotees can easily purchase offerings. There are various packages provided by these stalls. If a devotee needs only Agarbatti and nariyal for prayer he can take it and if he wants to buy an extensive package he can buy that too.
- Devotees attend this temple throughout the year but it is more crowded during Navratras. Devotees from all over the country come here to offer prayer and seek Goddess Kalka Devi’s blessings.
- Pujari’s performed archana and rituals on the turn by turn basis.
- Tantric arti is held in the evening. Devotees meditate here as the atmosphere is very airy and bright with the light.
- During the reign of Yudishthir, it is said that the Pandavas and the Kauravas worshiped Goddess Kalka in this Temple. It is also said that there is only a part of the temple left at present and the original temple destroyed with the passage of time.
Kalkaji Mandir Timings
- Kalkaji Mandir is opened at 4 am for the devotees. The Goddess’s idol is bathed.
- The closing time for the Temple is 11:30 pm. The temple is closed after the arti is done. The Temple is closed with the regular ritual which the Pujari’s perform.
- During winter, the morning part starts from 6 am to 7:30 am ad during summer, the morning arti starts from 5 am to 6:30 am.
- During winter, the evening part starts from 6:30 pm to 8 pm and during summer, the evening arti takes place from 7 pm to 8:30 pm. The actual timing may vary as it depends on the Pujari’s.
- The temple remains closed during 11:30 am to 12 pm for offering prasad to the deity Maa Kalka Devi
- From 3 pm to 4 pm, the Mandir is again closed for cleaning purposes. The devotees are not allowed to enter during this time.
Festivals celebrated at the Kalkaji Mandir
- Chaitra Navratri– According to the Hindu Calender, Chaitra Navratri is celebrated on the first day of the calender. This festival is celebrated from 1st to 9th day of Chaitra month Shukla Paksh. The 9th day is celebrated as Ram Navami which is Lord Ram’s birthday.
- Vasanta Navratri– This festival is celebrated in Autum this is why it is called Vasant Navratri. Vasant means Autum in Hindi. Vasant Navratri usually falls in the month of April but it may differ according to the Hindu Calender.
- Maha Navratri– This festival is very famous and this is why it is celebrated across India. Maha Navratri is celebrated equally important as other festivals in Chhattisgarh. There is a lot of crowd in temples on this festival. People come from various parts to offer prayer.
There are many other festivals that are celebrated in the Kalkaji Temple. There are festivals like Diwali, holi, Mahashivratri, Purnima festival, Vijaydashmi, Durga Puja followed by Mahashashthi, Mahasaptami, Mahaashthami, and Mahanavami etc. But Navratra is the only festival which is celebrated twice a year but with equal importance. Navratra is celerated in West Bengal by the name Durga Puja. Durga Puja is celebrated equally importantly as Navratra.
How to reach: Road, Rail, and Air
- By Air– The nearest airport to the Kalkaji Mandir is Indira Gandhi Airport, New Delhi. This airport is 15km away from Kalkaji Temple.
- By Rail– The nearest railway station to Kalkaji Temple is H Nizamuddin Railway Station which is 4km away from the Temple.
- By Road– One can take any regular bus. Buses are operated by the state-owned Delhi Transport Corporation, which is connected with all major cities. Delhi is connected by Road to various parts of the country through several National highways. The bus will either leave you at Rajiv Chowk in Delhi or can directly drop you at Kalkaji Mandir Metro Station.
Hotels – Where to stay
There are many Dharamshala built by the Temple Trust for the devotees. These dharamshalas are free of costs and have a hygienic environment. The Temple Trust takes care of the temple very well. They provide hygienic food to the devotees. The expenses incurred are borne by the Trusteed of these temples. These Trustees donate money and various other things like ornaments and other important things to the Temple.
Where to eat
There are a lot of dishes which are given to the devotees. There are one-time free prasads served to the devotees. There are many other dishes that are served to the devotees for which they need to spend money. The food is prepared in a very hygienic conditions. All the eatables are taken good care while preparing food. Foods are prepared in a very hygienic atmosphere.
Apart from the food we get in the temple, there are many other hotels and places where one can have food. In Delhi, we can find food stalls everywhere. There are hotels and cafes like Cafe Coffee Day, Pind Balluchi, The First Floor Restaurant and many more. There are many other hotels which have nominal charges keeping the taste of the consumer in mind. They prepare food in a very clean and hygienic environment.
- Shiv Kalkaji Temple– Shiv Kalkaji Temple is believed to be the oldest Seedhpeeth in South Delhi. All the followers of Mata come here to offer prayer and seek blessings. It is believed that Mata gives the blessing to all her followers.
- Lotus Temple– This temple is located close to Kalka Mandir Metro Station. This temple is situated right next to Kalkaji Park. Lotus Temple is entered via a parking lot. Lotus temple is known for the peace one gets after entering the temple. This is a temple where one finds silence. This temple rejuvenates one’s mind.
- Iskcon Temple– This temple is one of the famous and the oldest Lord Krishna’s temples in the country. This temple is located closed to Nehru Place Metro Station. This temple can be reached via autorickshaw from the Metro Station.This temple is dedicated to Lord Krishna and her beloved Radha. Iskcon Temple stands for International Society for Krishna Consciousness or Hare Krishna Movement.
Apart from temples, there is other place here tourist can visit near Kalkaji Mandir. There are places like Nehru Place Market, Epicuria Mall, Kalkaji B Block Market, Laxmi Plaza, Prince Plaza etc. There are many places for tourist attraction in Delhi. There are many monuments, museums which can be visited living in Delhi. There are many places to shop as well to eat.