The Kalkaji Mandir, located in Southern Delhi, is considered one of the most visited temples in the city. This temple is so ancient that it is said to have stood through all the four yugas: Satya Yuga, Treta Yuga, Dwapar Yuga, and Kal Yuga. There are many things about this place people generally do not know. If you are planning a visit to the Kalkaji Mandir in Delhi, it is better to know the history of the place beforehand. Here are some not-so-famous facts about the temple that might interest you, which will make your trip to the temple even more meaningful! If you have seniors in your home, then you should surely keep this destination on your next trip. Here are some facts you might not know about Kalkaji Mandir:
Table of contents
- 1. It has a significance that dates back to Mahabharata
- 2. Kalkaji mandir was once demolished by Aurangzeb
- 3. Kalkaji mandir is known as a self-manifested temple
- 4. Goddess Kali stands out amidst the rest of the Gods
- 5. Mundan ceremony
- 6. Kalkaji mandir is the only temple to stay open during a solar eclipse
- 7. There are many other famous spots near the Kalkaji Mandir
1. It has a significance that dates back to Mahabharata
The Kalkaji Mandir was built in 1764 AD. The Hindu epic Mahabharata mentions that after winning the battle of Kurukshetra, the Pandavas travelled around and built five temples. This temple was one of them. They prayed in this temple, which bestowed upon them the power, zeal, and resilience, to fight with the best of their potential. They succeeded in all their forthcoming endeavours; hence it was believed that whoever comes to pray in the Kalkaji Mandir shall achieve their goals and all their wishes will come true. Devotees have been showing up here from all over the country asking for good luck and prosperity.
2. Kalkaji mandir was once demolished by Aurangzeb
Aurangzeb was the sixth of the Mughal emperors. He ruled over the Indian subcontinent for around fifty years. Everything and everyone in his territory belonged to him, and he felt that he was free to do anything he wanted. He put out an order to destruct the temple, as he planned to do so with many Hindu buildings, to establish Islam with more force. Parts of this temple were destructed as per his orders.
The modern-day structure that we now see of the temple was rebuilt in the 18th century, after the death of Aurangzeb. Several parts of the temple were renovated and reconstructed since then, although some parts of it were left untouched, like the Hawan area.
3. Kalkaji mandir is known as a self-manifested temple
According to famous Hindu beliefs, the goddess Kalki was born at the place where the temple is presently situated. Millions of years ago, during Satyug (one of the four Yugas of Hinduism), two unholy creatures began disrupting the gods who lived near the temple site. These disturbed gods brought forth their complaint to Lord Brahma, the god of all gods. But Lord Brahma refused to intervene in this affair, and asked them to seek help from goddess Parvati. They did so, and out of the goddess Parvati’s mouth emerged goddess Kaushaki (known as Kaushaki Devi). She attacked these gigantic creatures and managed to kill them, but in the process, blood from these creatures dropped on the surface of the earth, giving birth to thousands of such creatures. Kaushaki Devi was to fight a heavy battle with all of these giants. Seeing this, goddess Parvati grew sentimental for the one she had birthed, and out of Kaushaki Devi’s eyebrows emerged the divine Kalki Devi. Her lower lip was set on the hill below and her upper lip stretched till the sky above. Just like that, she drank the blood of all these giants as it squeezed out of their huge wounds. This is how she conquered victory over all her enemies. With this, she declared that place her abode and has been worshipped as the main goddess of the place.
4. Goddess Kali stands out amidst the rest of the Gods
The goddess Kali is worshipped for many reasons. Besides being the god of death, time, and doomsday, she symbolises sexuality, protection, and motherly love. She defies all the social norms laid for women in her time. Women were expected to be fair-skinned, modest and shy, and bow to their husbands. But Kali is black, her hair open, dangling free as herself, and instead of expressing meek emotions, she has an angry face. With Shiva under her feet, she is ready to conquer everything that comes in her way.
5. Mundan ceremony
The mundan ceremony is one of the sixteen Hindu sacraments which includes cutting off the hair of a child for the very first time. These hairs are considered the unwanted traits of past life. Hence, the hair on the child’s head is shaved off, allowing the child to fully accept and embark upon the new life with a free state, with no restrictions from past lives. This mundan ceremony is performed with a set of rituals, which may not be available in all temples. But the Kalkaji temple offers to do it. The pandits there are qualified for performing it, and every day many people bring their young boys and girls there for mundan.
6. Kalkaji mandir is the only temple to stay open during a solar eclipse
Almost all temples are closed during the time of an eclipse, as it is considered inauspicious. The idols of Gods are covered and devotees are not allowed to visit temples at those times. But what makes the Kalkaji Mandir unique is that it stays open even during an eclipse. And because other temples are closed at this time, Kalkaji temple witnesses more crowds on these days. A known Mahant of the temple, Surendra Nath Avdhut, explains this. He says, that there are twelve zodiacs and nine planets, and all of these are present inside Maa Kali’s shrine itself, and they reside in her home as her sons. Therefore, there is no need to separate those two. Goddess Kali is the goddess of doomsday, and she holds more power than the doom itself. Hence, the temple’s gates remain open for devotees even till midnight.
7. There are many other famous spots near the Kalkaji Mandir
Lotus temple is approx. 600 m away from the Kalkaji Mandir, a 5-minute drive if you have a car. You can also easily find a taxi for about 150 rupees. If you wish to walk till there, it will take about 15 minutes only.
Near the Kalkaji Metro station is the famous ISKCON Temple, which is only 2 kilometres away, so it is also very easy to get there.
Other tourist attractions include Nehru Place Market, the Zakir Hussain Museum, Prachin Bhairon Mandir, Kalkaji District Park, etc. All these places are at a reasonable distance from the Kalkaji Mandir and one can visit them on the same trip.
The nearest metro station is Kalkaji Mandir Metro Station. The metro station is hardly a five-minute walk from the Kalkaji temple; hence, it is very convenient to take a metro there. If you are a senior citizen or travelling with a senior, you will face no difficulties regarding transportation.
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Frequently Asked Questions
As the name suggests, the temple is devoted to the goddess Kali. It is famous for its interesting history regarding Maa Kali, and the association of Pandavas with it. It is also known for its marvellous architecture. There are a lot of famous sites near the temple, which are also major tourist attractions.
Yes, the visit to Kalkaji temple, Delhi, can safely be called an affordable trip for a middle-class person. It is located near the Kalkaji Metro Station which is within walking distance of the temple, but you can still book a taxi for a maximum of 150 rupees. There are also many Dharamshalas and hotels located nearby, and you can choose the one most affordable and comfortable for you.