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Jhandewalan Temple, New Delhi

June 20, 2016

Jhandewalan Mandir in Delhi

Jhandewalan Temple is one of the oldest temples in Delhi and its presiding deity is Maa Aadi Shakti, who is said to be an incarnation of Maa Durga – the most powerful feminine icon in Hinduism along with Maa Kali.  The temple can be found en route to Karol Bagh at Jhandewalan Road. The nearest metro station is Jhandewalan. The temple is regarded as one of the most famous shrines dedicated to the goddess and like any other temple of this stature, it attracts plenty of devotees throughout the year. The temple got its name from the prayer flags (‘jhanda’ in Hindi) that were offered at the temple during Shah Jahan’s rule.

Legends of the temple

Legend has it that once upon a time, Jhandewalan was situated in a mountainous area. However, when people dug up the place they found the goddess’ sanctum. This led to the establishment of the temple at its present location. It is also said that a person called Badri Bhagat, who also happened to be one of the most prominent devotees of Matarani, had dreamt of her and in the dream she had told him about the idol which visitors come to see today. Soon after, the temple came up in its present location.

Importance in Hinduism

The presiding deity’s actual idol can be found at the ground level. The temple itself is one of the most well-known religious sites as far as Hindus are concerned. It is open to all devotees and does not discriminate between people on basis of factors such as a person’s socioeconomic status or caste. Anyone passing by the temple will be able to hear mantras being chanted all through the day, thus giving the temple a feel unlike any other.

Festivals celebrated in the temple

A number of festivals are celebrated in the temple. Special pujas are organized during Navratra and Durga Puja. On these days, the temple is done up with lights and flowers.

Aarti timings

The timings for offering aarti at the temple tend to differ – albeit not by very much – on the basis of seasons. The first offering of the day happens at 5:30 AM in the morning and is known as mangal aarti. Dry meva is offered at this time.  The second aarti is known as shringaar aarti and is offered at 9:30 AM. Cheele, milk, chane (nuts) and coconut are offered at this time. The third aarti of the day – bhog aarti – is offered at 12:00 PM. Rice, roti (Indian breads) and pulses are offered at this turn. The evening aarti, comprising chane, is offered at 7:30 PM. The night aarti, offered at 10:00 PM, includes offerings of milk only. During the winter season, the morning aarti is offered a little later than summers – at 6:00 AM. The last aarti is offered half an hour before its time in the summers.

When is the temple open for visitors?

Normally, the temple stays open two days a week – Tuesdays and Sundays. Apart from that, it stays open on the afternoons of Ashtami. On ashtamis of Shukla Paksha, jagrans (night time prayers) are organized. The prayers start at 10 PM at night. However, kirtan or prayers, and havana or yajnas are organized every morning at the temple. People are not allowed to click photos at the prayer hall.

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I am from Kolkata. Like any other Bengali I love my fish, eggs and bhaat and sweets but I also feel proud to be a part of the biggest melting pot of the world - India. It is true that I need to go a long way before I finally call it a day but I have come some way and am sure will travel further. Cheers :)

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