Kalkaji Temple- A Devotional Paradise in the capital city..
By Bipin Sharma
Kalkaji Temple is indubitably one of the most famous, overwhelming and frequented Devi Maa’s Temple the world over. Being one of the ancient most Shaktipithas, the Temple is abode of Divine Goddess “Kalka” or “Kali”, who is an incarnation of Goddess Durga. Situated atop a small hill, the temple presents a mesmerizing sight with devotees, dressed in the best of their traditional attires, pouring in from all parts of the country, with dazzling puja thalis and other ritualistic accessories. On special occasions, owing to an unprecedented large number of visitors to the temple, the queue to the Bhawan is bizarrely long and scary. While the long queue at first, does send shivers down the spine for visitors keen on seeking early Darshan of Maa Kalka, visitors are advised to wait for their turn by following the queue. Kalkaji Temple, a Shakti shrine is legendary and a rich heritage legacy of the city that is open to countless devotees thronging on a daily basis as well as during exclusive religious festivities. Beautiful light diyas adorn the temple, and one can see women, men, children and old populace among the endless queue of devotees. With Jaikaras being chanted all over, it is an enchanting and enthralling experience for the onlookers. As far as various rituals are concerned, the most momentous ones are ‘Mata Snanam’ with Milk and Gangajal ensued by morning and evening Aarti. Besides, it is a spectacular sight to behold in the night, when daily devouts to the temple participate in the breathtaking “Sajja Ritual”, which happens to be the final ritual for the day when Divine Mother goes off to her slumber. Devouts sing soul rendering ‘Bhentein’ in praise of Maa Kalka, while others simply clap and dance for registering their reverence in Mother’s Shree Charan. The ritualistic (Puja Archana) is performed on a monthly basis by the 1000 strong family clan of Brahmins. Folklore is replete with numerous tales of this exquisitely divinely Temple. There’s a great deal of significance attached to devotees observing a continuous 40 day “Chalia ritual”. It is widely accepted belief that those who are able to devotionally perform this ritual with the essential prerequisites are rewarded by Maa Kalka with their long treasured wishes and desires. Carved out of marble and black pumice boulders, Kalkaji Temple has 12 ingeniously designed Dwars (doors) from where devotees can gain access to the majestic Bhawan for seeking Goddess Kalka’s Darshan. More precisely, it is this structure that houses the most revered Goddess Kalka in the ‘Pindi’ form. Presently, the Temple is undergoing a major revamp and promises to wear a stunning look shortly. Additionally, there are numerous other Dharamshalas alongside shopping stalls in and around the temple complex that enable countless number of visitors to pick and buy the wide ranging variety of Puja Samagari. The temple, centrally located in the heart of south Delhi is in close proximity to posh colonies of Kalkaji, Okhla, New Friends Colony, East of Kailash and city’s industrial hub, Okhla.
The recently renovated area in and around the commercial hub Nehru Place has done a world of good to the Temple, as it has proffered a more elegant and picturesque touch to the overall ambience with tall, lofty skyscrapers and widely metalled roads all leading to the Temple. Added to this, there is the ornamental and craftily landscaped Aastha Kunj Park in the close vicinity that further goes to lend a majestic and tranquil touch to the surrounding environs. Albeit, there are innumerable temples throughout India, dedicated to Maa Durga, the true manifestation of the absolute energy that pervades the universe, Kalkaji Temple has acquired an inimitable and distinguishing identity of its own over the years. Such is the ‘divine pull’ that it takes just a solitary visit to be allured to this “Divine Place of Worship” forever. Talk to devotees and they confess instantly, that they have been hooked to this unique place, virtually since time immemorial. What’s further more striking and distinctive, is the unusually large number of youngsters that throng this place throughout the year. This so, because it’s a general myth shared by a majority that youngsters are comparatively lesser drawn towards spirituality and mysticism. However, visit the temple and what one gets to spectacle is totally antithesis of the existent myth about youngster’s being less spiritualistic and ritualistic. There are myriads of legends that go synonymous with this ancient temple that dates back to about 3000 years ago, even prior to the era of Pandavas. According to the official version, Pandavas are believed to have ardently appeased and worshipped Goddess Kalka, who subsequently granted them the victory blessing boon in the epic Mahabharata war against the mighty Kauravas. Most of the devotees who have been regular visitors to the place attribute their life’s successes, accomplishments and glory to Goddess Kalka. For those visiting Delhi, a visit to this divine Place of Faith and Worship is a must on their itinerary. Over the years, Kalka Temple has also come to be known as the “Temple of Final Justice”. Quiz devotees or priests and they will have loads to share with you. Says Pandit Laxmi Dutt (Babli), a priest, “Goddess Kalka or the “Goddess of Justice” is epitome of “Justice” who delivers fair justice to those in her divine refuge. This is one court which supersedes every other court of law in the world, simply because the judgment delivered here, can just not be overruled or argued because the Chief Justice happens to be Maa Kalka. There’s indisputably no one more benevolent and loving than Maa Kalka as even for the sinners who come and seek penance, ‘Her Majesty’ makes them go through the salvation phase, and once they are purified, readily showers them with the choicest of her blessings. Such peerless is this place that devotees can actually feel heavenly vibrations in the literary sense here. ” For the true devotees, Divine Mother grants instant boons and rewards.Besides, it is a general conviction and belief that the Goddess answers all her devotees problems and ensures that no one goes empty handed from her imperial and blissful Temple. Shares Saurabh Chaturvedi, a sewadaar or a volunteer, as he puts it, “I have been in the service of the Holy Mother since the childhood and feel extremely blessed that I have spent the most precious phase of my childhood in Her Majesty’s service, and more aptly at her “Shree Charan”. Barring some initial opposition, my parents soon reconciled to my religious incliantions.
Kalash..of Kalka Temple..beautifully decorated..
The very thought of missing the daily temple routine is dreadful and horrendous since Sewa in Temple has become an integral part of my life’s daily schedule. I aspire to be in Her Divine service till eternity.” Informs renowned devotional singer Narender Chanchal, “People the world over have immense faith in the Mother Divine. Not everyone can come to this unique place of worship for the onus rests solely on Maa Kalka. If “Her Majesty Maa Kalka” so desires, only then a devotee might be summoned here with a Bulawa (Divine call from the Goddess), otherwise not. Symbolically also signifying that one must really consider himself or herself extremely blessed if he or she has been to this Temple. Bhandaras are organized and scintillating Bhajan and Kirtans are sung in praise of Maa. Interestingly, Goddess Kali has always enjoyed a significant presence in our culture. Karishamas (Miracles) happen here in this ancient Temple. A person’s worries, tensions and fears are soon overcome when one comes in the celestial refuge of Matarani. Devotes, irrespective of caste, creed or religion, have been flocking to this timeless place of worship ages after ages, and generations after generations. Such is the conviction amongst the followers and devotees that they commence the auspicious phases of their life by paying a visit to this Holy place.” Adds Pandit Naresh Bharwaj, a priest, “Though devotees visit the Temple round the year, the main attraction is on Tuesday’s and Saturday’s, and more significantly, during the Navaratri festival, when devotees come from far and near. People in and around this Temple have immense faith on the Mother Divine. The dignity of this place powers the devotees to return here time and again. No one with a pure heart returns empty handed from her portals.” Kalkaji Temple has always been a beacon of faith and fulfillment to thousands of devotees from all over the world holding great significance for the pilgrims. Alongside organizing Bhandaras, visitors can appreciate and dance to some of the most scintillating Bhajan and kirtans sung in praise of Maa. During Navratra’s, the Temple is totally crammed with thousands of devotees who flock to this place from all parts of the country for performing various sorts of religious rituals and for seeking Divine Darshan of Kalka Maa. During this nine-day period, there is festivity and bonhomie all around as the entire place gets enlivened with mesmerizing diyas, Jaikaaras and religious hymns all in praise of Universal Mother Durga. In the wake of the recent terror attacks, security in and around the temple complex has been strengthened alongside installation of CCTV’s for keeping a round the clock vigil for averting any sort of any untoward eventuality.
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January 17, 2011
When all roads lead to Kalkaji Temple
Braving the breezy chill of January month, countless devotees congregated on the holy premises of the famous Kalkaji Temple to witness unprecedented magic of electrifying devotional musical extravaganza. The occasion being the eighth successive Bhavya Bhagwati Jagran celebrated every year on 25th January in Kalkaji Temple. The grandeur of the entire carnival was a spectacular once in a lifetime sight replete with renowned performers, opulent stages, diverse range of aromatic flowers, robust security arrangements and more significantly arrangement of scrumptious Bhandara Prasad ensued by free distribution of pious merchandise.
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January 29, 2011
Kalkaji Temple all decked up for the big Jagran Night
South Delhi is abuzz with inconceivable festivity as ardent devotees of the Divine Goddess are captivatingly engrossed in giving the eighth successive Bhavya Bhagwati Jagran a grand, ceremonial touch. Come January every year, and one see the majestic Temple of Goddess Kali all decked up for the divinely 25th Jagran night. The men behind this devotional show of resplendence at its pristinely best are the obsequious and energetic team of Shree Kalkaji Sajja Sewadar Mitra Mandal who are well known for their extravagant celebrations. As many as eleven famed singers will sing enchanting bhente (soul soothing devotional recitations) in praise and honour of the Holy Mother. While the year 2010 saw the Jagran festivity getting extended to thirty six hours instead of the customary twelve hours, this year’s Jagran will be a one day affair commencing from 9 am in the morning of 25th, and culminating on the morning of 26th at 6 am. It’s a sight to behold as passionate devotees go all out to ensure the total success of the grand carnival. What gives the 25th January Jagran in the premises of Kalkaji Temple a distinctive touch is the number of renowned singers performing on one stage replete with astounding adorning of pandals coupled with the glittering, sweet-smelling flower garlands. Surely a remarkable way for appeasing the Holy Mother.
Renowned Punjbai singer Gurdas Mann is foraying into devotional singing after24 long years, and quite aptly, he chose the forum of 25thJanuary Kalkaji Temple Jagran as the best way to do that. A lavish Bhandara will follow with the distribution of Prasad at the end.
Narendra Chanchal....Maata's voice..
Jagran and Narender Chanchal have become synonymous over the years. Ever since Chanchal took to devotional singing, the concept of Jagrans and Chowkis has acquired an altogether novel dimension. By the grace of Divine Goddess, Chanchal is said to have revolutionized the concept of enthralling people with his heart rendering and soulful ‘Mata ki Bhente’ recitations. For Chanchal who has been a regular at Kalkaji Temple, the 25th January Jagran holds colossal relevance. Remarks the midnight singer as he is popularly referred to, “Being one of the ancient most Shaktipithas, the dignity of Kalkaji Temple powers the devotees to return here time and again. No one with a pure heart returns empty handed from her portals. The winter chill is no deterrent for the massive strength of devotees coming from far flung places to attend the 25th January Night Jagran. The devotees indulge in great festive revelry, and as the night progresses, so does the exuberance and buoyancy of the ever deluging crowds.”
DEVOTIONAL SINGER PARVEEN JOHAR
One person who deserves special mention is Anuj Mittal, president of Shree Kalkaji Sajja Sewadaar Mitra Mandal who has been organizing these mega Jagran Nights with his indefatigable team of devotees. “The best part about the January Jagran is its being celebrated in the premises of the ancient and famous Shree Kalkaji Temple. The whole Temple is transformed into one mammoth festivity destination during the Jagran. People haling from different caste, creeds and regions congregate here. This year will see the revival of traditional hymns, also known as “Pakke Bhajan” in reverence of the Supreme Mother. About 501 devotees will partake in the ‘Durga Stuti Paath” wherein all of them will individually light their oil lamps alongside their Kalash. The opulent Jagran fiesta presents a mesmerizing sight with devotees, dressed in the best of their traditional attires, pouring in from all parts of the country. It is believed that the true devotees who remain awake during the Jagran night are granted boons and rewards by the Divine Mother.”
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January 20, 2011