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Kalkaji Temple

Location: Just opposite to the Bahai House of Worship (Lotus Temple), East of Nehru Place in South Delhi

Time to Visit: Open on all days except Monday

Preferred Timings: Morning and evening aarti (prayer) time

Admission Fees: Free and open to all

Photography charges: nil

How to Reach:Tourists can either take local buses from various points within the city to reach this structure located in South Delhi, or they can hire auto-rickshaws and taxis or metro rail.

Nearest Railway Station: Nizamuddin Railway Station

Nearest Metro Station: Central Secretariat

Functional Metro Station: Central Secretariat

Nearest International Airport: Indira Gandhi International Airport

Time required for sightseeing:About 1 ½ hours

Parking: Free and open to all

(All data as of October 2005)

Kalkaji Temple, popularly known as Kalkaji Mandir is a renowned temple dedicated to Kalka Devi or Kali, one of the incarnations of Goddess Durga. Just a kilometer away from Nehru Place, Okhla Industrial Estate and the new developed Kalkaji colony, the temple is thronged by thousands of pilgrims every year during the festival of Navratri. This is a nine-day festival, during which a large fair is organized here and the place takes on a real carnival atmosphere, complete with the vibrant commotion of hawkers.

Said to be located on a hill, the temple was built in the middle of 18th century and the oldest portion of the existing temple dates back to 1764. However, according to Laura Sykes 'Marathas plundered the fair at Kalka Devi, near Okhla' during the battle of 1738 with the Mughals in Talkatora. In the middle of the 19th century, Raja Kedarnath, Peshkar of Emperor Akbar II made certain changes and additions to the temple. The stone, which represents the goddess Kali, is housed in a twelve-sided structure. The whole temple is made up of white marble and granite tiles and is visited by a few hundred worshippers every day. In the vicinity of the temple are the Mandir's dharamshalas, the rest houses for pilgrims, which were built by the donations of many devotees in the early 20th century.

Bathing the Goddess Kali with pure milk is a major part of the puja ceremony performed here. According to legend, every day a cow gave all her milk to Goddess Kalkaji. The owner of the cow was a farmer, who built a temple in her honour.

Visitors should be alert in the area as the place is very crowded and there can be few anti-social elements (pickpockets) after your wallet or precious possessions. Offerings can be purchased just before the entrance of the temple.

Special Attraction/ Annual Event:

There are four Prayer Sessions everyday. These Prayer Sessions are unique, as prayers from all religions are recited during these Prayer Sessions. Prayer Session Timings: 1000 hrs - 1015 hrs (15 minutes), 1200 hrs - 1215 hrs (15 minutes), 1500 hrs - 1515 hrs (15 minutes), 1700 hrs - 1715 hrs (15 minutes).

Nearby Tourist Attractions:

Qutab Minar, Khirki Masjid, Nizamuddin's Shrine and Chirag Dehlvi's Dargah

Nearby Places to Eat

Hotel Park Royal, Karim's, Supper Factory and Salims in Kailash Colony Market, Mc Donald's and sophisticated eating joints in Greater Kailash-1's market, many good food joints in Nehru place including the likes of Nathu's, Domino's Pizza, many good restaurants in Kalkaji Market and C. R. Park markets.

Nearby Shopping Venues

Nehru Place (electronic items), Kalkaji Market and C R Park Market (residential markets), Greater Kailash-1 Market (all types of consumer goods, especially garments).

Last Updated On: 2011/07/04

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