Goddess Durga is worshipped in all her nine forms and with Navratri having set in, the temples of Durga in Delhi are being thronged by devotees. Every worshipper wants to steal a glance of their mata rani’s idol and keep chanting her name hence.
But the followers of Durga, always have an ambition to visit the oldest (and perhaps most revered) temple of their favourite diety, atleast once during the Navratri. From Kali to Durga to Santoshi Maa, all forms are worshipped with equal zeal.
The old and ancient temples of the goddess in Delhi include the famous shrine known as Kalka Mandir, situated at Kalkaji, near Nehru Place.
Few know that is also called ‘Jayanti Peetha' or ‘Manokamna Siddha Peeth’ for legend has it that the significance of this temple is associated with Goddess Kalika who has taken this temple as her abode. Neeraj Bhardwaj, a devotee says, “The Peeth dates back to Satyug when Kalika had incarnated and killed 'Raktbeejasur' along with other rakshas. Even Lord Krishna worshipped this shrine with Pandavas before heading for the battle of ‘Kurukshetra’ and even after their victory.”
Another temple which commands this intense devotion is Jhandewalan Temple located on Rani Jhansi Marg. Legend has it that this temple was built on a sanctorum situated in the mountains. When this place was excavated, then sanctorum of the Goddess descended and this temple came into existence. With the aim to construct a temple at this spot, a merchant, Badridas, gained knowledge about this place and excavated the land and found evidence of the ancient temple.
However, during the excavation, the statue of the goddess broke because of which puja could not be performed here. Thus, Badridas constructed the temple at the place from where the idol was recovered and established a new idol of Durga at the same spot.
There is another old temple of Santoshi Maa in Hari Nagar. The Sri Santoshi Mata Mandir has a tradition of starting at eight in the morning with the lighting up of the Akhand Jyoti by the founder of the temple. Ravi, a devotee says, “I have been visiting this temple since a long time. and worshipping Santoshi mata has given me lots of peace and satisfaction.” The history of the temple is uncertain but a huge number of devotees who visit this place adds to its USP.
Then there is the Chattarpur Mandir in Mehrauli. Located on main MG Road at a distance of about 4 km from Qutub Minar, this temple complex was built somewhere in the 70s-80s and is devoted to Durga.
The architecture is quite modern but impressive and holds great significance amongst devotess who pay visits from across the city. Most of the shrines within the temple complex are made of white marble and the complex has a number of temples dedicated to other gods and goddesses like Vishnu, Ganesha, Lakshmi and Shiva.