We recently visited Pracheen Hanuman Mandir in Connaught Place after a gap of four years. However, I always make sure that I visit this unique temple, whenever I am in Delhi, but it doesn’t always happen. This time, the trip was planned in such a way that Hanuman Mandir visit must happen and it happened. Early morning trip to the temple is really divine experience and I was very happy being there after a gap of so many years.
I always give complete look at the main foyer of the temple which has massive silver plated doors, which are engraved with scenes of the epic Ramayana story. The foyer is ventilated with clerestory windows that are adorned with paintings of Hanuman in the cardinal directions depicting his four aspects. Below each Hanuman painting, the full text of Tulsidas’s Sundar Kand is inscribed on the marble tablets affixed on the walls. It is a great feeling to watch it all…
…I experienced some real nostalgic moments as soon as I entered the temple, which I use to visit many years ago while my stint at BHEL and Mummy use to join me every Tuesday morning to visit the temple. Praying at the temple, made us sail through many challenges in life like the untimely death of my father, and circumstances followed thereon. As everything passes away, so did the tough times but temple visits stayed with us.
It is my favourite religious destination and I miss that most in my life while living in Mumbai besides many other things like evenings in Connaught Place, Shopping in Sarojini Nagar, Dilli Haat, Dilli Chaat, Khadi Gramodyog Bhawan, Lodhi Gardens…my beautiful house in Mayur Vihar. Life has to move on…though! As a ritual, I applied mehndi from the mandir’s mehndi waali and did some bangle shopping in the bangle bazaar in Mandir campus. The bangles sold there can only match the ones being sold in Jaipur’s manihari bazaar.
For the uninitiated, Hanuman Temple in Connaught Place, New Delhi, is an ancient (pracheen in Sanskrit) Hindu temple and is claimed to be one of the five temples of Mahabharata days in Delhi. The idol in the temple, devotionally worshipped as “Sri Hanuman Ji Maharaj” (Great Lord Hanuman), is that of Bala Hanuman namely, Hanuman as a child. The temple, which has a self-manifest idol of Hanuman, has an unusual feature fixed in the spire (Viman) in the form of a crescent moon (an Islamic symbol) instead of the Hindu symbol of Aum or Sun that is commonly seen in most Hindu temples. This became particularly important during the Mughal period corroborating this extraordinary depiction.
The Sanctum Sanctorum, which houses the Hanuman idol, is on the north wall on the right side of the entry foyer (pictured), with the idol facing the southern direction in a small bass Relief carving (pictured). Images of Radha and Krishna, a central triumvirate of Rama, Lakshmana and Sita are also installed to the right of the Hanuman idol on the same wall. As the idol of Hanuman faces the southern direction, devotees can discern only one eye of the idol. The idol depicts a Gada (mace or club) in the left hand with the right hand crossed across the chest showing veneration to the adjacent idol of Lord Rama, Lakshmana and Sita. A tapering crown adorns the idol, which has a sacred thread on the right shoulder and is clad in a fashioned dhoti. Hanuman. The height of the temple is reported to be 108 ft (32.9 m). The ceiling of the main mandap (hall or pavilion) depicts the epic story of Ramayana artistically painted.
Whenever you are in New Delhi next, don’t miss visiting this great abode of Hanumanji.