Pracheen Hanuman Mandir Delhi located at Connaught Place, New Delhi, is an ancient Hindu temple and is believed to be one of the five temples of the Mahabharata days in Delhi. The other four temples include the Kalkaji, a Kali temple in South Delhi containing a Swayambu rock Idol, the Yogmaya Temple near Qutub Minar, the Bhairav temple near the Purana Qila and the Nili Chatri Mahadev (Shiva temple) at Nigambodh Ghat.
Pracheen Hanuman Mandir Delhi, which houses a self-manifested idol of Hanuman, has an intriguing feature fixed in the spire which is in the form of a crescent moon instead of the Hindu symbol of “Om”. This feature became mainly important during the Mughal period henceforth corroborating this extraordinary depiction.
The idol which is devotionally worshipped in the temple is of Bala Hanuman, the infant depiction of Sri Hanuman Ji Maharaj. The entry to the temple is through the Baba Kharak Singh Marg where the temple is located. Devotees enter through a set of marble steps from the road which leads into the main foyer of the temple through massive silver-plated doors, which are engraved with scenes of the epic Ramayana story.
The foyer is well ventilated with clerestory windows which are beautifully adorned with paintings of Hanuman in the four cardinal directions depicting his four aspects. Below each Hanuman painting is present a marble inscription of Tulsidas’s Sundar Kand that is affixed to the walls. The Sanctum Sanctorum, that houses the Hanuman idol is on the north wall with the idol facing the southern direction. 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 only one eye of the idol. The idol depicts a Gada in the left hand with the right hand crossed across the chest showing devotion to the adjacent idol of lord Rama, Lakshman, and Sita. The idol is adorned with a tapering crown and also has a sacred thread on the right shoulder and is clad in a dhoti. The height of the temple is reportedly 108 ft (32.9 m). The ceiling of the main mandap depicts the epic story of Ramayana which is artistically painted.
One of the most important features of this temple is the 24–hour chanting of the mantra (hymn) “Sri Ram, Jai Ram, Jai Jai Ram”, since August 1, 1964, which has earned the temple a place in the Guinness Book of World Records. Several beliefs and traditional rituals are associated with this temple, one of them being that if the devotees whisper their heart’s wishes into the ears of the idol of Nandi bull (Lord Shiva’s mount) which is situated inside the temple, they are sure to be granted.
Pracheen Hanuman Mandir Delhi History
- It was originally built by Maharaja Man Singh I of Amber who ruled from during Emperor Akbar’s reign and was reconstructed by Maharaja Jai Singh in 1724.
- Tulsidas who wrote Ramacharitamanas visited this temple in Delhi.
- During his visit to Delhi, he was summoned by the Mughal Emperor who asked him to perform a miracle, which he successfully did with the blessings of Lord Hanuman.
- The Emperor was impressed by Tulsidas’ feat and presented the Hanuman temple with an Islamic crescent Moon finial which adorns the temple spire.
- The popular legends suggest that because of the crescent moon symbol on the spire, the temple had not been destroyed by the Muslim rulers who had invaded India at various times.
- Of late the Delhi’s Municipal Corporation has taken it upon them to renovate the temple.
Significance of the Pracheen Hanuman Mandir Delhi
- Delhi which is located on the banks of the Yamuna River is believed to be the Indraprastha city which was built by the Pandavas of the Mahabharata epic period.
- Pandavas who ruled from Indraprastha lost their kingdom in a dice game to the Kauravas and were exiled for a 12-year term.
- Hanuman who is considered to be the brother of Bhima as both of them are Vayu’s children, appeared in the forest disguised as a weak and aged monkey.
- Bhima who was searching for a fragrant flower as asked by Draupadi, found Hanuman lying with his tail blocking his way and, unaware of Hanuman’s identity, scornfully asked him to remove his tail.
- However, Hanuman told Bhima to lift the tail as he was too weak to do it.
- Bhima tried hard several times but failed to lift it, in spite of being a man of great strength and it was then he realized that the monkey was none other his own brother.
- He apologized for his arrogant behavior and requested Hanuman to show him his true form.
- Hanuman was then said to have enlarged himself and showed Bhima the size in which he had crossed the sea to go to Lanka, looking for Sita during the Ramayana period.
After the Pandavas won the Kurukshetra war against the Kauravas and re–established themselves in Indraprastha, the Pandava clan is stated to have built five temples of Hanuman and other deities
Pracheen Hanuman Mandir Timings
- Puja Timings: 5.00 am to 1.00 pm and 3.00 pm to 11.00 pm
- The temple is open for a full day on Tuesday and Saturday.
- Tuesday and Saturday are considered to be special days of worship of Hanuman when devotees come to the temple in large numbers.
Dress Code at Pracheen Hanuman Mandir
Men and women are advised to wear decent clothing. The entry is free. People are supposed to leave their chappals and other footwear outside the temple while entering the holy sanctum.
Festivals Celebrated at the Pracheen Hanuman Mandir Delhi
Hanuman Jayanti: The birthday celebrations of Lord Hanuman, is held every year with great pomp on the full moon (Purnima) day in the month of Chaitra (March – April) as per the lunar Hindu Panchangam or Hindu calendar. Colourful processions with festoons and with devotees wearing Hanuman masks and tails and carrying large idols of Hanuman fill the streets.
Poojas and Rituals at Pracheen Hanuman Mandir Delhi
The daily pujas are carried out at all times of the day. Tuesdays and Saturdays are considered for worshipping Lord Hanuman, so there are a few special pujas carried out on these days.
How to Reach
By Road: Connaught Place’s Prachin Hanuman Mandir is well connected by bus and the Delhi Metro services. Besides, one can also rent a car or auto-rickshaw from anywhere to Connaught Place. Delhi Transport Department has added more buses to its fleet. Though the old buses are still in service, now you will find the green buses which are more comfortable to reach Connaught Place and Prachin Hanuman Mandir. Terminuses such as Kashmere Gate, Sarai Kale Khan, and Anand Vihar are located nearby which leads to various important places in the city.
By Rail: Almost all the metro trains in New Delhi passes through Connaught Place Hanuman Mandir Delhi. Whether one is coming from Noida, Gurgaon, India Gate, and the Airport or from the Delhi University area, they will find ample metro trains to reach the destination. Besides the Delhi Metro. Connaught Place metro station is the nearest metro station to Hanuman Mandir Delhi. Also, New Delhi Railway station is the nearest railway station to Prachin Hanuman Mandir. Connaught Place is located just minutes away from both the Old Delhi Railway Station as well as New Delhi Railway Station. Most travellers visiting Delhi, prefer staying in one of the hotels in Connaught Place because of its good connectivity to different parts of the city.
By Air: Delhi is well connected with domestic and international flights, to all the major cities within and outside India. Almost all the major airlines have their flights operating from Indira Gandhi International Airport of New Delhi. Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International Airport is connected to all the important cities of the world with almost all the major international airlines operating from here.
Where to stay
Several 3-star and 5-star hotels are also available for pilgrims and tourists. Hotels namely The Park, The Connaught and Ram’s Inn are pretty popular among the tourists who come to visit regularly and are also located nearby.
Where to eat
Many lodges and hotels are present in the near proximity catering to different tastes. The kachoris available at the local shops are very famous. The temple’s neighbourhood is also famous for its clustered shops of bangles, kachoris, and kulfis. The Prasad served at the temple and its premises is made of pure desi ghee which altogether enamors the visiting crowd.
- Kalkaji Mandir – Kalkaji Mandir is a famous Hindu temple dedicated to Hindu Goddess Kali. This temple is located in the southern part of Delhi, India, in Kalkaji, a locality which has derived its name from this famous temple and is located right opposite to the Nehru Place business centre. The temple is easily commutable by all forms of public transport. The belief surrounding the temple is that the image of the Goddess Kalka or Kali, here is a self-manifested one, and the shrine dates back to Satya Yuga when the Goddess Kalika had incarnated and killed the demon Raktabija along with other giant demons.
- Chhatarpur Mandir – The second largest temple complex in India which is dedicated to Goddess Katyayani, the sixth avatar of the Navadurga, who had slain the ferocious demon Mahishasur. The temple is famous for its Veesarra form of architecture and Navratra festivities which are celebrated with pomp and glory.
- Mata Sheetala Mandir– Sheetala Mata Mandir which is located at Gurgaon village, a suburb of Gurgaon (Guru Dronacharya’s birth place), in the state of Haryana, is only 25 km from Hanuman Mandir. Sheetala Devi is also called as Bhagat Lalita Maa and Masani Maa. The word Sheetala refers to the disease smallpox and it is believed that if this deity is invoked with faith, she dispels the disease. Situated near a pond, this temple witnesses hordes of pilgrims throughout the year. During the month of Chaitra (March-April), this place resembles the grounds of Kumbh-Mela. Many devotees visit this place for the mundane ceremony of their children and also newly married couples who come to take blessings for a happy married life.