It is customary to talk of the eight cities of Delhi, though actually there are about fifteen sites having distinct stages of habitation in and around Delhi. The long history of this area is not difficult to understand. Delhi lies at a strategically significant position at the opening of the fertile Indo-Gangetic plain, through which have poured the hordes of invaders.
Delhi by tradition traces its history to the Mahabharata. The legendary tale of an epic war fought between two houses of cousins, the Kauravas and the Pandavas, nearly three thound years ago. The city of Indraprastha was one of the bones of contention between them and this city, probably built by Pandavas is said to be the original city of Delhi.
Nothing remains of Indraprastha above ground now. But recent excavations at the Old Fort have revealed a fine grey earthenware that could support the theory of the existence of Indraprastha at that site.
Sriman Narayan who had taken the avathara as Lord Rama had shown the governance through dharma to us and left for Vaikuntha. All the characters of Ramayana had left for Vaikuntha, but Hanuman remained here with us in this world, to spread the Ramaraj and dharma. Not only that, he had seen Sriman Narayan in the next yuga as Lord Krishna and his help was sought for reestablishment of dharma. There is anecdote in Mahabarata about the presence of Hanuman during that time. Pandavas were on exile imposed by Duryodhan.
During that time when roaming about in jungles, Draupadi smelled a divine fragrance. She was so enamored of the fragrance, that she requested Bheema to fetch the flower. Bheema went in search of the flower, following the lead given by the fragrance. He found an old looking monkey covering the path of his way. Bheema condescendingly asked the monkey to make way for him unaware that the monkey in non other then his brother Hanuman (both are vayu amsa). The arrogance in the tone of Bheema prompted Hanuman to ask Bheema to lift his tail since he old and weak. Bheema with reluctance lifted the tail that was blocking his way, but could not do so even after several tries. Then he realised that the monkey is Lord Hanuman. Bheema apologised for his arrogant behavior and said he had realised that power devoid of arrogance is greater.
On the request of Bheema, Anjuna and Lord Krishna it is said that Lord Hanuman was present in the flag post of the chariot of Anjuna driven by Lord Krishna during the Kurushetra war.
There are five shrines in Delhi that are identified with Pandavas in their Indraprastha by the tradition. They are Yogamaya temple in Mehrauli, Kalkaji Maa Temple in Kalkaji, Bhairav Temple near Purana-killa (Old fort), Bhairav temple in Kalkaji, BalaHanuman Temple,Connaught Place near Jantar Mandir. It is believed that the shrines were built during more or less same period and all these idols are said to be swayambhuhu (self manifested ones)
The Ancient Hanuman Temple situated on Baba Kharak Singh Marg, New Delhi near Connaught Place, Jantar Mandir is one of the oldest Hanuman temples of India and dating back to the era of the Pandavas. The idol of this mandir is a swayambhuhu.
The city Indraprashtha is part of the history and Delhi was seat of power many dynasties. There are legendary stories of Hindu resistance against repeated Muslim invasions by the Rajput King, Prithviraj Chauhan. Several temples built by Tomars and Chauhans, were pulled down by the conquering Mulims and their stones reutilised mainly in the construction of the Auwwat-ul-Islam mosque at Lal Kot, in the Qutb complex.
The Hanuman temple in Baba Kharak Singh Marg near Connaught place has withstood Mughals' on-slot of Hindu temples. There is a crescent moon symbol in the vimana, unlike the Aum or Sun symbol above the vimana as in other Hindu shrines. This has influenced the Mughals then not to destroy the shrine. The crescent moon symbol in the vimana is not to be found normally in any Hindu temple where prominence is for the sun god or AUMKARA.
The deity of Hanuman of this temple is very unique and the face of the Bhagawan Hanuman is seen as that of a Balak (young child) and the priests says Bhagawan here represents Bala Hanuman. He is facing the south and we can see only one eye. Bhagawan Bala Hanuman carries the Gadha in His left hand and His right hand rests over his chest as in prayer. Adorned with flowers and a chentura one needs to study the form of the murti to observe this.
Following divine instructions received by Maharaj Mangaldas or Dadaguru as he is known, the identity of swyambhuhu Anjaneya was established.
The temple’s main entrance gate known, as Dwar adores embossed artwork done by the skilled craftsmen is a testimony of the devotion. The complete epic of Ramayana had been depicted in this art form and the Dwar is said to be centuries old. The temple had been reconstructed during late seventies. Complete Ramayana as seen by Swami Tulsidas had been painted in the roof of main mantap. The paintings have been done so beautifully and are a feast to the eyes. Just below the paintings the entire verses of Sundarakant of Swami Thulasidas's Ramachritha manas has been engraved in marble stabs.
The entire temple complex had been redone and developed by the New Delhi Municipal Council with great care and serves as hub for the religious activity. The complex is also renowned for the ‘mehandi’ work done on the hands of ladies. Designs are drawn on the palms of ladies using mehandi paste. This form of art popular in Rajastan had come to stay here in Delhi and this temple complex serves as a node.
Visit this ancient temple and have dharshan of the Bala roopi Hanuman when in Inderaprasta (Delhi) next time, and be assured of peace of mind.
Ed: earlier than July 2001
update Sep 2019
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SRI HANUMAN THINKS DIFFERENTLY, THINKS FAST, THINKS AHEAD AND ACTS FOR SURE.
Our salutations to this Hanuman who always brings subham - everything that is good - for His devotees and eliminates the bad and the evil. He removes even the traces of bad thoughts and deeds from His devotees. i.e He makes them pure in words, thought and deed.