The Mahakal Mandir or Mahakal Temple is a sacred temple for the Hindus which is situated in Darjeeling in the province of West Bengal, India committed to Shiva, the Hindu god, which is the third god in the Hindu magistrate. It is one of the unique places for Darjeeling tourism where you can find both Buddhist and Hindu cultures.
The Temple was built by Lama Dorjey Rinzing in 1782 and is located on Observatory Hill in Darjeeling. It is a mixture of both Hindu and Buddhist religions. It is a remarkable religious site where both religions coexist together harmoniously.
Overview of Mahakal Temple
The Mahakal Temple is situated behind the Chowrasta and is encircled by the Mall Road which is on the edge of Darjeeling town. The approach is a narrow road uphill around 100 yards away from the Mall and you can go by foot only.
This temple stands where the first Dorjeling Monastery was in the older times before it got pulled down in an attack and was ultimately moved to another area with a new name. As per the beliefs, the Mahakal temple cherishes three Shiva Lingams, which was manifested in the year 1782. This temple includes three gold plated icons of Hindu Gods – Vishnu, Brahma, and Shiva, the trios that are widely worshiped.
The Mahakal temple is a profoundly worshipped temple on the highest point of Darjeeling Observatory Hill. The twisted paths may leave the travelers exhausted, but the result of the journey will be quite blissful for Darjeeling tourism. There are large signboards on the pathways to guide travelers to reach their destination.
Things that are around Mahakal Temple
There are several things that you can find around the Mahakal temple that can make your Darjeeling tour memorable.
During your trip, you will find impressive views on the mountainsides, many beautiful cottages, and vibrant meadows. If you are lucky, then you may even get to walk among the mists.
The temple is truly incredible for Darjeeling tourism, regardless of whether it is the magnificent beauty of the place or the profound vibes and the lovely atmosphere. However, you will find a lot of monkeys on your way to the temple and they might attempt to snatch away your things. So, you need to be cautious about them. Other than this, there are no threats.
On the last corner to the top, you will get to see a priest sitting at a small temple on the side of the road. That is Siddhi Sai Baba’s temple. There is a man called Baijanath Pandit, who can share with you all the stories about the temples at the complex that you may like to hear.
There is a deep-rooted history of the Mahakal temple. This is where the original Dorjeling Monastery was located which is now known as Bhutia Busti Monastery. The original monastery was built by the lama Dorje Rinzing in the year 1765.
On entering the premises of the Mahakal temple, the first thing that will grab the attention of the devotees is the presence of flags of the Buddhist prayer. The Hindu prayer chants and the recitation of the Buddhist sculptures form a dynamite ambiance, which is presumably discovered at this spot only.
Close to the Mahakal temple is a white chorten or a Tibetan memorial shrine. It has the relics of Dorje Lama who used to take care of the temple during the 1880s. There are also numerous other little temples and shrines that you will find here. As you enter the complex through the arched gate, on your right side, you will see the temple of goddess Kali. There are several shrines of divinities like the Ganesha, Krishna, Radha, and others.
The view from Observatory Hill is also beautiful. As you stroll along the pathway around the temple, you will see some seating places shaded and those are made of cement. Those are the spots from where you get stunning views. On a sunny day, you can see the ranges of peaks around the trees including the third largest peak of the world, the magnificent Kanchenjunga which stands solemn and majestically when the fog rises deeply through the valleys.
In the Chowrasta Mall, there are several shops selling tea, arts and crafts, clothes, and gifts. This is one of the famous places for shopping destination among Darjeeling tourist. On the hill slopes down to the Mall road, you will find different types of flowers on the rich greenery. The views are awesome. Observatory Hill is rich in flora and fauna. It is a great place for watching birds. One thing that stays consistent here is the sound of birds chirping.
Close to the temple, there is a cave called the Mahakal Cave. There is a yellow arch to the left. You must climb down the steep stairs for reaching to the cave. For that, you must crawl. Inside the cave, you will find the idols of Bhagavati Devi, Durga, and others. It is a great idea to explore the cave for the Darjeeling tour.
How to Reach Mahakal Temple
Jet Airways, Air India, and IndiGo are some of the airlines that go to Bagdogra Airport. You can take a cab from Bagdogra airport to Darjeeling.
The Mahakal temple is located behind the Chowrasta Mall road. The temple is about 100 yards away from the Mall and you must go on foot only. It is an uphill walk so it will take about 15 minutes. No taxis or vehicles are allowed in this place.
The Mahakal temple is a quiet place and one can feel divinity by spending some time here, unlike the chaos which you can find in most other holy places. You can enjoy the views of the mountains and the bright sunny atmosphere with the cool breeze that will make your Darjeeling tour more blissful.
So, if you are planning a trip to Darjeeling, you must visit the Mahakal temple that can be a wonderful experience for you and make your trip complete.