During the sacred Navratri festival, devotees from far and wide flock to some of these famous temples in Delhi to pay obeisance to Goddess Durga. Some of those famous temples which witness a huge rush of devotees during Navratri are:
This temple, located on the Jhandewalan road on the way to Karol Bagh is an ancient Hindu temple which receives a large number of devotees especially during Navratri. It is one of the most famous temples dedicated to Maa Aadi Shakti. It got its name Jhandewalan during Shah Jahan’s reign due to the prayer flags or Jhandas being offered there. According to the story behind this temple, it was once situated in a mountain region, then this place was excavated and the temple was established. It is said that a man named Badri was an ardent devotee of Goddess Durga, he dreamt of the Goddess and she informed him about the idol and then this temple was constructed at the same place. On the occasion of Navratri, special puja is performed at this shrine and the place is beautifully decorated with flowers and vibrant lights.
Kalkaji or Kalka temple is dedicated to the Kali avatar of Goddess Durga and is located in South Delhi. It was built in 1764 AD and it is believed that the Pandavas had also worshipped there. It is also known as ‘Manokaamna Siddha Peetha’ or ‘Jayanti Peetha’. Manokaamna means desire, Siddha means fulfillment and Peetha means shrine, so, this temple is the place where the Goddess fulfills the devotees’ wishes. According to a legend, it is said that Goddess Kali who was pleased with the prayers and rituals performed by the Gods on Lord Brahma’s advice, appeared on this mount known as Surya Koota Parvata and gave her blessings. Since then, the Goddess made this place as her abode and fulfills the wishes of her devotees.
Dedicated to Goddess Yogmaya, the sister of Lord Krishna, this temple in Mehrauli is believed to be one of the five surviving temples from the Mahabharata period. It is said that Rajput King Hemu reconstructed this temple and brought it back from ruins. Yogmaya or Jogmaya is seen as an aspect of Maya, the illusionary power of God. During Navratri, a large number of enthusiasts visit this temple. According to the belief, the main idol in the temple was that of Yogmaya. Kansa, cousin of Devki (Lord Krishna’s mother) and uncle of Yogmaya tried to kill her on Janmashtami when Krishan was born. But Yogmaya, who was substituted for Krishna, disappeared after predicting Kansa’s death by Krishna.
Chhattarpur temple, dedicated to Goddess Katyayani is the second largest temple complex in India, situated on the southwestern outskirts of Delhi. It was built by Baba Sant Nagpal Ji in 1974 and his Samadhi lies in the temple complex. A side shrine within the main temple has a shrine of Goddess Katyayani which is open only during the Navratri season when a large number of visitors assemble there for the holy darshan. At the entrance of the temple is an old tree where people tie threads in order to get their desires fulfilled. There is another shrine of Goddess Durga in the temple which is open to the devotees from morning till evening.
This temple, situated in Preet Vihar, East Delhi is about 22 years old. A large cave inside the temple gives the feeling as if one is in the Vaishno Devi shrine. It has another small cave and the main attractions of the cave are the idols of Goddesses Katyayani, Chintpurni and Jwala Devi. Gufa temple is very popular with the devotees during the Navratri festival.