Nearest Metro Station : Chandni Chowk
The Story :
The 800 year old Gauri Shankar Temple is a Hindu temple and is located near the Digambar Jain Lal Mandir on the main Old Delhi road in Chandni Chowk. The Gauri Shankar Temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva and is one of most significant temples of Shaivism. The temple has an 800 year old brown Lingam (phallus stone) encased in a marble representation of a female organ. The Lingam is surrounded by snakes made up of silver and represents a cosmic pillar, the centre of universe or life.
According to Hinduism, the love story of Godess Parvati & Lord Shiva, more fondly called Gauri-Shankar has been regarded as the very first love story of the Universe. It is believed that their love was celebrated even by the Gods and the whole world danced & rejoiced. To continue the celebration of their eternal love, the Gauri-Shankar Temple stands in one of the lanes of Chandni Chowk, situated at the heart of Old Delhi.
According to history the temple was built by Apa Ganga Dhar, a Maratha soldier who was a devotee of Lord Shiva. He was once severely injured in a battle and chances of his survival were bleak. So, he prayed to Lord Shiva requesting for his life and promised to build a beautiful temple if he survived. He survived against all odds and builder temple. His name is inscribed in Hindi at the lower part of a pointed pyramidal roof like construction near main entrance of the temple. In 1959, Seth Jaipura renovated the temple and his name is inscribed over the windows of the temple. Inside the temple, idols of lord Shiva and his consort Parvati (Gauri-Shankar) and their two sons, Ganesh and Kartik are present. The idols of Lord Shiva and Parvati, wearing real gold jewellery are situated just behind the Lingham under the silver canopy. The Lingham too has a silver water vessel above it from which droplets of water continuously fall.
Although there are some idols of Hanuman & other Hindu Gods present there, yet the temple is primarily known for Gauri & Shankar. A huge statue of Lord Shiva stands inside the temple which is breathtaking to look at; one can feel the power & the strength of his force.
The atmosphere is quiet, calm & composed. Yogis can be seen chanting “Om Namah Shivay” softly whilst people can be spotted sitting in peace & meditating. At the time of Aarti (prayer offering), which happens in the morning & evening respectively, flaming Diyas (candles), loud claps, bells & chanting of Mantras can be witnessed. The Lingam is bathed with milk, water & showered with pretty flowers during the morning Aarti. The energy is tremendous at that time & the reverberations are immense.
One can buy a basket of flowers, garlands & all other materials required for Shiva’s Abhishek (honouring) & also Parshad (food offerings) from shops which are present in the premises of the temple.