Kali Bari Mandir
The Kali Bari Mandir is situated very close to the famous Birla Mandir on Mandir Marg [Road] in Delhi and easily reachable via local transport. This Temple was constructed as a special devotion to Goddess Kali Maa and is very small and simple in its architectural design and style. It is well known for its Prasad which is a must try for all visitors and tourists.
The Kali Bari Temple is a significant part of the Bengali Community in Delhi, who ardently worships Goddess Kali Maa, who is also known to many Bengali communities as Kalika. Her name ‘Kali’ means ‘Black’, which is derived from a folk name which means ‘Kala’ or ‘force of time’ as per Hindu mythology and is generally associated with supreme and eternal energy and hence is depicted as a Goddess with black skin which is greatly noticeable in all the Goddess Kali Maa Statues.
In the present era, Goddess Kali is considered as the ‘Goddess of Time and Change’ and is also depicted as being very violent and dark in nature, however, she is known as the incarnation of the ultimate annihilation of the bad and win over the good. She is also believed to be the ‘Redeemer of the Universe’ or ‘Bhavatarini’ and hence is worshipped as a mother of ultimate reality.
Goddess Kali is also represented as the consort of Lord Shiva and many statues will depict her as standing over the body of Lord Shiva displaying her red tongue and large angry looking eyes and wearing a garland of beheaded heads of demons. She is also revered by other Hindu religious sects as Durga Maa, Sati, Parvathi, Bhadra Kali, Rudrani and Chamunda and is considered as one of the 10 fiercest Tantric Goddesses.
The Kali Bari Temple is a must visit especially during the festival of Durga Puja which is held every year during the months of October and November. During the Durga Puja Festival, the Temple is transformed into a centre of pilgrim exuberances and packed with devotional prayers and colourful celebrations. The premise of the temple houses a huge Peepal Tree which is considered very sacred and holy amongst all devotees. Devotees are often seen tying a red thread around the bark of the people tree and making a wish as it is believed to fulfil all wishes and later the red thread is untied upon fulfilment of their wish.
A unique fact about the Kali Bari Mandir is that this is probably the only temple in India where liquor is offered to Goddess Kali due to the belief that she is one of the most terrifying, dark and war oriented incarnation of Durga Maa. Visitors from all walks of life are welcome to witness this event anytime between 0430 hours and 1200 hours and from 1600 hours to 2100 hours any day. The Temple complex also homes a Rakshit Library with a good reading room free of cost and accommodation for tourists are also available at a very reasonable cost.