Do you recognize this temple- widely believed to be one of the five surviving temples from the Mahabharata period in Delhi?
This is the temple of Yog Maya in Mehrauli, close to Qutb complex and Adham Khan’s tomb. The current structure is a 19th century one, but a devi temple is believed to have been here since centuries, first built by the Pandavas of Mahabharata! In fact, some accounts mention that Delhi / Mehrauli used to be called Yoginipura after this ancient temple.
Today it’s still a live temple visited by hundreds of pilgrims, and is an important part of the “Phool walon ki sair” celebrations in Mehrauli during the rainy season.
The drawing is from a 200 year old collection of paintings of Delhi monuments commissioned by then British Resident Thomas Metcalfe.
10 Comments Add yours
Such a beautiful and awesome treat. Hopes, I am not able to recognize this beautifully awesome temple?
Unfortunately no 😦
Hey Mridula, this is the Yog Maya temple in Mehrauli, believed to have been first built by the Pandavas! Have updated the post with more info 🙂
Does it still exist?..Would really love to see it 🙂
Yes Anubha! Very close to the Adham Khan tomb in Mehrauli/ Mehrauli bus terminus.
Will surely check it out..thanks 🙂
I came across this interesting story in Bashiruddin Ahmad’s ‘Waqiat Dar Ul Hukumat Dehli’, an exhaustive Urdu work on Delhi’s monuments:
” …And some people say that when Prithviraj Chauhan’s daughter Maya accepted Islam, her friends became worried as to what would happen if the king came to know of it. In a state of great anxiety, they threw themselves down a well that was situated somewhere near what is now the Yogmaya Temple. The king, Prithviraj Chauhan, after learning of this desperate act, had them cremated and uttered the words ” unhoney bada jog kamaya” ( lit. they earned a lot of virtue) Thenceforth, the temple that came up on the spot was known as Jog Maya”
It was probably a piece of local folklore. According to the book, the temple-complex contained 22 buildings , most of which were constructed by Seth Sedhamal during the reign of Akbar Shah II.
Hi Naushirvan, so good to have you back here…you have been missed! And the story is fascinating- didn’t know any of it.
If you don’t mind me asking, are you by any chance a historian? You seem to have exhaustive knowledge about Delhi’s history and folklore!
well, I am not a historian. But I do like collecting works on Delhi ( English/Urdu/Farsi). One would be astounded at the volumes that have been written on our city , its history and monuments. Perhaps no other city has been documented as meticulously.
We are quite lucky that most of the works have survived ( even though the actual sites/scenes they describe no longer exist).
Unfortunately, in its quest to project Delhi as a modern mega-city, out people and government have neglected its incredible heritage. Much has to do with the reduction in the city’s indigenous Muslim population from 40% before Partition to roughly 10% now and at the same time their replacement with Pakistani Punjabi Hindu and Sikh refugees who had no connection whatsoever with the city’s heritage!
Someone said well- “A society that ignores its past dooms its present and future!” That’s something Delhi will rue in the future. Just 3 World Heritage Sites out of so many scattered across the city? And those daily reports of encroachments on heritage lands! Neglect of monuments, even those as massive as Tughlaqabad Fort! Hell, my city is indeed going mad in this maddening race called globalisation!