(Last Updated on : 11-11-2014)
Gauri Shankar temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva. The lingam is girded by snakes and represents a 'cosmic pillar, the centre of universe, the life itself'. Statues of Gauri (Goddess Parvati) and Shankar (Lord Shiva) stand beneath the silver canopy, inside the main shrine, ornamented with pricey finery. Other idols of their sons, Kartik (the God of War) and Ganesh (the elephant-headed God) are placed to their sides.
The Gauri-Shankar Mandir of Delhi counts among the most revered temples of 'Shaivism' (a sect of Hinduism that worship Lord Shiva) in India. A flight of marble stairs, beautified with pillars carved with chains and bells, lead into temple courtyard. Offerings made in the temple include 'bilva' (wood apple), 'chandan' (sandal wood paste), marigolds, red powder, rice and cotton threads. One of the high points of the temple is a marble chair of Bhagat Swaroop Brahmachari, a Hindu saint who spent more than 50 years in the temple.
Legendary stories associate itself with the Gauri Shankar temple. One of them is that of Apa Ganga Dhar, a Maratha Hindu soldier who was a staunch believer of Shiva. One day he was fiercely injured in battle, with his survival chances being quite dull. He prayed to the Lord and pledged that if he survives, he would build a temple dedicated to the Lord. To everyone's amazement, Ganga Dhar survived and according to his word, he built the temple, known today as the Gauri-Shankar Mandir. Another legend speaks of Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb who had ordered that the temple bells would not be rung. From that day onwards for the next three days, he kept hearing the ringing of the bells in his ears, in a continuous flow. Eventually, he yielded and took back his orders.