History of Yogmaya Temple
According to history Yogmaya Temple has been built by the Pandavas, at the end of Mahabharata. Mehrauli place is also named as Yoginipura after the temple in the 12th-century Jain scriptures. The repair and renovation of the temple took place first during the rule of Mughal Emperor Akbar by Lala Sethmal.
Legend of Yogmaya Temple
According to the legend of Yogmaya Temple, Kansha had once tried to kill the deity- sister of god Krishna. Yogmaya had been actually substituted for Krishna, vanished from his hands and predicted his death at the hands of Lord Krishna. As per another legend once Akbar's son Mirza Jahangir was imprisoned for firing at a British Resident that resulted in killing of a bodyguard. Akbar's wife being depressed at her son's confinement prayed to Yogmaya for his safety. She vowed to place pankhas made of flowers at the Yogmaya temple. Till date is practise is continued in the name of Phool Walon Ki Sair. The festival is celebrated for three days during October every year.
Structure of Yogmaya Temple
Yogmaya Temple has been built in a simple and plain way. It has an entrance hall and a sanctum sanctorum that houses the main idol of Yogmaya. It is made of black stone and has been placed in a marble well of 2 ft (0.6 m) width and 1 ft (0.3 m) depth. It is covered in sequins and cloth. Two small fans have been suspended from the roof over the idol of the deity. The garbhagriha is square in shape and is 17 ft. It is adorned with a flat roof over which a truncated shikara. The temple also has an attractive dome. The temple is enclosed with high walls that are almost 400 ft. the four corners are decorated with towers. The temple has altogether twenty four towers in its premises. It was done under the instructions of Sood Mal, the builder. The main tower above the sanctum is 42 ft in height. It is embellished with a copper plated shikara or pinnacle. Earlier the floor of the temple had been built of red stone but later it was replaced by marble.
The temple has a marble table of 18 inches square and 9 inches height that has been placed in front of the deity in the sanctum floor. Here the flowers and the sweets brought by the devotees are placed and offered to the deity. Earlier a square iron cage was displayed within the premises of the temple. It was 10 ft in height and had two stone tigers inside it. The cage has now been placed in an open wall panel.
Yogmaya Temple is well maintained by the people who live in the vicinity. For years together these people have been responsible for the maintenance of the temple. They are engaged in decorating the goddess twice a day, cleaning the temple, making and distributing prasad to the devotees. The temple is visited by many people from far off places who come here to offer prayers at the feet of the Lord.
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