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Yogmaya Temple, also known as Jogmaya Temple is a temple dedicated to the goddess Yogamaya. The temple has great historical significance and is said to be situated in the same place as a temple that was built during the end of Mahabharata of which no traces are left. Let us prepare a Yogmaya Temple – Study Notes for UPSC with all the information provided here.
Yogmaya Temple – Study Notes for UPSC
Temples and ancient monuments are an important portion coming under the history and culture category of the UPSC syllabus. Read to find more relevant information on this topic before preparing the Yogmaya Temple – Study Notes for UPSC.
The Legend of Yogamaya
This goddess is also considered to be the sister of Lord Krishna when she took birth as Vindhyavasini. This goddess is said to be an incarnation of Devi Aadi Shakti. It is one of the 51 Shakti Peethas. Yogamaya represents the illusionary powers of the god i.e. Maya. The story goes like this. The evil king Kansa imprisons his sister Devaki and her husband Vasudeva after hearing the prophecy that her 8th son will kill him. He killed the children at birth itself until the seventh.
But Vasudev cleverly replaces the 8th son at the time of birth in Vrindavan and brings back the girl child born to Yashoda and Nand. They plead that since the 8th child is not a son, the prophecy is false. But Kansa still tries to kill the child. Then the child disappears and Yogamaya appears. She foretells Kansa’s death at the hands of Krishna and disappears from the prison. She then went to the Vindhyanchal and lived as Vindhyavasini.
Location of Yogmaya Temple
The Yogamaya temple is situated in a place called Mehrauli near New Delhi. Its location is very close to the Qutab complex. It is a few meters away from the Qutab Minar and the Iron Pillar. The temple is within the Lal Kot walls (an 8th-century fort built by the Tomar Kings), which forms a part of the prehistoric citadel of Delhi city.
Historical Significance of Yogamaya Temple
Meharauli is one of the oldest inhabited cities in India and was treated as the capital of some dynasties in the pre-Islamic period. The city of Mehrauli had a strong Hindu and Jain imprint but most of them were destroyed. The original temple is believed to have been built by the Pandavas after returning from the Kurukshetra war in Mahabharata. Several Jain texts from the 12th century refer to Mehrauli as Yoginipura, named after this temple. It is also said that Prithviraj Chauhan himself was the patron of the Yogini temple before the destruction of his city. The Chauhan kings, who ruled from Qila Rai Pithora in Delhi, had Yogmaya as their Kuldevi.
After that, the temple has undergone several phases, some of destruction, some of reconstruction and some of the addition. According to the native records and local priests, this is one of the 27 temples destroyed by the Muhammad Ghazni and later by the Mamluk dynasty. It is the only surviving pre-sultanate period temple that is still in use for daily worship. It is also one of the five temples that are from the Mahabharata era that survived to the present day. Samrat Vikramaditya Hemu, a Hindu king later restored this temple. An attempt to destroy it again was made during the time of Aurangzeb. It was again reconstructed by Lala Sidhu Mal, who was a nobleman from the court of Akbar second.
The temple was preserved due to the local devotees’ efforts to constantly restore it. Now, the local community, which includes over 200 people who can trace their genealogy back to a common forefather, actively participates in temple maintenance and rituals that follow age-old traditions.
Temple Architecture and the Idol
The current temple, rebuilt in the nineteenth century, is a modern construction with an entrance hall, a sanctum sanctorum housing the primary idol of Yogmaya, and a dome and truncated shikhara (tower). A johad (water body) next to the temple is named Anangtal Baoli after King Anangpal Tomar. It is surrounded by trees on all sides.
The primary idol, constructed of black stone and embellished with sequins and fabric, depicts Yogmaya. During worship, believers present sweetmeats and flowers without ringing bells.
Phool Walon Ki Sair Festival
Phool Walon Ki Sair is a very important inter-faith festival that takes place in the Mehrauli Yogmaya Temple. It means Festival of flower-sellers. Bahadur Shah Zafar initiated the celebration of Phool Walon ki Sair. Some claim that it was initiated by Akbar II’s wife, who went to the Goddess to offer prayers for her exiled son’s safe return. She had prayed to Yogmaya, who had appeared to her in a dream because she was upset by her son Mirza Jahangir’s imprisonment and banishment for the murder of a British resident. The queen had promised, during her prayer, that if her son returned safely, she would place a flower-adorned fan (Punakha) at the Qutbuddin Bhaktiar Khaki shrine nearby as well as the Yogmaya shrine.
Devotees have been presenting flowers at the Yogmaya temple shrine annually during the renowned Phool Walon Ki Sair festival ever since. The celebration, which began in 1812 and lasted for three days in October, is a significant interfaith event for Muslims and Hindus alike. For Phool Walon ki Sair, people used to walk from Shahjahanabad to Yogamaya Temple. On Wednesdays, they used to present flower fans to the temple, and on Thursdays at Baba Qutbuddin Bakhtiar Kaki’s dargah. This event incorporates the temple with the new-age tradition of festivals that go beyond religious boundaries and focus more on the community.
Yogmaya Temple celebrates Navaratri, the largest festival, together with all Devi temples. Of the two major Navaratri, the Sharad Navaratri is the most intensely celebrated at the temple and occurs at some point in October.
The Yogmaya Temple in Mehrauli is a symbol of Delhi’s syncretic past, representing influences from several historical eras in its architecture, religion, and culture. It is also a site of prayer. Despite multiple restorations and periods of destruction, its endurance and continuous significance in current religious rites demonstrate its long-lasting influence. All the facts provided above will help you to prepare the Yogmaya Temple – Study Notes for UPSC.
Yogmaya Temple – Study Notes for UPSC FAQs
- Where is the Yogamaya temple located in Delhi?
The Yogamaya temple in Delhi is located in Mehrauli near the Qutab complex.
- What is the name of the interfaith celebration in Yogamaya temple in Mehrauli?
The name of the interfaith celebration in Yogamaya temple in Mehrauli Phool Walon Ki Sair.