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Delhiwale: Temple on the hill

Veiled by a thicket, this Shiv Mandir in Jorbagh gives you a Himalayan feel in the heart of Delhi

delhi Updated: Jul 17, 2017 11:02 IST
Mayank Austen Soofi
The temple is reached through a flight of picturesque stairs: almost every step has creepers and grass growing on it.
The temple is reached through a flight of picturesque stairs: almost every step has creepers and grass growing on it. (Mayank Austen Soofi / HT Photo)

How many places do you know in Delhi where you can walk up a hill, sit at the top, and enjoy the monsoon?

The Shiv Mandir in Central Delhi’s Jorbagh Colony perhaps offers the only such escape.

Unlike the cold and formidable bungalows of the affluent neighbourhood, the temple, partially hidden by a lush foliage, makes you feel welcome. You reach it through a flight of picturesque stairs: almost every step has creepers and grass growing on it. The uneven brick courtyard has two giant peepal trees, around which small birds quarrel with squirrels all day long.

The priest told us that the Shiv Mandir dates back to 1942. The red gateway is suitably ancient, and a framed black-and-white portrait of a man dressed in a jacket and dhoti looks like a memory from princely India. We are told he was the temple’s first priest.

A part of the courtyard is covered with a tin roof. It goes pitter-patter in the rain. You could easily believe you are in a Himalayan cottage.