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Devotees throng to see submerged ancient idol

delhi Updated: Aug 23, 2010 23:44 IST
Jatin Anand
Jatin Anand
Hindustan Times
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The Yamuna's rising level has brought a flood of devotees to an ancient temple located on its northern bank.

"Since the water level started increasing from Friday, our central chamber also got submerged. This is in keeping with the ancient tradition of this temple and brings an unprecedented number of devotees here," said Manish Kaushik (40), Mahant of the Pracheen Neeli Chhatri Mandir, located in Yamuna Market.

The submersion of the central chamber, despite preventive measures is the reason behind the rise in daily footfall.

"This temple was established by Lord Krishna himself. As per Hindu mythology, Mata Yamuna was Lord Krishna's eighth wife. When the Yamuna's water submerges the idol of Lord Krishna in this temple's main chamber, it is symbolic of Mata Yamuna rising and decorating Lord Krishna's forehead. That's why so many devotees arrive," said Mahant Kaushik.

The submersion occurred despite the temple's caretakers having gotten all its water inlets and drains plugged.

"I got all the holes, which can bring water into or take it out from within the temple, plugged 10 years ago. But the central chamber gets submerged each year," Kaushik said.

"It was a miracle; I couldn't believe it till I saw it with my own eyes," said Preeti Gupta (25), a devotee.

According to its head priest, the 5,500-year-old Neeli Chhatri temple is among the oldest established by the Pandavas in their kingdom of Indraprastha.

"The other three are the Kalkaji Mandir in Kalkaji, the Yogmaya Mandir in Mehrauli and the Bhairon Mandir near the Purana Quila area," he said.