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Delhiwale: The temple at Khan Market

A corner in one of the capital’s most upscale shopping destinations is filled with unexpected beauty and serenity

delhi Updated: Aug 28, 2018 12:54 IST
Mayank Austen Soofi
Mayank Austen Soofi
Hindustan Times
delhiwale,khan market,temple in khan market
Swami Ghanshyam Das, a native of Nepal, is the head priest of the temple in Delhi’s Khan Market dedicated to Valmiki .(HT Photo)

The Khan Market isn’t only commercial.

Even the regulars can be surprised when told about the Krishna temple tucked away right here, at Delhi’s most fashionable shopping district.

They are even more surprised to learn of yet another temple at the market, devoted to the sage, Valmiki. It’s right behind the Krishna Temple and a world unto itself.

Its homely and ever-so-serene courtyard houses a peepal laden with heavy leaves. Perhaps the perfect place to lounge around with a novel instead of burning cash at an overpriced café next door. The biggest of its three shrines is, of course, dedicated to Valmiki—the harbinger-poet who composed the epic Ramayana. He would have doubtless appreciated the other two shrines at his temple, honouring Shiva and Hanuman.

Another charming presence at the temple is the head priest himself. Swami Ghanshyam Das, a native Nepalese, is slim and fit in his early 70s, with a scraggly beard à la Ho Chi Minh.

“It’s always been peaceful here,” says the Swami. “The Krishna temple on the other side in fact gets more visitors.”

Valmiki Temple is open daily with very generous visiting hours — 4 am to 10 pm. The afternoons are particularly serene.

First Published: Aug 28, 2018 12:53 IST