Let’s explore the unexplored history of Delhi’s Chandani Chowk, known to tourists for its markets, food outlets but also for various places of worship. One among these is SriDigambar Jain Lal Mandir, one of the oldest Jain Temple dedicated to the 23rd Tirthankara; Parashvanathbuilt in 1658 A.D has an untapped historical legend associated with it. Even the majority of Delhites would be unaware of.
Sri Digambar Jain temple dates back to the time of Mughal emperor Aurangzeb’s reign. Mughal Emperor Jahangir once invited several Jain businessmen to come and settle in the city and granted them some land of Chandani Chowk around DaribaGali. He also permitted them to build a temporary structure to house a Jain temple. The Jain community-acquired three marble idols installed by JivarajPapriwal under the supervision of BhattarakaJinachandra in Samvat 1548 (1491 AD) for the temple. The main idol was that of Tirthankara Parashvanath.
It is said that the deities in the temple were originally kept in a tent belonging to a Jain officer of the Mughal army. During the Mughal period, the construction of a shikhara for a temple was not permitted. This temple did not have a formal shikhara until after India’s independence when the temple was extensively rebuilt.
The Sri Digambar Jain Lal Mandir is also known for a mysterious tale which states that once, Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb had the musical instruments and nagara drum sounds that emanated from the temple stopped as it disturbed him. After this order, the Emperor could still hear the musical sounds and had it checked. His loyal servants returned only to tell him that the instruments were playing by themselves and even today this mystery has never been solved or revealed.
The place is serene with a soothing ambience. The temple is made of red sandstone and its interiors are adorned with beautiful carvings, embellishment of pure gold artwork. The temple boasts detailed carvings and decorative paintwork in the ante-chambers that surround the main shrine of the Parashvanath.
Charity Hospital for birds
The Digambar Jain Temple has an in-house medical center for birds, i.e., the “Bird’s charity Hospital” which was founded in 1956 and renders its services inspired by Lord Mahavira’s (the twenty-fourth Tirthankara) message of ‘Live and Let Live’. It serves as a rescue sanctuary for partridges, caught and wounded by fowlers and who are brought here to recover. This hospital treatment of wounded birds free of cost. It is funded by various elite businessmen of Delhi. There are separate wards for pigeons, parrots, sparrows and domestic fowl. Squirrels are also treated here, but birds of prey are seen on a strictly outpatient basis, as they are non-vegetarian. There is also a research laboratory and an ICU in this hospital.
The Temple is managed by Shree AgarwalaDigambar Jain Panchayat Trust.
Quick tip: You can visit the temple anytime between 5a.m-9p.m. Do not forget to remove your shoes and submit all leather items with the administrative personnel before entering the temple premises.
Himansh Kohli flying from Mumbai to Delhi! – May 2020
“I wanted to go home ever since the lockdown was announced, but I could not. I planned to travel via road but I wasn’t sure about the situation on the highway. But then I read that domestic flights were set to resume, and as soon as I got a notification that bookings were open, I booked my tickets.”- Himansh Kohli.
With the rules at the airport quite strict, the actor says this travel experience was quite different. “We were asked to follow social distancing while queuing up at the airport’s gate. They checked our temperature and verified our ID. We had to show our printed boarding pass and get luggage tags from home. They also asked us to show the ‘safe’ certificate on the Aarogya Setu app. Some passengers also got medical certificates from their doctor,” says Himansh, adding, “The airport itself was quite empty. People were wearing masks and gloves and carrying sanitisers with them. Since it was the first day of flights resuming, people looked a little scared.”
The boarding process was also very different, says Himansh. “While earlier, passengers used to rush when boarding started and break the queue, now everyone was boarding and deboarding according to their row numbers,” he says, adding “Once inside the plane, everything looked just like before. However, there was no food provided; only a bottle of water.
While lavatories were accessible, we were advised against using them. I had booked two seats for myself – the middle and window seats – to minimise contact with anyone. I felt lucky and fortunate that I reached Delhi safely.
TV stars falling in love with Dilli Ki Sardi
Being a chilling capital of the country, Delhi ki Sardi has its own aura and excitement. The roasted peanuts, hot brews, bonfires, barbecues and snuggly colorful winter clothes are best what Delhi offers during winters. If you want to love at first sight with Dilli ki Sardi then there is no view like the dawn time here. We bet it’ll make your every morning a ‘Good Morning’. We have asked our favorite TV stars about their love for Delhi’s winter and their liberating experiences of the chill season. Have a look!
The very hot and talented Krrip Kapur Suri known for his role in Maharana Pratap, Sadda Haq, and Kalash, loves the cool breeze that flows during winters. He says, “I just love the breezy air of Delhi where the dust settles up with the dew in morning and one gets to wear warm clothes which give you a cozy feeling. I miss Connaught place and my chai-pakora fanatics with my friends.”
Better known for her role in Dil Mil Gayye, Muskan Mihani turns a food junky during winters. She says, “Foggy weather of Delhi doesn’t let anyone forget about the scenic view around you. During winters I become food hedonist. A cup of hot chocolate and boiled groundnuts is where I start my day. Winter feasts like Gajar Ka Halwa, Gajaak and Revadi are my favorite”.
Mrunal Jain, model turned actor and popular for his role in Nagarjuna, have a wanderlust for Dilli Ki Sardi. “I like to roam the streets of Connaught place. I still remember my experience during an event in Delhi where I witnessed the raging winter and Poha saved my life”.
Priyal Gor believes in staying home and enjoying winters wrapped under quilts. “ Delhi’s winter are my favorite because I can wrap myself in the quilts and enjoy hot chocolate. The cold breeze entering my room is enough of the chill I can have in winters. I can probably sleep whole day in bed like that. For the simmering sunny days, Connaught place makes the best hangout place in Delhi to catch up street food and hot chai”!
Navina Bole, “Delhi winters are always in talk every year. I love those warm jackets and stylish boots which I can’t slay in because Mumbai won’t let me. Delhi gives me a reason to enjoy the freezing winters and staying stylish and still do my favorite thing that is shopping in Dilli Haat, Sarojini Market, and Paharganj”.
Dheeraj Dhopar, “winter is my favorite season. Especially when the temperature drops this brings out my Chai-pakora love. Winter fashion is a bliss, you can put on comfy clothes and laze around all day. Mumbai doesn’t let us carry warm clothes so I always look forward to trips to Delhi during winters”.
Have a look at your favorite TV stars craving for Delhi’s street food
Delhi’s cuisine and crunches are known worldwide. From international cuisines to authentic Indian flavors, Delhi shall never disappoint your taste buds. The best part about Delhi’s food is the street food. India loves to keep savory snacks on the starter plates. Our favorite TV actors love Delhi’s street food to hamper their chaat cravings and satisfaction of spicy needs in most carefree and inexpensive ways. We also asked them about their favorite chaat corners and their experiences. Read on to know more!
Himmanshoo Malhotra: Delhi’s two place has always been on my list whenever I am I want to eat one is the Haldiram’s which has joints are all over India serves tasty Panipuri, Papdi chat and other is Bittoo
Tikki Wala which serve delicious aloo tikki, bhalla chat. The best part about their stores is that they prepare chaats in healthy cooking oils or olive oils which has no harm on your body.
Asmita Sood: I am a big time street food lover of Delhi as I have spent my college life and I have enjoyed street side momos, samosas, dahi bhalla, papdi chat. On my priority list was always parathe wali gali in Chandni Chowk, tandoori fish, and tandoori momos. Any college life is incomplete and worthless if you didn’t munched the street food.
Shardul Pandit: I am from Madhya Pradesh and paratha’s have always been my favorite so whenever I visit Delhi I look for paratha’s and Parathawali Galli- Chandni Chowk and chat at Connaught place is something I never fail to visit. I had almost every type of parantha there and couldn’t have much of it. Whenever I visit Delhi, I take a time to serve my cravings.
Jasmin Bhasin: I can never forget Delhi food because I have actually lived there for a year and half. Sometimes, I crave for Delhi street food a lot and I can never forget my most favorite aloo tikki at Bittoo Tikki Wala, you don’t have a place in Delhi that here the food is best everywhere you eat it’s the best whether it’s parathas, Maggie or whatever and I crave for it so much. I wish to get back there sooner.
Ssudeep Sahir: Delhi street food is always the highlight of my trip whenever I visit here. It’s so hard to pick one. But I love the mutter-kulche and aloo tikkis there. Recently I have been introduced to tandoori momos which were finger licking delicious. I visit Lajpat Nagar often to kill all my cravings.
Dheeraj Dhoopar: People in Delhi have a real sense of taste & the talent to cook finger licking dishes. I don’t have any particular favorites but Delhi’s street food attracts me the most. From chole kulcha, tikki, chaats to kulfi and rabri faluda, I don’t have to worry which stall to go because all are so good.
When play “Amavas Se Amaltas” actors enjoyed an auto ride in Delhi!
Popular showbiz faces like Jayati Bhatia, Ssumier S Pasricha, Ankita Bhargava and Chitrashi Rawat were in the capital recently for a play ‘Amavas se Amaltas’. Though they were very busy with the play, which was staged at the Epicentre in Gurgaon, but after the play, they took out some time to roam around and there they enjoyed their auto ride.
The TV producer duo Sudhir and Seema Sharma, who have produced many hits like Karol Bagh, Miley Jab Hum Tum and Na Bole Tum Na Hamne Kuch Kaha under their production house ‘Sunshine productions’ and it is their first theater venture with theatre veteran Smita Bharti with her banner Aganpakhee.
The play was appreciated by everyone as it also had dance sequences choreographed by Sandip Soparrkar that made it more engaging. Among the audience members, was former actress Meghna Kothari who is a dear friend of Jayati Bhatia.
All four actors didn’t get much time to plan an outing so they just randomly stepped on roads and enjoyed NCR to the fullest.
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