god standard time. it's rush hour at kalka mandir in delhi's east of kailash area. dedicated to goddess kali, it is one of the oldest kali temples in india. the archaeological survey of india mentions 1764 as the year of the temple's construction. some centuries later, it is difficult to locate the exact physical shape of the temple, as houses and shops have mushroomed within the vaguely demarcated compound. delhi police signboards are everywhere, warning visitors against pickpockets, petty thieves and people who offer sweets and fruits laced with chemicals.
despite the efforts of the temple's helping hands to keep people in queue, it has become a regular thing for the crowd to try to squeeze through the narrow barricade to reach the room where the idol of goddess kali is kept.
devotees have no choice but to notice a lawyer's dilapidated signboard that may have netted a few clients in the recent past. it is said people who are facing a difficult situation in their lives come to seek goddess kali's blessings, for she is the god of war. most military camps have a shrine dedicated to goddess kali. and where else could a lawyer fetch more troubled clients than here?
the debris of local election campaigns.
the bottom portion of this structure is what's left of the original temple built in 1734.
kalka mandir, mahant niwas, shiv mandir parisar, kalkaji, new delhi — 110019