Mahakal Temple Darjeeling

Mahakal Temple Darjeeling
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The Mahakal Temple is one of the popular tourist attractions located at the top of Observatory Hill in Darjeeling. The temple is one of the most venerable places in Darjeeling, which is revered both by the Hindus and the Buddhists. The meaning of Mahakal is “Kalo ko Kal”, the Master of Kal or Time.  

Located almost 2 km from Darjeeling Himalayan Railway Station, Observatory Hill is a hilltop located closer to Chowrasta Square in Darjeeling. It is one of the most preferred places to visit in Darjeeling and among the popular sightseeing places in Darjeeling.  The Mahakal temple Darjeeling is an excellent place for relaxation and for enjoying the stunning views of the Kanchenjunga.

  • Location: Chauk Bazaar, Darjeeling, West Bengal, India 
  • Entry Fee: No entry fee
  • Timing: The timings to visit the temple are from 6 AM to 6 PM

Significance of the Mahakal Temple Darjeeling

Significance of the Mahakal Temple Darjeeling

It is believed that the history behind the name of the town is related to the history of Mahakal Temple Darjeeling.  In 1765, a Lama named Dorje Rinzing built a monastery here. The monastery was popularly called the Dorjeling Monastery and the place came to be known as Darjeeling. Many people believe that the name of the town has been derived from two Tibetan words ‘Dorje’ which means thunder and ‘ling’ meaning storm.

In 1782, three Shiva Lingas self-manifested themselves on this hilltop and the problem occurred when Gorkhas from Nepal invaded the place in 1815. They ransacked and destroyed the monastery and monasteries were rebuilt later in 1861. However, for some unknown reason, it was relocated to the Bhutia Busti and was referred to as Bhutia Busti Monastery.

The Mahakal Temple in Darjeeling is located on the observatory hill from where one can enjoy the scenic view of the entire city. The deity of Lord Shiva is the main deity that is worshipped here, and the history of the place, the Buddhist Monastery, made this place popular among both Hindus and Buddhists.

While visiting the temple, one can hear the Hindu Priests chanting prayers, as well as Buddhist monks, reading out their holy scripts. There is beautiful coordination between both religions which can clearly be seen with so many bells on the walls. There are numerous small temples located around this main temple dedicated to Lord Hanuman, Ganesh, and Durga.  

The devotees coming here walk barefoot around the temple three times and ring the bells while walking. As per the Buddhist belief, the flags flying around the temple connect the prayers directly to heaven. Though the colors of the flags changes due to weather effects, Buddhists believe that it signifies that the sins of devotees are being washed away.

Beware of Monkeys

Beware of Monkeys

While on the way to Mahakal Temple, you must stay extra careful as there are many monkeys. The place is infested with monkeys who keep a close eye on food packages carried by the tourists in their hands.  Since there are many monkeys, so one needs to be a little cautious while walking up the hill.

Mahakal Temple Complex- Other Temples Nearby

Mahakal Temple Complex darjeeling

It does not take much time to reach the top of the Mahakal Temple. The temple of Siddhi Sai Baba is located on the last bend close to the main temple complex while a Hanuman Temple has also been made next to it. In the entire Mahakal Temple complex, one can see many Buddhist flags fluttering in the wind.

The Mahakal Temple is not the only temple located in the complex. In fact, it is surrounded by numerous temples for Goddess Kali, Durga, Ganesha, Radha, Krishna, etc. A Chorten, which is actually a Tibetan memorial shrine, is also situated just beside the Mahakal temple.

Your visit to the Mahakal temple in Darjeeling would not be considered complete without a visit to the Mahakal cave. The cave is located in close proximity to the temple complex. Outside the complex, one can take a few steps down to the cave. Along with Shiva, Mother Durga is also worshiped here.

The Mahakal Cave

Mahakal Caves

The view from the top will mesmerize you, green lush forests, wildflowers, clear sky, birds, etc. make the place one of the most sought-after places among devotees.

How to Reach:

By Air: Bagdogra airport is located 90 K.M. away from Darjeeling. The airport is well connected by flights from major cities like Kolkata, Delhi, and Guwahati.

By Train

The travelers can come via train to any of the railway stations including the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway Station, and closer ones including Siliguri and New Jalpaiguri. All these railway stations run various direct trains from Kolkata, Delhi, Guwahati, and other major cities of India.

By Road

Darjeeling is also accessible via road, (via NH 55), which is connected to almost all the major cities of India. Also, travelers can opt for bus services, which are available from Tenzing Norgay Bus Stand, Siliguri.

How to reach Mahakal Temple in Darjeeling from Mall Road

The Mahakal Temple is located on top of Observatory Hill and can be visited through Mall Road. From the Chowrasta Mall, you can enter the road situated on the right-hand side and keep your eyes fixed on the hillside. Just a hundred meters away, one can find flights of stairs going uphill. Take that route which eventually will take you to the Mahakal Temple.

However, soon the steps will get narrow and trekking might become a little difficult. However, there is nothing to worry about. You can sit and relax on the benches located on both sides of the path.

Best Time to Visit

The most preferred time to visit any Shiva temple is during the months of Saavan in the Hindu calendar or during the time of Shivaratri. The Mahakal temple also looks beautiful after decoration on the occasion of Shivratri. Some of the festivals like Ganesh Puja, Shivratri, and Buddha Jayanti are celebrated here with great pomp.


Mahalkal temple in Darjeeling is a beautiful side attraction and a great place for religious people and tourists coming from different parts of the county. If you believe in the powers of prayers and looking for a great place to worship in a spiritual environment, you must visit the Mahakal temple Darjeeling. 

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