City Monument – Hanuman-Ji’s Statue, Jhandewalan Park
Inside the icon.
[Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi]
It’s so very tempting to regard that gleaming metro train zipping past the Lord Hanuman statue as a near collision of ancient beliefs with the uneasy ethos of the modern.
This landmark in central Delhi’s Jhandewalan Park has become so iconic that even a big newspaper office (Hindustan Times) flaunts its poster.
Of course, the 108-foot statue in central Delhi’s Jhandewalan Park isn’t precisely ancient, finally completed in 1997. Did you know you can enter the famous landmark? I did it just the other day
With the entrance shaped like a woman’s jaw, I walked over her “tongue” and found myself inside a temple. Here, tehre was anothers maller idol of Hanuman. In the corner, a priest was chanting the sacred Ram Charit Manas. (Another copy of the epic is upstairs, with rose petals scattered across it.) It was all very tranquil.
Clearly, I had moved into another dimension where the priestly intonations and the drone of the Metro trains all came together–lulling the senses into a kind of serenity.
The spell was broken when we spotted the signage of a matchmaking agency, right in the heart of the temple. So very Delhi, so ironic: Hanuman-ji was a lifelong bachelor.
The capital statue