Nili Chhatri

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Nili Chhatri Temple (Neeli Chhatri) is an ancient Hindu temple in New Delhi dedicated to Lord Shiva. It is believed that the eldest Pandava brother, Prince Yudhishthira of Mahabharata, established the temple and the Nigambodh Ghat adjacent to it, and conducted Aswamedha yajna from here. The temple located in the Yamuna bazaar area close to the Baharadur Shahi Gate of Salimgarh Fort, on Ring Road (Mahatma Gandhi Marg) close to the banks of the Yamuna river exists even today. The temple has been mentioned only infrequently in various chronicles of Delhi.


  • Nili Chhatri: “At the foot of Salim Garh and on the bank of the Jamuna, there is a small Baradari near Nigambodh Ghat… It is known as Nili Chhatri because of the blue mosaic work on its dome. This Chhatri was built by Humayun Badshah in AH 939 corresponding to AD 1533 in order to have a view of the river. Hindus ascribe this Chhatri to the time of the PaNDus. Even if that is not true, this much is certain that the bricks with mosaic work which have been used in this Chhatri have been taken from some Hindu place because the bricks bear broken and mutilated images. On account of a derangement of the carvings, some have only the head left, while some others show only the torso. This derangement of carvings also goes to prove that these bricks have been placed here after being taken out from somewhere else. According to the Hindus, Raja Judhastar had performed a Jag [Yajña] at this Ghat. It is not inconceivable that in the Hindu era a Chhatri had been built at some spot on this Ghat in commemoration of the Jag, and that this Chhatri was built in the reign of Humayun after demolition of that (older) Chhatri…He repeats some of these comments while describing the Nigambodh Ghat…
    • Nasiru’d-Din Muhammad Humayun Padshah Ghazi (AD 1530-1540 and 1556) Ãsaru’s-Sanadid: Ãsaru’s-Sanadid, edited by Khaleeq Anjum, New Delhi, 1990. Vol. I, p. 334, 361

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