In Indian mythology Lord Hanuman is designated as the god of Kaliyuga, the era in which we are living in, and which is considered as the last of the four stages the world goes through as part of the cycle of yugas described in the Indian scriptures. The other ages are Satya Yuga, Treta Yuga and Dvapara Yuga. Lord Hanuman is worshiped by millions of devotees in India, and he is also called as Balaji. There is another Tirupati Balaji temple in South India, which is the temple of Lord Vishnu. Though there are two famous temples of Lord Hanuman i.e. Balaji in Indian state of Rajasthan; one is called Mehandipur Balaji and another is called Salasar Balaji.
While Mehandipur Balaji is known for the special problems of devotees, which are somehow related to supernatural power and black magic the Salasar Balaji is for overall well being and for wishes to come true. In Mehandipur the idol of Lord is in his childhood state also known as ‘Bal Hanuman’ while in Salasar there is a unique idol of Lord Hanuman which shows him with a mustache and a bear.
How to reach Mehandipur Balaji
We started from Delhi early in the morning and it took us around 6 hours to cover the 270 km distance of Mehandipur Balaji. We took the route of Delhi-Gurgaon-Dharuhera-SH25 to Alwar-Sikandara-NH11 Agra Jaipur Highway-Mehandipur.
About Mehandipur Balaji Idol
It is believed that the present-day forms of the ‘Divine Trinity’ i.e. BalaJi Hanuman, Pret Raj Sarkar and Kotwal Bhairav Ji, was found in the ‘Mehandipur Dham’ appeared around one thousand years ago in a valley, amidst the hills of the Aravali Range. This area was once covered by a thick and dense forest, full of wild animals. A priest had a dream in which Sri Balaji Maharaj had indicated three divine deities and a magnificent temple. He had also heard a divine voice ordering him to serve for Sri Balaji Hanuman’s duty. He was unable to see any one initially but after years of “Sadhna”, Lord Sri Balaji finally appeared and showed him the place in the forest where the temple and the three Divine Forms were found.
Rituals need to be followed in the Mehandipur Balaji Temple
The rituals of this temple are very specific and need to follow in proper sequence without any mistake. Overall the rituals can be divided into three broad parts known as;
When you visit the first time you need to take small durkhasta ladoos from any shop outside. You will be provided with two plates of these durkhasta laddoos, each containing 4-5 ladoos. The timing of Durkhasta is after morning prayer and before evening prayer. One plate is to inform the god that you have come for his blessings and the second one is for requesting his help to achieve something or solving your key problems. With great respect and clean heart you need to offer these two plates to the priests standing in front of Balaji Hanuman. The priest will pick the offering as much as he wants to add to the fire burning in front of the deity. You move with the crowd and then you do the same thing to Pretraj Sarkar and then Kotwal Bhairav Ji. After last offering, eat 2 ladoo out of the left over bhog in your hand from the 2 plates. There will be more left in your containers even after this. You will see that there are people encircling these 2 containers around their head 7 times anticlockwise and throw it backwards without looking backwards and keep walking out of the temple. After Durkhast we ordered for ‘Arzi’ in the same shop that has a fix cost of 270 Rs that includes 1.25 kg of ‘ladoo’, 2.25 kg of ‘urad dal’ and 4.25 kg of ‘boiled rice’ that we suppose to get early morning.
We reached the temple by 5 in the morning and stand in a queue for more than 3 hours before we reached in front of Lord Balaji. As per rituals we first need to offer ladoo to all three deities and rest was supposed to throw away, though it was collected by someone who was there with a big plastic bag and asked us to deposit it so that the same can be passed to children in schools. Remember to bring back two ladoos which you need to eat after the second step of rituals. The second time shopkeeper had given us boiled rice and urad dal in two separate containers which was for the Pretraj Sarkar and Kotwal Bhairav Ji. This time there was a separate entry and it took a few minutes to do with the second step. Again the whole offering was collected and throw by some garbage collector who will also ask you some money. We returned the container to the shopkeeper ate the two ladoos as Prasad and walked away without looking backwards.
It is important that you NEVER LOOK BACKWARDS after that and then walk out of the area to your bus or car or hotel and get out of the town. The reason for not looking back is that if there are any evil spirits behind you, they will not follow you and you must not eat anywhere in that area after you have done your prayers. You should simply leave and travel out of that town then. Keep in mind that when you ask for something like a wish or some issue to be resolved do tell Balaji that once he grants wishes you will come back again to the temple to offer savamani (done only on Tuesday and Saturday).
Where to stay at Mehandipur Balaji
There are numerous Dharashala in the close vicinity of the temple which offers comfortable staying options. Among them I found ‘Kalkatta Dharashala’ best in all manner. It was a three story building with wide open courtyard and spacious room with AC, double bed and geyser, all for just 250 Rs. Though it was still cold so the AC was not needed. May be in summer month the charges with AC could be high.
Another excellent facility was their dining area. Food was served hot and generous in serving. A decent meal of rice, daal, roti and two vegetables with pickles for 50 Rs per person.
After Mehandipur Balaji it was decided to visit Salasar Balaji temple. Around 10 in the morning we started for Jaipur to Salasar Balaji Temple.