The Mahakal temple atop the Observatory Hill is located right at the heart of Darjeeling at the Mall area. It is a ten to fifteen minutes uphill trek on the top. The Observatory Hill makes up for some of the most picturesque sights of the place. Needless to say, more than the temple, my camera shutter was eager for the views from the top of the hill.
The walk up the hill is a little tiring and there are some wooden benches mindfully kept there for the tourists to pause and catch some breathe. On the way up you get to see some beautiful cottages with open courtyard to bask in the sun and enjoy the spectacular view. The area is also inhabited by monkeys. The only precaution to that is not to carry any open food item and your day will be saved. I was carrying a just camera which loved the apes. At the very first sight, the shutter went flap, flap, flap!
Before the Mahakal Temple, you come across the Siddhi Sai Baba temple and the Hanuman temple. The Mahakal temple has three Shiv Lingas. These lingas are said to have self-manifested in 1782. The temple also houses three gold plated emblems of Bramha, Vishnu and Maheshwar.
The Mahakal temple stands where the original Darjeeling Monastery used to be. It is now rechristened as the Bhutia Busti Monastery. Originally built by the lama Dorje Rinzing in 1765, the monastery was destroyed during the Gorkha invasion in 1815 and rebuilt in 1861. So when you enter the Mahakal temple, you get to hear the Hindu priests chanting mantras as well as the Buddhist monks reading out their holy scripts. The unique amalgamation of the holy chanting from both the places fills the place with positive vibrations.
Through the numerous bells around the temple and the fluttering flags of the monasteries, you get some of the breathtaking views of the mountains. Sights that make you stand and stare at the snowcapped mountain with the rays of the sun playing a melody with colors. The view is just so beautiful that it makes you wonder at the marvel of nature. And viewing this at the back drop of the holy chanting make the feel even more awe inspiring.