The Mahakal Temple is a sacred Hindu temple located on the observatory hill dedicated to the Hindu god Lord Shiva. It is located behind the Chowrasta and encircled by the Mall Road on the ridge of Darjeeling town. The approach is an uphill narrow road about 100 yards from the Mall and is accessible by foot only.
The Temple was built in 1782 by Lama Dorjey Rinzing and is perched atop the Observatory Hill in Darjeeling and is an amalgamation of Hindu and Buddhist religions. Next to the Mahakal temple is a white chorten or a Tibetan memorial shrine. It has the relics of Dorje Lama who was the caretaker of the temple in 1880s.
It is a unique religious site where both religions coexist harmoniously. The three gold plated Lingams inside the main temple represent Hindu Gods Brahma, Bishnu and Maheswar. There are idols of Lord Buddha alongside the Lingams where both a Hindu priest and a Buddhist monk perform religious rituals and offer prayers simultaneously.
The Temple is a much revered and visited religious shrine of the area. Legend has it that thes name Darjeeling was derived from the name of the monastery 'Dorje-Ling' itself. Bells and hundreds of colorful prayer flags line the up-hill walk and the shrine.
Within the temple complex is a white 'chorten' (Tibetan memorial shrine) where lies the relics of Dorjey Rinzing Lama. Dotted around are many other smaller shrines and temples dedicated to Goddess Kali, Goddess Durga, Saat Kanya Bhagavati Devi, Lord Ganesha, Lord Krishna, Lord Rama, Shirdi Sai Baba, Hanuman, Goddess Parvati, Radha and other Gods and Goddesses.
From atop the temple complex full range of third highest peak in the world, Mount Khangchendzonga can be witnessed. The devotees come here and walk barefoot three times around the temple and ring the many bells that are hung from the walls.