Birla Mandir is also Known as Lakshmi Narayan Mandir.It was constructed in the year 1938 by Raja Baldev Das Birla and it was inaugurated by Mahatama Gandhi. Located in the heart of Delhi the shrine is dedicated to Goddess Lakshmi and Lord Vishnu. People of all religion and faiths can worship in the temple but one can enter the temple only bare foot. The temple incorporates numerous images and idols depicting several gods and goddess of Indian mythology. Goddess Durga and Lord Shiva are the other major deities housed in this temple. Mention must be made of the Buddha temple in this complex.The temple is known for celebrating the festival of Janmashtami, commemorating the birth of Lord Krishna, on a large scale and has a special display, which attracts hundreds of devotees. Flanked by a pool and picturesque gardens, the architecture of the temple resembles Hindu temples built in the Orissa style.
The main feature of the temple is that it is open to all castes. There is a symbolic structure at the entrance welcoming people of all faiths and classes. The temple has all basic facilities for the visitors. Offerings are available in the temple complex itself. Those who want to perform rituals can do so with the help of the priest of the temple. The aarti is performed in the evening, which is worth attending.Special Event / Annual Event – Devotees throng the temple during the Hindu festival of ‘ Ram Navami ‘, which falls during the month of April. Friday is the best day to visit the temple, as that is the special day of the Goddess Vaibhav Laxmi.
Birla Mandir is one of the landmark places in New Delhi. This temple reflects a modern concept of architectural innovation. It attracts several devotees national and international. The highest tower in the temple reaches a height of 165 feet while the ancillary towers reach 116 feet. The Geeta Bhavan, a hall is adorned with beautiful paintings depicting scenes from Indian mythology. There is also a temple dedicated to Buddha in this complex with fresco paintings describing his life and work. The entire complex, especially the walls and the upper gallery are full of paintings carried out by artists from Jaipur in Rajasthan. The rear of the temple has been developed as an artificial mountainous landscape with fountains and waterfalls. The beautiful Birla Gardens are a real Eden on earth as they have been grafted with the adoration for the almighty.
Places of Interest
Akshardham Temple – Read Details here
Bhairav Temple – Read Details here
Chattarpur Temple – Read Details here
Iskcon Temple – Built on a hilly place in 1998,the ISKCON Temple is a complex of temples. Dedicated to Lord Krishna, this elegant temple is one of the largest temple complexes in India. It has a large number of Hare-Rama Hare-Krishna followers.
Bala Hanuman Temple – This small but elegant temple located at Baba Kharak Singh Marg near Connaught Place was built in 1724. It is very popular among the devotees of Lord Hanuman. The 24-hour chanting of the mantra ‘Sri Ram, Jai Ram, Jai Jai Ram’, since August 1, 1964, has earned a place in the Guinness Book of Records.
Gauri Shankar temple – Tucked behind fragrant mounds of marigolds, roses and jasmine blossoms sold on Chandni Chowk just west of the Jain temple, the large marble Gauri Shankar temple, dominated by its eight-hundred-year-old lingam, is Delhi’s holiest Shiva temple. Devotees enter up a narrow flight of marble steps, flanked by pillars carved with chains and bells, that opens onto a spacious courtyard, always a scene of animated devotional activity. Inside, offerings for sale include bilva (wood apple) leaves, chandan (sandalwood paste), marigolds, red powder, rice, and cotton threads. The main sanctuary holds bejewelled statues of Gauri (Parvati) and Shankar (Shiva) standing beneath a silver canopy, and the ancient brown stone lingam resting on a marble yoni encased in silver and draped with silver serpents. Shrines to other deities line the south wall.
Aurobindo Ashram – This ashram at Aurobindo Marg, is a centre for yoga and meditation. The main ashram is at Pondicherry. Products like handmade paper, incense sticks, etc. are available here.
Digambara Jain temple and Jain Bird Hospital – Delhi’s oldest Digambara Jain temple, directly opposite the entrance to the Red Fort, at the east end of Chandni Chowk, was built in 1526, but has been modified and added to ever since, and remains a haven of tranquillity amid the noise and chaos of the main street. Though not as ornate as the fine temples in Gujarat and Rajasthan, it does boast detailed carvings, and gilded paintwork in the antechambers surrounding the main shrine to Parshvanath, the twenty-third tirthankara. You’ll have to remove your shoes, and hand them over with your bags and all leather articles to a kiosk before entering.
Getting there and Around
By Air – Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International Airport is connected to all the important cities of the world with almost all the major international airlines operating out of here. Palam Domestic Airport connects Delhi to the major cities in India.
By Rail – The Indian Railway with their modern and organized network connects Delhi to all major and minor destinations in India. The city has three major railway stations at New Delhi, Old New Delhi, and Nizamuddin. Luxury trains like the Palace-on-Wheels, Fairy Queen, and Royal Orient Express can be taken from New Delhi Cantonment railway station. Rajdhani Express trains connect New Delhi from the state capitals. Shatabdi Express trains connect New Delhi to the neighboring cities.
By Road – Delhi is well connected to all the major cities of India by a network of highways and roads. Buses can be taken from the three Inter State Bus Terminuses (ISBT), at Kashmere Gate, Sarai Kale Khan and Anand Vihar, as well as many starting points in and around the city, from which various state-managed and privately run transport facilities like airconditioned, deluxe and ordinary coaches operate
Best way to travel in Delhi – For travel in Delhi there are buses, the Metro train, auto-rickshaws and cycle- rickshaws. Tourist taxis ply interstate while the yellow and black taxis can be used to commute anywhere within the city and are safe but relatively expensive. Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC) buses go anywhere in the city and are the cheapest mode of transport. Auto rickshaws are another option, but it is always important to bargain for a reasonable fare. Luxurious special tourist buses are also available with packaged tours to all the tourist attractions in Delhi.The recently introduced Delhi Metro railway line is a convenient and efficient mode of transport connecting all major places within the city.
Accommodation is available in the temple guest house for out of town travellers especially for international scholars pursuing knowledge in Sanskrit or in the Hindu religion.
There are thousands of hotels in Delhi, so, accommodation can’t be a problem.Some of the best hotels that provide comfort and luxury to the visitors coming to the Delhi are the Ashoka hotel in the heart of the city, the Centaur Hotel near the airport and Holiday inn Crown plaza in Connaught Plaza and the Hyatt Regency. All of these hotels are star category hotels and provides good services. Budget hotels are available in Karol bagh and Paharganj area of Delhi.
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