Birla Mandir in Delhi which is originally known as Laxminarayan Temple is a hindu temple. The temple is dedicated to the hindu deity Laxminarayan. Laxminarayan refers to one of the hindu principal deity “Vishnu” also known as “Narayan” with his consort “Laxmi”, hindu Goddess.
Birla Temple is expanded into 7.5 acres of land which is Delhi’s first large temple. The temple has a large garden, fountains and many shrines. The temple is one of Delhi’s famous tourist attractions. Birla Temple is beautifully decorated during Indian festivals like Janmashtami and Diwali which attracts lot of devotees. There is also a Geeta Bhawan inside the temple for debate or consultation.
The Birla temple was constructed by Jugal Kishore Birla, the son of Baldeo Das Birla and inaugurated by Mahatma Gandhi in 1939.
- Location: Mandir Marg, Near Gole Market, New Delhi – 110001
- Timings: 4:30 am to 1:30 pm | 2:30 pm to 9:00 pm
- Closed: Open all 7 days
- Entry: Free
- Camera: Not allowed
- Type: Hindu Temple (Nagara Style of temple architecture)
- Deity: Laxmi Narayan (Vishnu with Laxmi)
- Religion: Hinduism
- Built By: Baldeo Das Birla and Jugal Kishore Birla
- Construction Completed: 1939
The construction of LaxmiNarayan temple was started in 1933 by an industrialist Baldeo Das Birla and his son Jugal Kishore Birla. Thus the temple got its name of Birla Temple. But temple was initially founded by Maharaj Udaya Bhanu Singh, the jat ruler of Dholpur state from 1911 to 1949. The temple was constructed under the supervision of Pandit Vishwanath Shastri. The final ceremony and pooja was done by Swami Keshavananda.
Finally, Mahatma Gandhi inaugurated the temple in 1939. Gandhiji suggested that entry to this temple will not be restricted according to the cast and class. Devotees from all caste are allowed to enter the temple and worship. Birla has built a series of temples in many cities in the country out of which, this Laxminarayan temple is the first one.
Architecture of the temple
The temple is spread over an area of 7.5 acres (30,000 m2) approximately and the built up area is 0.52 acres (2,100 m2).
Sris Chandra Chatterjee was the architect of the temple. He was also a leading proponent of the “Modern Indian Architecture Movement”. The architecture of the Birla temple had a major influence from the Swadeshi movement of the early twentieth century and the canonical texts used in the movement. Chatterjee used modern materials in his buildings on a large extent.
This three-storied temple is built on the northern or Nagara style of temple architecture. One can see the carvings depicting the scenes from golden yuga of the present universe cycle on the entire temple. It is believed that more than a hundred skilled artisans from Benares were appointed in the for carving the icons of the temple, headed by Acharya Vishwanath Shastri. The highest shikhara of the temple is about 49 m (160 feet) high. The shrine of Shastri is embellished with fresco paintings. The icons of the temple are made of marble and were brought from Jaipur. Kota stone from Agra, Kota, and Jaisalmer was used in the construction of the temple premises. There is a Geeta Bhawan located to the north of the temple which is dedicated to Lord Krishna. The man made landscape and cascading waterfalls make the temple more beautiful.
Inside the temple
The temple has the main statues of Lord Narayan and goddess Lakshmi. There are other small shrines also dedicated to lord Shiva, Ganesha and Hanuman. Buddha shrine can also be seen in the temple premises. There is a shrine of goddess Durga on the left side of the temple.
How to reach Birla temple
The temple is located on the Mandir Marg, on the west of the Connaught Place in New Delhi. The local buses, taxis and auto-rickshaws are easily accessible to reach there. R. K. Ashram Marg metro station is the nearest metro station which is just 2 km away from the temple. Delhi Kalibari also lies on the same road.
Attractions near Birla temple
- Madame Tussauds Delhi: Distance: 2.8km
- Jantar Mantar: Distance: 2.7km