February 18, 2012

Birla Mandir, Delhi

Site Name: Lakshmi Narayan Temple aka Birla Mandir
Site Type: Hindu Temple
Location:  Mandir Marg, near Cannaught Place, the capital city of India
Highlights: A prominent tourist site in Delhi; important Hindu temple; temple built by Birla; inagurated by Mahatma Gandhi; spread over 7.5 acres
Nearest Railway Station: New Delhi
Nearest Airport: New Delhi
How to reach: Well connected from all over India - Road, rail and air
Hotel: A lot of options - budget hotels to star hotels
Restaurants: Many options and varieties throughout the city of Delhi

The Laksmi Naryan Temple, famously called as Birla Mandir, is one of the prominent Hindu temples and tourist sites in Delhi city, the capital of India.

The temple dedicated to Lord Narayan (Vishnu) and his consort Lakshmi, was built by the popular Indian businessman B.R. Birla between 1933 CE and 1939 CE. The temple was was inaugurated by Mahatma Gandhi. As this major tourist attraction of New Delhi was built by Birla, it is called as Birla Mandir (Mandir means temple).

The three storied Birla Mandir is built in the Nagara style of Hindu temple architecture. The east facing temple is located on a high plinth. The temple is surrounded by fountains and parks with the entire area spread over 7.5 acres. 

The presiding deities of the temple are Narayan and Lakshmi, two beautiful marble idols found in the standing posture, in the  sanctum santorum. The temple is full of beautiful carvings and paintings depicting various Hindu Gods, Goddesses, Indian kings, scholars, poets, patriots and other notable personalities. Even the gardens surrounding the temple have a lot of statues of Indian kings and patriots. There are small shrines dedicated to Lord Ganesh, Durga, Hanuman, Krishna and Shiva. There is an attractive shrine where Lal Krishna (baby Krishna) is found; this shrine is built with multiple mirrors in all directions. There is a hall known as Geeta Bhavan used for religious disclosures.

The well maintained gardens with children playing and flowers blooming during the spring season along with fountains enhance the beauty of this extraordinary temple.

Next to this temple, a small temple dedicated to Lord Buddha is found, which was also built by Birla.

Happy travelling.

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