Opening Time: 4:30 AM to 1:30 PM and 2:30 PM to 9:00 PM; No Entry Fee
Birla Mandir of Delhi was the second such temple to be built in India by the scions of Birla industrialist group. The first one was at Varanasi in 1931. The Delhi Birla Mandir was developed by Late Shri Baldeo Das Birla and his son Ghanshyam Das Birla from 1933 to 1938. He started this tradition of constructing the Temples in different parts of the country and was later followed by different branches of his family. This temple in Delhi is also known as the Laxminarayan Mandir as it is devoted to Goddess Laxmi and her protector, Lord Narayan (Vishnu). The other temples on its side are of Shiva, Krishna and Buddha. Mahatma Gandhi, the Father of the Nation, inaugurated this temple on condition that it will be open for all, without any discrimination.
Why Was it Built?
The need to develop this temple was felt as Delhi did not have any spacious and magnificent temple for worship in large gatherings. After it was developed, it was the first Hindu temple to be built on such a scale in Delhi. It soon became a tourist attraction and people from different parts of the country visited it for its astounding architecture, layout and spatial expense, besides its reverential value.
Sris Chand Chatterjee was the architect of this temple built over 7.5 acres of land area. It was built under the guidance of Pandit Vishwanath Shastri who led thousands of skilled artisans brought from Varanasi in its construction. Maharaja Udaybhanu Singh, the ruler of Dholpur laid the foundation stone of this temple in 1933.
This is a 3 storey temple, built in Nagara Style of Architecture. The temple bears carvings of the glorious period of present cycle of Universe. It also has fresco paintings that depict different phases of life.
The highest point of the temple is the main shikhara which is 160 feet above the ground level.
The figurines are made from finest marble brought from Jaipur in Rajasthan. Kota stone from Agra, Kota, Makarana and Jaisalmer has been used in its construction as well. Fountains and waterfalls along with artificial landscaping and gardens add to the beauty and aesthetic ambiance of the temple.
To the north of the temple is Geeta Bhawan which has paintings carved on stories of religious texts. It also has statues of Buddha.
A small canteen in also operational inside the temple for the tourists who want to have some snacks in morning or evening.
Location of Birla Mandir
This temple is located to the western side of Connaught Place and is close to the Gole Market. The road on which it was built also came to be known as Mandir Marg. The nearest Metro Rail Station is of R K Ashram Marg Station which is about 2 km away from temple.
Birla Mandir ruled on top of the tourist map of Delhi for many decades after it was built. It is only now in the past few decades that some other architecturally magnificent religious places were developed that matched or exceeded the excellence of Birla Mandir. These include the Chattarpur Temple, Lotus Temple and Akshardham Swaminarayan Temple, to name a few. However, Laxmi Narayan Temple is still well-maintained and looks as beautiful as before.
Other Birla Mandirs In Different Cities of India
Besides the temple in Delhi, the Birlas have built temples in other parts of India as well. These are- Hyderabad, Kolkata, Kurukshetra, Shahad, Sharda Peeth (BITS Pilani), Bhopal, Jaipur, Patna, Varanasi, Renukoot, Akola, Nagda and Brajrajnagar.