Friday, June 9, 2023

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Birla Temple




Connaught Place in Delhi



One of the most popular of Hindu temples and a major tourist attraction in Delhi.

Best Season





6am to 9pm. Closed on Mondays

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Delhi's famous Birla Mandir, also known as the Laxminarayan Temple, is among the most popular of Hindu temples in Delhi. Also a major tourist attraction, it is located on the Mandir Marg, situated west of the Connaught Place in Delhi. It is dedicated to Lakshmi (goddess of wealth), and her consort Vishnu (Laxmi Narayan).

Laxmi Narayan Temple was built by the industrialist Baldeo Das Birla of Birla in 1939. Thus, the temple is also known as Birla Temple. The temple was inaugurated by Mahatma Gandhi. At that time, he kept a condition that people of all castes will be allowed to enter the temple.

Structurally similar to old Orissian temples, it has a huge complex covers an area of about 7.5 acres which includes fountains, shrines and a well grafted garden. Situated on a high plinth, the three-storied temple that faces the east is full of mirrors and colourful carvings depicting the scenes from Hindy mythology. All the buildings are painted burgundy and yellow.

More than hundred skilled artisans from Benares, under the guidance of Pandit Vishwanath Shastri, carved the idols of the temple. Marbles used in temple icon constructions were brought from jaipur. Kota stones were brought from Jaisalmer, Kota and Makaran were used in the construction of the temple premises.

The highest shikhara over the sanctum sanctorum is about 160 feet high. The shrine is adorned with fresco paintings.

The main temple houses the marble idol Vishnu or Narayan and Laxmi. There are other shrines dedicated to Lord Shiva, Lord Ganesha, Hanuman and Lord Buddha.

There is the Geeta Bhawan to the north of the temple, which is dedicated to Lord Krishna. The hall inside here, have plenty of paintings with themes of mythological stories from Indian history.

Lord Krishna's birthday (Janmashtami) and Diwali are celebrated here with full devotion. Large number of devotees from across the country gather to celebrate these festivals.

Janmashtami is celebrated on two consecutive days. The first on the day when Krishna was actually born, and the second when he reached Gokul. Since morning, bhajans will be sung which end at midnight, the auspicious moment when Lord Krishna was born. Then there will be a 'Raslilsa'. Thereafter, at around 11.30 'Abhishek' will de done. Then arti is done, prasad distributed and flowers showered on the idol.

The main features of the celebrations are cribs and decorations depicting stories of Lord Krishna's childhood. There are five main 'Jhankis' of Janmashtami which depict the entire sequence of events from Lord Krishna's birth to his being discovered in Gokul. The 'jhankis' include the birth of Krishna in jail, Vasudev carrying Krishna to safety across the river Yamuna amidst thunder, Vasudev's return to the jail, Kansa killing Yashoda's daughter and finally the little Krishna in the cradle in Gokul.

Entrance is free. Cameras and cellphones are strictly prohibited.