Being the capital city of the country, with an imperial history of heading many consecutive dynasties, Delhi prides itself on an impeccable collection of the finest architectural structures in India, both of pilgrim importance and wonder. Delhi consists of some of the magnificent temples, both ancient and contemporary, which unleashes the rich religious significance of the place. The edifice of these temples offers an unforgettable experience to the visitants. Blending spirituality and devotion with modernity and enriching heritage, the temples of Delhi promises to leave the beholders truly mesmerized. Delhi is chock-a-block with a dizzying array of exquisite temples, located amidst lush gardens and graced with colorful lights, which makes it the ultimate destination for devotion and spirituality. A visit to these holy shrines is sure to leave you begging for more. Read through the following section to have a look at some of the most famous and grand temples of Delhi.
Famous Temples Of Delhi
Birla Mandir, also famous as Laxmi-Narayan Temple, ranks among the most prominent landmarks in Delhi and have served as a tourist hub for travelers from all across the globe. Built by famous industrialist Baldeo Das Birla in the 20th century, this temple is mainly dedicated to the preserver of Hindu Trinity - Lord Vishnu and enshrines magnificent deities of Lord Vishnu and Goddess Lakshmi. Inaugurated by Mahatma Gandhi in the year 1938, this sprawling temple with its stupendous architectural splendor, is located just off Connaught Place on Mandir Marg in Central Delhi. The temple remains opens to devotees from 7 am to 12 pm in the morning and from 2 pm to 9 pm in the evening.
Whether you are a Lord Krishna devotee or just driven by pure faith, ISKCON temple is one place you cannot afford to miss when out to explore the rich religious heritage of Delhi. Also known as Hare Rama Hare Krishna Temple, this magnificent shrine is perched on the serene peripheries of Hare Krishna Hill in East of Kailash, away from the bustles of Delhi. Adorned with the marble effigies of Lord Krishna, Radha and other deities, ISKCON temple, with its sprawling premise, manicured lawns, library and a hi-tech museum indeed ranks high among the most revered shrines in the capital city. The temple remains open to the devotees from 4.30 am to 12 pm in the morning and from 4 pm to 9 pm in the evening.
The ambrosial Akshardham Temple, apparently fêted as the largest Hindu temple complex in the world by Guinness World Record Committee, is a recent inclusion to the city of Delhi and has emerged as symbol of impeccable beauty, bliss and grandeur. Modeled after the Akshardham Temple in Ahmedabad, this Hindu shrine, inspired by Pramukh Swami Maharaj, is well famed as India’s biggest spiritual theme park. Perched on the banks of river Yamuna, this straggling pink sandstone cultural complex spread across 100 acres of land, displays the splendor of Indian history, art, culture and values. This temple is open to devotees from Tuesday to Monday (9 am to 9 pm).
The Bahá'í House of Worship, better known as the Lotus Temple, can be described as one of the biggest marvels of modern architecture, with a white chaste marble lotus set amidst the plush hills of Kalkaji. Build during 1980’s, the Lotus Temple is apparently the only Bahai temple of worship in Asia that houses no deities or idols. An opulent edifice set in shimmering pools of water, the Lotus Temple is better described as the melting pot of all religions. The temple is open to visitors from 9 am to 7 pm during summers and 9:30 am to 5:30 pm during winters on all days excluding Mondays.
The legendary Hanuman Mandir, located at Baba Kharak Singh Marg near Connaught Place, traces back its relevance to the Mahabharata days. Constructed in the year 1724 by Maharaja Jai Singh, this small yet elegant temple is apparently one of the oldest shrines in Delhi. The temple is dedicated to Bala Hanuman or Lord Hanuman, one of the greatest devotees of Lord Rama. This temple has undergone renovations several times since its inception.
Gauri Shankar Temple
The 800 year old Gauri Shankar Temple, located in Old Delhi, is apparently one of the oldest temples in the country and houses a 800 hundred year old Shiva lingam. Made of Phallus stone, this brown colored lingam is thronged by snakes, which is said to signify the cosmic pillar. Apart from this, there are bejeweled statues of Gauri and Shankar placed under the silver canopy inside the main shrine. The Gaurishankar Mandir of Delhi is apparently one of the most revered temples of Shaivism. This temple is open to visitors all the time.
Kalkaji Temple, located in Okhla Industrial Estate, is one of the most visited temples in Delhi. The temple was built in the year 1734 and was later expanded during the 18th century. The temple is devoted to Goddess Kali. The temple is especially thronged with huge number of devotees during Dusherra who visit the temple to attend the famous Kali Puja. Special arrangements are done during this nine-day long festival. People sing, dance and chant the holy names of the Goddess in order to please her.
Sri Digambar Jain Mandir
Situated opposite to the Red Fort, Sri Digambar Jain Mandir is one of the oldest places of worship in Delhi, built in the year 1658 AD. Established during the reign of the Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb, this temple has undergone numerous modifications, renovations and reconstructions since then. Located amidst the busy bustle of Chandni Chowk, Shree Digambar Jain Lal Mandir presents a picture of serenity and is dedicated to Lord Parshvanath, the twenty-third Jain tirthankara. The best time to visit this temple is during the Jain festivals like Paryushan, Deepawali, Samvatsari and Jnaan Panchami.