A temple is a place for all devotees no matter which caste or religion do they belong to. Inaugurated by Gandhiji with the condition that the doors of the temple remains open for every human being is what makes Laxminarayan temple significant along with the architectural importance.
Location: Mandir Marg, Connaught Place, New Delhi
Entry Timings: 07:00 am to 12:00 pm and 02:00 pm to 09:00 pm
Closed on Mondays
Nearest Metro Station: R.K. Ashram Marg Metro Station on Blue Line
Nearest Bus Stand: Lakshmi Narayan Mandir Bus Stop
Laxminarayan temple, also known by the name Birla Temple is a hindu temple that is dedicated to the preserver or the protector, Laxminarayan, also called Vishnu or Narayan.
When was the temple built?
The construction of the temple began in 1933 when the foundation of the temple was laid by Maharaj Udaybhanu Singh, the last ruler of Dholpur state. It was built by the industrialist Baldeo Das Birla with the cooperation of his sons and is still maintained by the same family. The temple was inaugurated by the Father of the Nation and a great soul, Mahatma Gandhi. He had however agreed to do so only after the condition put by him was agreed upon. The condition was that the temple should be opened for everyone, not only Hindus. Therefore, people of other religions and also untouchables are allowed to enter and pray inside the temple premises.
What is the structure of the temple?
The temple consists of many small and big shrines dedicated to various gods and with gardens, fountains and these shrines, the temple covers an area of 7.5 acres. The temple is built as per the Nagara architecture style. Along with the representation of historical hindu architecture, the temple also displays the modern approaches that have been used for building the temple. Sris Chandra Chatterjee, who was a leading architect and member of Modern Indian Architecture Movement was the person responsible for designing such a magnificent temple. He was well known for the modern materials used by him in building his temples.
The temple is decorated with impressive carvings that displays important scenes of Indian mythology. Use of hindu symbols, shlokas or quotes from Geeta and Upanishads have been made for the decoration of the temple. Beautiful frescos painted by the leading artists have been hung on the wall which represent the importance of Indian mythology.
Who is worshipped here?
As the name suggests, the temple is dedicated to Lord Narayan(Vishnu) and Goddess Laxmi. The main and the biggest shrine houses the marble statues of these two, while the smaller temples on the sides are dedicated to and houses statues of many Gods and goddesses like Lord Shiva, Lord Hanuman, Lord Ganesha and Goddess Durga. There is also a temple that is dedicated to Lord Brahma, considered to the creator and the source of all creation as per Hinduism. This temple consists of frescos and paintings that depict the life of brahma displaying the work done by him.
All the statues have been made using marble that was brought here from Jaipur, by the craftsmen and artists who worked under the supervision of Acharya Vishvanath Shastri. It also contains artificial landscape that is made of artificial mountains and fountains.
When is the best time to visit Laxminarayan Temple?
As a temple, the temple is open for the devotees all over the year, but the best time to visit here is at the time of Janmashtami(birth of Lord Krishna), Ram Navami(birth of Lord Ram) and Diwali(return of Lord Rama to Ayodhya after the exile). A lot of people visit the temple during these times, and the festivals are celebrated with great joy and devotion here.
If you are interested in temples and their architectures, this temple is a marvellous example of excellent Hindu architecture and a must-visit for architecture enthusiasts.