( Laxmi Narayan Temple )
West Of Connaught Place, Mandir Marg, Central Delhi
Also Known As: Birla Mandir
Built In: 1933-1939
Presiding Deity: Lord Vishnu
This enchanting temple is located west of Connaught Place and was
build by Raja Baldev Das in 1938. The temple is dedicated to the
goddess of prosperity and good fortune & is commonly known as
the Birla Mandir.
is modern in concept and construction and attracts several devotees
and international tourists. The presiding deity here is Lakshmi
Narayan, a manifestation of Lord Vishnu. The walls of the temple
are decorated with various Hindu symbols and quotes from the Gita
and the Upanishads.
This temple was built over a six-year period (1933 - 1939) and was
inaugurated by Mahatma Gandhi on the condition that people of all
castes especially untouchables would be allowed in. It was built
in the 20th century by the Birla family of industrialists known
for its many other temples in India.
Built in Orissan style, the highest tower in the temple reaches
a height of 165ft, while the ancillary towers reach 116ft. The Geeta
Bhavan, a hall adorned with beautiful paintings depicting scenes
from Indian mythology. There is also a temple dedicated to Buddha
in this complex with fresco paintings describing his life and work.
entire complex, especially the walls and the upper gallery are full
of paintings carried out by artists from Jaipur in Rajasthan. The
rear of the temple has been developed as an artificial mountainous
landscape with fountains and waterfalls.
festival of Janmashtami is celebrated here with much goodwill and
cheer. The exterior is faced with the white marble and red sandstone
typical of Delhi's Mughal architecture. The interior court is overlooked
by two-storey verandahs on three sides; there are gardens and fountains
at the rear.
many foreign tourists, this is the place in India where they are
confronted with the incongrogous sight of multiple 'swastikas'.
The original meaning of the sign, an ancient Aryan symbol of the
striving for perfection, as explained on one wall.
Shrines In The Temple Complex
Durga and Shiva are the other major deities housed in this temple.
Mention must be made of the Buddha temple in this complex.