1933’s Laxmi Narayan Temple, (Birla Mandir), Delhi. Laxmi Narayan Temple, also known as Birla Mandir, is one of Delhi’s major temples and a major tourist attraction. Built by the industrialst G.D. Birla in 1938, this beautiful temple is located in the west of Connaught Place.
The temple is dedicated to Laxmi (the goddess of prosperity) and Narayana (The preserver). The temple was inaugurated by Mahatma Gandhi on the condition that people of all castes will be allowed to enter the temple.
The side temples are dedicated to Shiva, Krishna and Buddha. The temple spread over 7.5 acres, is adorned with many shrines, fountains, and a large garden, and also houses Geeta Bhawan for discources. The temple is one of the major attractions of Delhi and attracts thousands of devotees on the Hindu festivals of Janmashtami and Diwali.
The construction of temple dedicated to Laxmi Narayana started in 1933, built by industrialist and philanthropist, Baldeo Das Birla and his son Jugal Kishore Birla of Birla family, thus, the temple is also known as Birla Temple. The foundation stone of temple was laid by Maharaj Udaybhanu Singh. The temple was built under guidance of Pandit Vishwanath Shastri. The concluding ceremony and Yagna was performed by Swami Keshwa Nandji. The famous temple is accredited to have been inaugurated by Mahatma Gandhi in 1939. At that time, Mahatma Gandhi kept a condition that the temple would not be restricted to the Hindus and people from every caste would be allowed inside.
The shikharas of the temple
The three-storied temple is built in the northern or Nagara style of Hindu temple architecture. The entire temple is adorned with carvings depicting the scenes from Hindu mythology. More than hundred skilled artisans from Benares, headed by Acharya Vishvanath Shastri, carved the idols of the temple. The highest shikhara of the temple above the sanctum sanctorum is about 160 feet high. The temple faces the east and is situated on a high plinth. The shrine is adorned with fresco paintings depicting his life and work. The icons of the temple are in marble brought from Jaipur. Kota stone from Makarana, Agra, Kota and Jaisalmer were used in the construction of the temple premises.The Geeta Bhawan to the north of the temple is dedicated to Lord Krishna. Artificial landscape and cascading waterfalls add to the beauty of the temple.
he temple is located on the Mandir Marg, situated west of the Connaught Place in New Delhi. The temple is easily accessible from the city by local buses, taxis and auto-rickshaws. Nearest Delhi Metro station is R.K.Ashram Marg, located about 2 km away. Also on the same road lies the New Delhi Kalibari.