Bahai Temple

Lakshmi Narayan Mandir is situated to the west of Connaught Place in Delhi. Constructed by Raja Baldev Das in the year 1938, it is dedicated to Lord Vishnu and Goddess Lakshmi. Also known by the name of Birla Mandir of New Delhi, this temple has quite an interesting history attached to it. Built over a period of 6 years, the temple was inaugurated by Mahatma Gandhi. But, he kept a condition that he will inaugurate the Delhi Laxmi Narain Temple only if the people from all castes, especially untouchables, would be able to gain entry inside it. The temple constitutes of one of the major draws of the city and is visited by numerous devotees and international tourists every year.

Lakshmi Narayan Mandir is built magnificently, although with a modern touch. Adorning the interiors of the temples are beautiful carvings depicting the scenes from mythology. Numerous Hindu symbols and quotes from the Gita and the Upanishads ornament the temple walls. The highest Shikara (tower) in the temple soars to an altitude of 165 ft, while the ancillary one is about 116 ft. Facing east and standing on an elevated platform, Birla Mandir of Delhi also enshrines the holy Vedas. The main shrine is dedicated to Lord Narayan and Goddess Lakshmi, while the smaller ones are of Lord Shiva, Lord Ganesha and Lord Hanuman and Goddess Durga.

To the north of the New Delhi Laxmi Narain Temple is the Geeta Bhawan, devoted to Lord Krishna. There is also a Buddha temple in this temple complex, adorned with murals describing his life and work. All the statues in the temple are made up of marble and were brought from Jaipur. Miniature rock temples, which dot the temple, hold a special attraction for the children. The splendor of the temple is enhanced by an artificial landscape in the back, with mountains and cascading waterfalls. The festival of Janmashtami, the birth anniversary of Lord Krishna, lends an enhanced significance to the temple.

Birla Mandir in Delhi is situated on Mandir Marg near Connaught Place and only 4 kms from New Delhi Railway Station.

Multiple Faiths
The Birla Mandir in Delhi also has a small sub temple dedicated to Lord Buddha and it is decorated with frescoes themed with scenes from his life, just like the Ajanta and Ellora caves.

Interesting Fact
A wall the Birla Mandir in Delhi has a first person inscription that on 27 May 1942 a man called Krishna Pal Sharma turned 11.66 grams of mercury into 11.66 grams of gold in full view of four very prominent witness. Performing similar feat, 18 kg mercury turned gold was donated to the temple.

The highest tower in the temple reaches the height of 165 feet while the ancillary towers reach 116 feet. The temple has influences of modern architecture. The whole temple is adorned with carvings depicting stories from the Hindu mythology. The white marble used in the temple was brought from Jaipur. Kota stone brought from Makarana, Agra and Jaislamer were also used in the temple construction. The idols of the temple were carved by 101 skilled craftsmen from Benaras, headed by Acharya Vishvanath Shastri. The highest tower of the temple soars 165 feet high, while the ancillary towers are 116 feet high.

The east facing temple is situated on a high plinth which leads to the 'Garbha Griha' or the sanctum sanctorum. The Geeta Bhawan is an exhibition hall cum shrine in the northern side of Birla Mandir. It is dedicated to Lord Krishna and decorated with paintings depicting scenes from Indian Mythology on the rear end of the hall. There are many gardens, miniature temples and fountains in the temple complex.

Accommodation in the form of a rest house is available for out of town travelers, especially for international scholars pursuing knowledge in Sanskrit or in the Hindu religion. A canteen is also located in the temple premises.