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Lakshmi Narayan Temple

Laxmi Narayan Temple is much more commonly known as the Birla Mandir. Laxmi Narayan Temple is a Hindu temple devoted to the Lord Laxmi Narayan, located in the state of Delhi. The name Laxmi Narayan is typically used in reference to the Lord Vishnu, who is the God of Preservation among the Trimurti (the Three Primary Gods of the Hindu Religion). He is called Narayan whenever he is depicted along with his wife Lakshmi, who is the goddess of wealth.

The temple was built by Jugal Kishore Birla and B. R. Birla of the famous industrial and business family of the Birlas. Its construction happened between the years 1933 and 1939. Mahatma Gandhi inaugurated the complex on the condition that it would be open to people of all ethnicities, castes and religions. Within the Temple complex, there are also side temples and shrines that are devoted to Lord Shiva, Buddha and Lord Krishna. Today, the temple has become one of the primary tourist attractions of the State. During the Hindu festivals of Diwali and Janmashthami, the temple is visited by several thousand of devotees every day.

The Temple Complex

The entire temple complex has been constructed over an area of 7.5 acres (or 30,000). The built up area of the Temple Complex is a little over a half acre (2,100 m2). Within the Complex, there are several shrines and fountains that serve to adorn the premises. There is also a vast garden and a separate Geeta Bhawan that has been built specifically for discourses.

The primary temple houses idols of the Hindu deities of Goddess Laxmi and the Lord Narayan. Within the same structure there are smaller shrines devoted to other important Hindu deities. Among them are idols of the Lord Ganesha (The Remover of Obstacles), Lord Shiva (the Destroyer in the Trimurti) and Lord Hanuman (the monkey devotee of Lord Rama). In a demonstration of a broad religious mindset, the complex also contains a shrine that is devoted to the Lord Buddha or Shakyamuni who is the founder of Buddhism. The Shikhar (tower) on the left side of the temple contains an idol of the Goddess Durga who is an incarnation of of Shakti, the divine consort of Shiva.

The Temple is opened to the public from 6 A.M to 10 P.M every day of the week, throughout the year. True to the intentions of Mahatma Gandhi, there are no restrictions on entry to the temple.

Prominent Features of the Temple

In addition to the shrines, the temple is also notable for several other features. Some of the most beautiful features are the Pietra Dura Wall, the Yagya Shala, the Navagraha pillar, the Gita Rath, the Chandravardai Great Kavi, the Monkey Sculpture, the sculpture of Baldeo Das Birla, the two elephant Sculptures, the Mata Sculpture, the Vatika, the sculpture of Lord Krishna on the Kali snake, the Vatika Temple, the sculpture of the great ruler Chandragupta Maurya, the Dharamraj Yudistra Sculpture, the magnificent Maurya Time Light Pillar and the intricate Nataraja Sculpture. All these features add greatly to the experience of visiting the temple.


The building of the primary temple devoted to Laxmi Narayan commenced in the year 1933. The temple was built by philanthropist and industrialist Baldeo Das Birla and his son Jugal Kishore Birla of the Birla family, because of which the temple has become known as the Birla Temple. This was in accordance with the family belief of the Birlas that if they ever stop building temples, great misfortune will fall upon the house. Maharaj Udaybhanu Singh laid the foundation stone of the temple. The entire temple complex was constructed under supervision of Pandit Vishwanath Shastri. The closing ceremonies and the Yagna were conducted by the Swami Keshwa Nandji. It was the primary temple that Mahatma Gandhi inaugurated in the year 1939.

Architecture of the Temple

The three story temple has been built in the Nagara style or the north Indian style of traditional Hindu temple architecture. The entire complex is ornamented with carvings that depict various important events from Hindu mythology. Head by the Acharya Vishvanath Shastri, over a hundred accomplished artisans from the city of Benares carefully carved the various icons of the complex.

The tallest shikhar of the complex lies directly above the sanctum sanctorum and is more than a 160 feet tall. The primary temple faces towards the east and is located atop a high plinth. The shrine has been decorated with fresco paintings depicting the life and work of Narayan. The icons in the primary temple have been made from marble from Jaipur. High quality Kota stone from Agra, Makarana, Jaisalmer and Kota has been utilized in the construction of the premises. North of the main temple is the Geeta Bhawan. Artificial landscaping of the premises has been done and cascading waterfalls have been created to increase the beauty of the complex.

Location and Address

The temple is on Mandir Marg which runs to the west of Connaught Place. The temple can be easily accessed from any part of the city by DTC buses, auto-rickshaws and taxis. The nearest metro station is Ramakrishna Ashram Marg about 2 km away from the temple.

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