Laxminarayan Temple ( Birla Temple )
This ancient temple stands on Mandir Marg, to the west of Connought Place, New Delhi. Laxminarayan Temple is dedicated to Lord Vishnu, the preserver and his consort, Goddess Lakshmi.
“Entry in this temple is not restricted to Hindus. People from every caste are allowed inside.”- This was the condition laid down by Mahatma Gandhi while inaugurating the Laxminarayan Temple in the year 1939. The temple was built in 1622 by Vir Singh Deo, and was later renovated by Prithvi Singh in 1793. From 1938 onwards, the Birla family took the charge of renovations,and funding of the temple. It was rebuilt (1933-1939) by Mr. B.D. Birla of Birla Group of Industries, one of the famous business tycoons of India. Being largely financed by the Birlas, the temple later came to be known as Birla Temple.
One of the major Hindu religious places in Delhi, Birla mandir houses a complex of temples containing idols of several deities. This is considered as one of the largest temple complexes in India.
Birla mandir is dedicated to Lord Vishnu and Goddess Lakshmi, the goddess of prosperity and good fortune. However, it houses idols of all Hindu gods, including Lord Krishna, Goddess Durga, Lord Shiva, Lord Ganesha, Lord Rama and Lord Hanuman.
The temple is visited by people and scholars from all over the world to learn about the Hindu religion and spirituality. During their time of learning, they enjoy stay in guest houses of the temple managed by the temple authorities.
The huge gardens of the temple is influenced by Orissan Style. It has unique tall spires made of red sandstone. These attractively extended spires vary from a height of 116 feet to 165 feet. Along with the huge idols, the temple exhibits scultures and Jali work. Along with artificial fountains and waterfalls, the complex, walls and the upper galleries are adorned with paintings carried out by the artists from Jaipur.
The temple is also known for the Geeta Bhawan, a grand hall full of spell-binding paintings based on various scenes of the holy Geeta.
The temple witnesses devotees in huge numbers on the festival of Janmashtami (birthday of Lord Krishna). Laxminarayan/Birla Temple is famous for the grand celebration of Janmashtami every year.