Religious Places in Delhi, India

Birla Mandir / Laxmi Narayan Temple — Also known as the Lakshmi Narayan Temple, it is ideally located in central Delhi (Mandir Marg). This temple dedicated to the goddess of wealth, Lakshmi and Lord Narayana (Lord Vishnu) was built in 1938 by the prominent Indian industrialist Raja Baldev Das Birla and inaugurated by Mahatma Gandhi. The temple, built in Orissan style, has a large number of idols representing various gods of Indian pantheon. The well-grafted gardens need a special mention.

Bahai’s temple / Lotus temple — The BAHAI HOUSE,called as lotus temple,of worship is a marvel of modern architecture. It is made in the shape of a is one of the major attractions for national and international repesents the Bahai’s faith which is an independent world religion, divine in origin, all-embracing in scope, broad in its outlook, scientific in its method, humanitarian in its principles and dynamic in the influence it exerts on the hearts and minds of men.

ISKCON Temple — Built on a hilly place in 1998, the ISKCON Temple is a complex of temples. Dedicated to Lord Krishna, this elegant temple is one of the largest temple complexes in India. It has a large number of Hare-Rama Hare-Krishna cult followers.

Chattarpur Mandir — Chattarpur Mandir is located beyond the Qutab Minar in Mehrauli. The temple dedicated to Goddess Durga, is built in South Indian style. The temple complex is spread over a large area with beautiful lawns and gardens. Though devotees visit these temples throughout the year, the main attraction comes during the Navarathri festival, when devotees come from far and near. During this time, there are special bus services provided to the devotees.

Bala Hanuman Temple — This elegant temple stands on the south-eastern side of Ranmal Lake. The 24-hour chanting of the mantra ‘Sri Ram, Jai Ram, Jai Jai Ram’, which has been going on in the temple since August 1, 1964, has earned a place in the Guinness Book of Records.

Kalkaji Mandir — Situated beyond the commercial complex of Nehru Place lies this temple dedicated to the goddess Kalika Devi. This domed twelve-sided Shakti Kalkaji temple, also known as Kalika or Kalka Devi lies on the same hill as the Baha’i temple. Its oldest section dates back to 1764 and additions were made in the mid-19th century; yet, most of the building is modern. This popular Kali shrine is at the heart of a village and the Hindu worship of its ‘Mahants’ (important sadhus) makes a fascinating contrast with the new faith of the Baha’is. Thousands of pilgrims throng the temple, especially in October during the nine days of ‘navratra’, when a huge fair is held over here.

Sri Digambar Jain Lal Mandir — Digambara Jain temple dates back to the time of Aurangzeb’s reign and is famous as Delhi’s oldest temple. It is situated right opposite the Red Fort, at the entrance of the main road. It was built in 1658 AD, but modifications and additions are going on ever since, and it remains a haven of tranquility amidst the noisy and chaotic main street of Chandni Chowk. The temple authorities also run a Bird hospital & hundreds of pigeons and other birds are there in the temple complex.

Hanuman Mandir, Connaught place — Situated on the Baba Kharak Singh Road (old Irwin Road) about 250m southwest of Connaught Circus, this temple is of little architectural importance. The residents of Delhi are, however, particularly devoted to it. The original temple appears to have been constructed by Maharaja Jai Singh about the same times as the Jantar -Mantar, but has undergone large scale renewals since then.

Nizam-ud-din Shrine — This is the tomb of the famous sufi saint, Nizam-ud-din Auliya. Built on the way from Humayun’s tomb, the premise of the shrine is a tank, which is surrounded by many other tombs. It is said that there was an argument between the rulers of Tughlakabad and the saint over building this tank. The saint had said that the city of Tughlakabad will never prosper and so did it happen. The tomb has been through several renovations ever since it was built. The present mausoleum dates back to 1562.

The complex of the shrine includes several other tombs, including that of the noted poet Mirza Ghalib (1786-1869), Amir Khusbru and the grave of Jahanara, the daughter of Shah Jahan.
If you happen to be there at around sunset on Thursdays, don’t miss out the extravagant performance of qawwali singers that takes place after the evening prayers.
Location: West of Mathura Road

St. James Church — Located very close to Kashmiri Gate in north Delhi, St. James Church is the oldest church in the capital. It was built by James Skinner and consecrated in 1836. It is designed in a cruciform plan with the entrance towards the west and the altar towards the east (the standard norm in most churches the world over). The dome interestingly is very similar to the dome of Florence Cathedral in Italy that was the first renaissance structure built in the world. Porches on the north, south and the west provide the building with three entrances. The central portion of the church is an octagon with circular columns supporting the dome.

Aurobindo Ashram — Again in the south of Delhi near the Indian Institute of Technology on the road to Mehrauli it has literature on the life of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother and has an ashram where devotees can come to meditate. There is also some accommodation available for devotees of Sri Aurobindo.