SHRI LAKSHMI NARAIN TEMPLE,
Lakshmi Narain Temple in New Delhi, popularly known as Birla Mandir has, over the years, attracted lakhs of visitors, pilgrims and devotees from all over the world. The foundation-stone of this famous temple was laid by Maharana Udai Bhan Singh of Dholpur on the 26th of March 1933. Pandit Vishwanath Acharya of the Hindu University, Banaras, assisted by 100 Pandits from different parts of the country, performed the installation ceremony of the idols of Gods and Goddesses in the Temple and on the 18th of March 1939, Mahatma Gandhi, Father of the Nation, performed the opening ceremony of the Temple. Birla Mandir was built by Raja Baldeo Dass Birla at a cost of several lakhs of rupees. To accomplish this task, Raja Sahib drew inspiration from Sanatan Dharma Sabha, New Delhi, and Goswami Ganesh Dutt, a prominent religious leader. The temple, which took about six years to build, epitomises the best of all the ancient Aryan religions as adjusted to modernism.
The Temple has been a pioneer in removing the barriers of caste, creed, and colour, as its doors are open to all. There are separate sanctums of Shri Lakshmi Narain in the centre, Goddess Durga on the left and Lord Shiva on the right. The dome of Lakshmi Narain sanctum is 165 feet high while those of Goddess Durga and Lord Shiva are 116 feet in height. On the right side of Lord Shiva’s sanctum is Gita Bhavan which has been adorned with an attractive idol of Bhagwan Shri Krishna and beautiful paintings of legends from the Mahabharata and the Gita. On the left side of the central structure is an exquisite temple of Bhagwan Buddha with walls having fresco paintings depicting his life and teachings.
The walls and upper gallery of the central structure have been beautified with numerous paintings of breath-taking charm which project fundamental teachings of the Aryan Dharma. The paintings have been done by known artists from Jaipur while experienced masons again from Jaipur are responsible for the sculptured panels. All Hindus, following different branches of Hindu (Arya) Dharma, namely, Sanatanists (including Harijans), Arya-Sarnajisrs Buddhists, Sikhs, Jains, etc. are welcome to participate in the daily worship, Satsang and Kirtan held in the Temple in perfect harmony and mutual good-will, according to the best traditions of the Temple.
To provide accommodation to pilgrims and devotees from outside Delhi, there is a Dharmasala in the temple which has a number of rooms. The rooms on the first floor are reserved for foreigners who come to the temple with a view to learning Hindu Religion or Sanskrit and Hindi languages. The temple also has a well-equipped library and a reading room. The back-side of the temple adjoining the ridge has been developed as an artificial mountainous landscape. Indraprastha Vatika has caves, waterfalls, fountains and canopies, besides Vyayamshala, Natyashala and Yagashala, All these present a beautiful spectacle.