Delhi, the nation’s capital is always brimming with extreme energy with political and cultural happenings. It is undoubtedly one of the most visited and most popular tourist destinations in India with its historical monuments, the Parliament House, the ancient structures and more. Amidst all these hullaballoo, there is also a spiritual side to Delhi with its splendid religious structures. It has some of the best and oldest temples in the country and a visit to these places transport you to another state that is just so opposite to the image of Delhi. These temple visits offer a calm and peaceful atmosphere that can be only experienced and not described.
Though there are many temples in Delhi that are great places to visit and spend some time in, here are the 10 most famous temples in Delhi listed from oldest to newest, depending on the time they were built.
1. Shri Digambar Jain Lal Mandir
Shri Digambar Jain Lal Mandir was built in the 17th century and is easily visible from far because of its unique architecture. It is built in red stone and is situated near the Red fort. There are two storeys and the sanctum is on the first floor. Statues of Thirthankars are also housed in the temple. The temple is closed from 12 noon to 6 pm.
2. Hanuman Mandir
Hanuman Mandir is one of the ancient temples as it is believed that the temple was built during the time of Mahabharata. The temple was then rebuilt in 1724 and is situated in Connaught Place. The temple is also in the Guinness book of world records for continuous chanting of ‘Sri ram, Jai Ram’. The architecture of the temple is also quite beautiful and the ceiling of the temple has various images of lord Ram.
3. Kalka Ji Mandir
Kalka Ji Mandir is one of the oldest temples in the country and in Delhi as it was built in 1764 AD and is dedicated to goddess Kali worshiped as Shakti or goddess of power. Thousands of devotees visit the temple daily and during Navaratri festival in the month of October, the number reaches millions. The nearest metro station is also named after the temple, Kalkaji metro station.
4. Birla Mandir
The actual name of the temple is Lakshminarayan temple but it is more popularly known as the Birla Mandir. It is located on the Mandir Marg at Connaught Place and is dedicated to goddess Lakshmi and lord Vishnu. It is called as the Birla Mandir because it was built by the famous industrialist B. D. Birla in 1938. Built in red sandstone and white marble, the temple is a beautiful sight to behold. It is spread across more than seven acres of land and houses many deities, a garden and a hall for religious discourses. There are also beautiful fountains in the temple. There is a huge horse-drawn chariot built in marble which adds to the splendor of the temple. The nearest metro station is the R.K. Ashram Marg.
5. Chhatarpur Temple
It is a spectacular temple worth visiting by everyone. It is spread across 70 acres, a feat that few temples can boast of. The architecture of the temple is worth seeing as it is a unique style that combines the North and South styles of architecture. It is actually a vast temple complex as it houses many small and big temples and houses many deities. Dedicated to goddess Katyayani, Chhatarpur temple was built in marble. There are latticed or perforated stone styled screens. Another attraction is the 100 feet tall statue of lord Hanuman. The nearest metro station is Chhatarpur.
6. Lotus Temple
Lotus temple is a unique and one of its kind temples in the entire country. First, there is no sanctum or any idols in the temple, as it was built as per the Bahai concept, which welcomes all religions. Another feature of the temple is its unique architecture. It is built in the shape of a lotus, built in marble with 72 lotus petals, all looking divine in white. There is a large prayer hall and people can sit and meditate here and pray to their gods. The temple was open to visitors in 1986. The Lotus temple can be reached either from Kalkaji metro or the Nehru Place metro.
7. ISKCON Temple
ISKCON temple is one of the most visited temples in Delhi and is a massive structure dedicated to lord Krishna and is located on Hare Krishna Hill in the eastern part of Kailash. The main attraction of the temple is its impressive architecture. The temple was built in 1998 and has a unique way of worship. Visitors can also access Vedic literature and other religious books at the temple. The nearest metro is the Nehru Place.
8. Kali Mandir at Chittaranjan Park
Kali Mandir is dedicated to Goddess Kali and also houses a temple of lord Shiva and Radha Govinda. Built by the Bengali community in Delhi, the Kali temple is also a social and cultural centre. Durga Pooja celebrations held in either October or November are attended by lakhs of devotees.
9. Shri Sheetla Mata Mandir
Sheetla Mata is believed to be the wife of Dronacharya, the guru of Pandavas. It is also one of the most popular temples of Delhi and is visited by thousands of devotees every day. The road on which it is located is named after the temple and is near to the Gurgaon railway station.
10. Akshardham Temple
Though it is one of the modern temples and built in 2005, Akshardham temple is one of the best attractions of Delhi. It is the largest Hindu temple in the world and is located on NH 24. There are beautiful gardens, theater, hall and more. A unique thing about the temple architecture is that it is built entirely using marble and stones and no metal has been used in the construction. The Akshardham metro station is where you can get the nearest metro.
If you plan a trip to Delhi, do visit these temples and ensure that while you do visit the ancient temples, also pay a visit to the modern temples such as Akshardham and ISKCON. A tour that takes you on all the above temples will also give you a chance to admire the historical past of India and at the same time, experience spirituality and peace in the real sense.