“Just as a candle cannot burn without fire, men cannot live without a spiritual life.” – Lord Buddha.
If you also believe ardently in the power of the Almighty, a spiritual escape once in a while might just be the thing you need to clear your mind and become a better version of yourself. And, if you are unable to connect with the higher power you believe in, a visit to a temple might just do the trick. Yes, God is omnipresent but sometimes you need to knock on his door and look for the answers you seek. Maybe amidst all the chants, shrines and the discipline of his followers, you will find the respite you are looking for. This might become even more necessary is a city like Delhi, where it is possible to get detached and disconnected from yourself. So, here are the most visited temples in Delhi that you can head to for some spiritual awakening, or let’s say, reawakening.
1. Akshardham Temple, Commonwealth Games Village
When talking about temples in Delhi, there is no better place to start than the famous and absolutely beautiful Akshardham Temple. A tourist attraction in itself, the temple conducts screenings to educate people along with boat rides that take you through our glorious past dating back to the time of Aryabhatta.
Visit this temple, Dedicated to Swaminarayan Akshardham, to know about his struggles, teachings and life; everything is truly inspirational. Moreover, the Light and Sound Show in the evening (after 7 PM) is a magnificent spectacle. Soak in the lively yet peaceful atmosphere of this temple or spend some time exploring the various shrines and paying your respect.
We suggest you visit this temple on a weekday because on the weekend it is super-crowded.
2. Bhairon Mandir or Sri Kilkari Bhairav Temple, Pragati Maidan
Located in the backside of Old Fort in Pragati Maidan, Bhairon Mandir is quite a unique Hindu temple in Delhi. It is believed to be built by the Pandavas themselves.
One unique and intriguing thing about the temple is that the devotees offer alcohol to the deity. Yes, you read that. Unlike the usual temples across the country, there is a separate wing in the temple that is exclusively for people who wish to offer alcohol. It is called the Kilkari Bhairav Temple. The other wing, where milk is the primary offering is called Dudhiya Bhairav Temple.
If you wish to offer alcohol, please purchase it before at the temple has no shops selling alcohol inside the premises or anywhere near.
3. Gauri Shankar Temple, Chandni Chowk Road
Located in the heart of Chandni Chowk, Gauri Shankar Temple is a beautiful temple dedicated to, as the name suggests, Lord Shiva and Parvati. Built by a soldier, who took a vow to construct it if he came through his sufferings during the war, the temple today has become an important place for all Hindu devotees, especially those who believe in Lord Shiva.
It is believed that the Shiva Linga in the temple is around 800 years old. It is crowded on Monday as it is considered the day of Lord Shiva, so one should visit the temple when it is more peaceful.
Go to the temple when the celebration of the Shivratri festival is in full swing. The temple truly looks picturesque after it has been decorated and well-lit.
4. Hanuman Mandir, Jhandewalan
One of the prominent parts of montage in every movie or TV show that depicts Delhi, Jhandewalan Hanuman Mandir is a temple one cannot miss when travelling via the Delhi Metro’s Blue Line. The massive 108-feet tall statue of Lord Hanuman is the USP of this temple. Visible from both Karol Bagh and Jhandewalan Metro Station, this temple is specially swarmed by devotees on Tuesday because it is considered the day of Lord Hanuman.
Apart from the statue of Lord Hanuman himself, the entrance of the temple is also quite unique. It has been built in the form of the deity’s mouth, after walking through which you reach the sanctum of the temple.
If you are visiting the temple, we suggest you do so during the evening aarti because at this time a special spectacle takes place which is a dazzling and spectacular sight in itself. We don’t want to spoil the surprise for you so you head to the temple soon.
5. Birla Mandir or Lakshmi Narayan Temple, Mandir Marg
A beautiful and renowned temple in Delhi, Lakshmi Narayan Temple was built by BD Birla in early the 1930s. A multi-storied structure, most of the temple is built in red sandstone; it has shrines of Lord Vishnu and Goddess Lakshmi at its heart. Apart from the idols of these two deities, you will also find several wall paintings and carvings that are beautiful in their own right.
6. Hanuman Mandir, Connaught Place
It is believed that this temple in Delhi was built during the time of Mahabharat. Later renovated by Maharaja Jai Singh to its present form, the temple is one of the most significant places of worship for Hindus. As the name suggests, the main shrine inside the temple is that of Lord Hanuman. However, when you are exploring the temple, do not forget to take a look at the ceiling above you. You will find beautiful images of Lord Ram on it, making the entire temple more surreal and spectacular.
7. Mahabodhi Temple, Mandir Marg
Located adjacent to Birla Temple, this lesser-known yet peaceful Buddhist temple in Delhi should be on your list of places to visit. Functioning under the guidance and teachings of the Maha Bodhi Society of India, this temple is a revered place among Buddhists.
If you feel inclined to understand the deeper meaning of this religion, this temple has a centre for disciples as well. Just soak in the serenity of the place or pay your respect to the gurus.
8. Ladakh Buddhist Vihara, Civil Lines
Given the influx of Tibetans in the capital city of India, a Buddhist temple in Delhi only stands as a proof of our secular nation. Ladakh Buddhist Vihara or Buddhist Monastery is situated on the banks of river Yamuna, lending this place of teaching a calm atmosphere. As you step inside the brightly coloured building, a happy feeling will engulf you. In the centre of the monastery, a giant Buddha statue stands tall, welcoming people of all castes and creeds. Spend some time learning about this religion and also spin the prayer wheels which are considered auspicious by the devout followers.
9. Shri Digambar Jain Lal Mandir, Old Delhi
Shri Digambar Jain Lal Mandir, Old Delhi
Located close to the imposing Red Fort, Shri Digambar Jain Lal Mandir is another structure built entirely out of red sandstone. Apart from being a visual spectacle, this also happens to be one of the few Jain temples in Delhi. The sanctum of the presiding deity is on the first floor of this two-storied structure. Pay your respect and then head to the second floor of the temple to take in a beautiful view of Chandni Chowk from the balcony.
10. Svetambara Jain Temple, Kinari Bazaar
When taking a tour of the Jain temples in Delhi, one cannot miss Svetambara Jain Temple. A two-storied structure and one of the oldest Jain temples in Delhi, it sees a lot of visitors paying their respects to Tirthankars. A black stone shrine of the main deity – Lord Parshavnath – is at the centre of the temple with those of other Tirthankars like Lord Adinath and Lord Ajitanatha surrounding it.
11. Arya Samaj Mandir, Janakpuri
Apart from praying and spending some time in the presence of the lord, many people exchange their vows in front of the omnipresent god here, making it one of the most prominent temples for marriage in Delhi. Disregarding caste, creed and religion, this temple and its followers believe in the communion of two people and the bond they want to share for the rest of their lives. What better way to start a lifelong journey with your partner than by tying your knot in one of the temples of Arya Samaj?!
12. ISKCON Temple, East of Kailash
Built in the reverence of Lord Krishna, ISKCON is not just in East of Kailash but in various other places across the country. With a shrine in the centre of the temple complex and a huge hall adorned with various paintings depicting scenes from Mahabharat and life of Lord Krishna, this place is truly one of its kind for all his devotees.
Apart from the depictions, paintings and shrines, one can also go through the copies of Bhagavad Gita kept in the museum here. Read this holy book of Hindus (in any language) or immerse yourself in the chants of Hare Krishna Hare Rama. Also, if you are looking for a temple to get married at, ISKCON might just be the place. The evening aarti held at the temple is a spectacle one should not miss as its pious flames and chants are enough to stir the religious person in you.
13. Shri Jagannath Mandir, Hauz Khas
A white replica of the magnificent Jagannath Temple of Puri, it is one of the most important temples for the Oriya community. A lot of cultural significance is laid on the temple, the main deity of which is Lord Jagannath. Visit the temple during the Rath Yatra festival and watch it come alive with prayers, chanting and hundreds of devotee.
14. Chhatarpur Mandir, Chhatarpur
Spread on a sprawling 70 acres of land, this is perhaps one of the largest temples in Delhi. A blend of both South and North Indian temple architecture can be seen in the complex, and the architecture of the temple in itself is a major point of attraction.
There is not just one, but 20 different shrines inside the complex dedicated to different deities. With shrines of different Hindu gods and goddesses, you can spend an entire day at this beautiful temple. While the temple becomes all the more spectacular during Navratri, around 1 Lakh devotees visit the temple so be prepared.
15. Lotus Temple, Kalkaji
Unlike other temples in Delhi, this new-age temple signifies unity and freedom from bondage to believe in any particular religion. This is why the temple has no altars, shrines, idols or symbolic paintings or carvings.
The temple is built in the shape of a white lotus and has several entryways and water ponds all around. A large prayer or meditation hall in the middle of the temple is the place where visitors come to spend some hours in absolute peace. The new-world religion which the temple is trying to educate people about is called Baha’i.
So, if on a particular day, you don’t know which god you should pay a visit, feel free to spend some time in the meditation centre of Lotus Temple.
16. Jhandewalan Mandir, Karol Bagh
One of the most prominent temples in Delhi, this one has a shrine of Goddess Durga, the epitome of female power. This is perhaps the only temple that has been built on the urging of a devotee of the goddess. Badri Bhagat dreamt of the idol of Goddess Durga deep in the ground; the temple has been built at the same place where Bhagat dreamt it to be. The temple got its name after the multitude of flags which are offered by devotees, hoping that their wishes will be fulfilled. Visit the temple during Navratri to experience its true buzz and grandeur.
17. Kalkaji Mandir, Kalkaji
Built in the year 176, this is among the oldest temples in Delhi. Dedicated to Hindu Goddess Kali or Adishakti, the temple is considered highly sacred by devotees. People often come here to pay their gratitude after the fulfilment of their wishes. Mostly crowded on weekends, we recommend you visit the temple on weekdays. Or if you are looking to witness the temple all lit up, during Navratri.
18. Sai Baba Mandir, Lodhi Road
Do you believe in the presence of just one god just like Sai Baba did? Then, visit this famous Sai Baba Mandir located on Lodhi Road. An old and quaint temple, this one has been visited by people from far and wide. Everyone has the same view about the tranquillity one feels when inside the temple.
One can feel calm and at peace with oneself after spending a couple of hours at this shrine with a rather simple structure. Take a stroll around the temple of just sit in front of the large idol of Sai Baba in the hall. As Thursday is considered the day of Sai Baba, the temple is usually crowded, so avoid if you want to visit it in peace.
19. Kali Mandir, Chittaranjan Park
An important temple for the Bengali community residing in Chittaranjan Park, it is dedicated to Goddess Kali. An earthly and simple abode of god, this temple is especially crowded during Navratri and Durga Puja. Along with the main shrine of Devi Kali, the temple also has a minor temple of Lord Shiv and Radha Krishna. Visit it during the Durga Puja to witness a burst of colours and an entire community coming together to celebrate Goddess Durga and Kali.
20. Yogmaya Mandir, Mehrauli
Perhaps the only temple in Delhi to be dedicated to Yogmaya, the Mother of all beings, this one is a must-visit just for its uniqueness.
It is believed that the temple has withstood the test of time for the past 5000 years. Despite many attempts to sabotage it, the temple has been standing tall and strong. Visit it during the month of October to witness the Phoolon Ki Sair festival. It is the only time when the entire temple is enveloped in fresh flowers and comes alive with a burst of colours.
A land of many cultures, religions, castes and creeds, Delhi is bound to have so many temples. So, if you are looking for hotels in Delhi for your next business trip, a trip you want to successful, head to any of these shrines to seek blessings.