11 Temples and Religious Places to Visit in Delhi

India is not only Goa, Bollywood and Sari! If you go to India, be sure to go through Delhi! The whole city is literally saturated with history. Delhi is dotted with various mosques, fortresses and monuments preserved from the time of the Mughal rulers who once lived there. Today it is impossible not to note the huge contrast between the confused Old Delhi and the well-designed New Delhi.

Researching one and the other will be equally enjoyable, I promise. And Delhi is a city immersed in greenery and the scent of flowering gardens, where city dwellers love to go to relieve tension and fatigue.

Among the sights of Delhi, which are definitely worth a visit, the following temples and religious places are the most popular.

1. Lotus Temple

In Delhi, you will find a special temple. The Lotus Temple is not dedicated to one god or religion, but all of them. You will see respect and positive vibes in the interior, and it is a great place to try to meditate and see clearer about your life.

Commonly known as the lotus temple, it is a Bahai place of worship. The Lotus Temple is open to all, regardless of religion, or any other distinction. It is located near Mandir Marg in Kalkaji. The space like many temples is designed to create the awe and amazement that a religious space is supposed to evoke.

But unlike most temples, where art dominates over architecture through sculptures and paintings, the Lotus Temple has a very contemporary design, freeing itself from the semantic grammar of all other religions, which it was precisely designed to do so: create a new 'style' for the Baha'i religion. Its scale, symmetry, surreal ambiance and its landscaping makes it one of the best religious spaces, architecture-wise.

The temple of one of the most interesting and young world religions is the Baha'i, which originated in the middle of the 19th century in Persia and today has over 5 million followers around the world. The Baha'i temple of white marble in the form of a blooming lotus was built in 1986 and welcomes believers of all faiths, and is also one of the most visited and famous landmarks in New Delhi.

2. Laxminarayan Temple or Birla Mandir

It is one of the most magnificent Hindu temples in India in honor of the goddess of prosperity, well-being and happiness - Lakshmi and one of the incarnations of Lord Vishnu. It was built in six years from 1933 to 1939 and is the result of hard work of more than 100 of the best Indian stone carvers.

The temple was opened by Mahatma Gandhi and, unlike many other Hindu temples, gladly accept everyone, regardless of their nationality, religious or caste affiliation. Birla Mandir attracts the attention of not only tourists, but also numerous pilgrims of the most diverse currents in Hinduism, since besides Lakshmi and Narayana, it contains sanctuaries in honor of Buddha, Shiva, Hanuman, Ganesha, Durga and Krishna.

Another pearl of this temple ensemble is a garden with numerous fountains and waterfalls with an area of over 3 hectares.

3. Jama Masjid

Long before it was the capital of India, Delhi was the stronghold of Mughal rulers. Iconic mosques and other vital Islamic structures were built under them. Every Mughal monument in the city has a small mosque somewhere on the premises. The Jama Masjid in Delhi is among the most popular places in India for Muslims. Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan got the Jama Masjid built between 1644 and 1656 with a huge budget. The mosque still has three huge entrance gates from 1656, when it was completed. The structure is made of red sandstone and white marble.

The largest and most famous mosque in Delhi, the construction of which was started almost simultaneously with the famous Taj Mahal and completed in 1656. The mosque attracts increased attention of tourists because of its architectural and historical value, and a religious shrine, an ancient copy of the Koran written in deerskin, is of particular interest to pilgrims.

It is an absolute must for any Muslim traveling to the region to visit this place. A fine piece of Mughal architecture, you can have the best views of entire old Delhi from different gates of the mosque. Best part? No entry fee for tourists. Make sure you're fully covered in your clothes and yes, you'll have to remove footwear outside for all the sacred reasons. Also, the Qutub Shahi Dargah is another important place. It holds the tombs of several legendary Mughal rulers.

4. St. James' Church

The oldest Anglican church in Delhi, was built in 1836 and for 72 years was the cathedral of the vice-royalty of the British colonization. Located near the Kashmir Gate.

5. Swaminarayan Akshardham

The largest and largest temple complex in India, the construction of which was completed in 2005. It is the fruit of labor of more than 7,000 modern Indian architects and craftsmen. Despite its high cost and scale, it was built solely through voluntary private donations from followers of Swaminarayan, whose statue is located in the very center of the building.

Anyone can visit the complex, as it is not a purely religious building, but rather a memorial and a universal place of worship. Akshvardham daily pleases visitors with various exhibitions, theatrical performances, musical fountains, numerous restaurants and gardens, as well as walks along an artificial lake.

6. Sri Bangla Sahib Gurdwara

The famous Sikh temple in Delhi in honor of Guru Har Krishana, was built in 1783 simultaneously with 9 other gurdwaras in the capital of India. Inside the complex there is a large pond called Sarovar, the waters of which are revered by Sikhs as sacred amrita. Located in the main business district of Delhi - Connaught Place.

7. Nizamuddin Dargah

The mausoleum of Nizamuddin Auliya, which is one of the most revered and famous saints in Sufism, is located in the eponymous district of Delhi - Nizamuddin West. It is one of the most revered religious shrines, which is visited daily by thousands of Muslims, tourists and ordinary residents of the city.

Next to the mausoleum are the tombs of the poet and musician - Amir Khosrov, as well as the world famous Sufi preacher, philosopher and musician - Hazrat Inayat Khan.

8. ISKCON Delhi – Sri Sri Radha Parthasarathi Temple

The largest and most famous temple complex of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON) in Delhi is dedicated to Krishna and Radha. At the moment, there are several hotels for pilgrims and guests in the area adjacent to the temple, a beautiful park and an artificial lake, a cafe, a center for Vedic culture, exhibitions of Indian arts, constant musical and laser accompaniment, thanks to which visitors and passers-by can learn about Vedic culture and Indian deities.

9. Shri Digambar Jain Lal Mandir

One of the oldest temples of Jainism, located in close proximity to the famous Red Fort and built in 1656. Its name, which literally means red temple, he received thanks to the bright red color of sandstone on the facade of the building. This complex is visited by both pilgrims and ordinary tourists. The latter are particularly attracted to the charity hospital for birds and other small animals, located on the temple grounds.

10. Sri Sis Ganj Sahib

Situated to your right on the road to Red Fort from the Chandni Chowk metro station, Gurudwara Sri Sis Ganj Sahib is a holy worship place for the Sikhism followers. Known for its long history, Sis Ganj Sahib is your answer to cravings for the religion, art and architecture. Make sure to cover your head properly and make it a point to remove shoes outside any religious place in India. Be it a mosque, temple or a gurudwara.

11. Chhatarpur Temple

Although this place is located in the area of the same name on the outskirts of the southwestern district of Delhi, it is worth a visit to anyone who has decided to get to know the capital of India. This second largest temple in the whole world was built in 1974. The territory of the complex covers an area of 24 hectares.

The main temple is dedicated to one of the manifestations of the goddess Shakti Katyayani and opens only twice a year during the celebration of Navratri, the rest of the shrines were erected in honor of Shiva, Ganesha, Radha and Krishna, Lord Rama, services are held in them constantly.
Kalyan Panja