Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Birla Mandir

After the day's work, on the way back to New Friends Colony (The place where my Employer’s guest house is situated), the Driver’s wanted to drive me via Birla Temple and CP. And, how could it be a ‘No’ from my end.

It was around 5:30 when I reached the Temple. I knew it was built in 1938 and was inaugurated by Mahatma Gandhi on condition that people of all caste and creed. Popularly known as Laxmi Narayana Temple, this was dedicated to the nation by Birlas. Dad had told me enough about this.

Consequently a plaque at the gate reiterates that people of all faiths and classes are welcome. Till date, it remains one of the most popular temples in Delhi.

Although it looked simple from outside, it had all the complicated security check in place. Camera, Cell Phone and Baggage was not even allowed forget usage. And the absence of a deposit counter forced me to dump it in the Car..

The temple is designed as per Orissa style of architecture, with tall curved towers capped by large amalakas. The exterior is faced with the white marble and red sandstone typical of Delhi’s Mughal architecture. The interior court is overlooked by two-storey verandahs on three sides; there are gardens and fountains at the rear. The profusion of sculptures, idols, spires and jails, a splendor in terms of its architecture.

But, the Temple was amazing beautiful. The main sanctum sanctorum housed a beautiful idol of Lord Krishna. The sanctum on the right houses Goddess Durga and the left Lord Shiva.The beauty of these is that the idols are of the purest form of white, unlike the black ones down south here. These are only decorated with clothes and jewellery and hardly any flowers like here.

To me specially, the Shiva was mesmerizing, as he lacked the grandeur as with other shrines.

I spent some time visiting the ashram and various other small shrines housed in the Temple complex. It was different yet splendid and pure bliss.

A side entrance led to the garden behind. Camera and photography was not prohibited here.

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