Discovering the spiritual side of Delhi through its temples and shrines.
Delhi, the capital city of India, is a city that is known for its rich history, diverse culture, and iconic landmarks. However, what many people do not know is that Delhi is also home to some of the most beautiful and sacred temples and shrines in the country. Delhi’s spiritual heritage is as diverse as its culture, and one can find temples and shrines belonging to various religions such as Hinduism, Islam, Sikhism, and Christianity. In this blog post, we will take you on a journey to discover the spiritual side of Delhi through its temples and shrines.
Located on the banks of the river Yamuna, the Akshardham Temple is a marvel of modern architecture and one of the largest Hindu temples in the world. The temple complex is spread over 100 acres and comprises of various structures, including a grand temple, a museum, a garden, and a cultural center. The temple is dedicated to Swaminarayan, and its architecture is a blend of various Indian styles.
Akshardham Temple, also known as Swaminarayan Akshardham or Delhi Akshardham, is a Hindu temple complex located in the eastern part of Delhi, India. The temple complex was inaugurated in 2005 and is spread over 100 acres of land, making it one of the largest temple complexes in India.
The temple complex is dedicated to Lord Swaminarayan, a revered Hindu saint and is considered to be one of the most magnificent examples of Indian architecture. The temple boasts of intricate carvings, exquisite sculptures, and a blend of ancient and modern architecture. The temple is built using pink sandstone and marble and is surrounded by beautiful gardens, fountains, and a large water body.
The main temple structure is known as the Akshardham Mandir and is the centerpiece of the temple complex. It is 141 feet high, 316 feet wide, and 356 feet long, making it one of the tallest temples in India. The temple is adorned with beautiful sculptures and carvings depicting Hindu mythology and history.
Apart from the temple, the complex also houses a number of other attractions, including a musical fountain show, a large exhibition on Indian history and culture, and a boat ride that takes visitors on a journey through India’s ancient civilization.
Akshardham Temple is not just a place of worship but also a cultural and spiritual center that attracts thousands of visitors every day. It is a perfect blend of art, culture, and spirituality and is a must-visit destination for anyone visiting Delhi.
Jama Masjid, also known as the Masjid-i Jahan-Numa, is one of the largest mosques in India located in the heart of Old Delhi. The mosque was built by Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan in the 17th century and is an important historical and cultural landmark in Delhi.
The mosque is made up of red sandstone and white marble and is adorned with intricate carvings and beautiful calligraphy. The main prayer hall of the mosque is a grand chamber that can accommodate over 25,000 people at a time. The mosque also houses several other structures including a courtyard, a gateway, and two minarets that stand tall at a height of 40 meters each.
One of the most striking features of the mosque is the central pool that is used for ablution before offering prayers. The pool is surrounded by a beautiful colonnade and adds to the grandeur of the mosque.
Jama Masjid is not just a religious site but also a cultural and historical monument that attracts visitors from all over the world. It is a perfect blend of Islamic architecture and Indian culture and is a must-visit destination for anyone visiting Delhi.
Visitors to the mosque are required to dress appropriately and women are required to cover their heads. Shoes must also be removed before entering the mosque premises. The mosque is open for visitors from early morning till late evening, except during prayer times.
Gurudwara Bangla Sahib:
Gurudwara Bangla Sahib is a prominent Sikh place of worship located in the heart of New Delhi. The gurudwara was originally the residence of Raja Jai Singh, a prominent Indian ruler of the 17th century. The eighth Sikh Guru, Guru Har Krishan Sahib, stayed at this bungalow during his visit to Delhi in the 18th century. Today, it is one of the most visited gurudwaras in the city and is renowned for its spiritual and cultural significance.
The gurudwara has a magnificent golden dome and a large sarovar (pool) that is believed to have healing powers. The interior of the gurudwara is adorned with beautiful frescoes and intricate carvings. The main prayer hall is a peaceful and serene space that can accommodate over 1,000 devotees at a time.
One of the most popular attractions of the gurudwara is the community kitchen, also known as the langar, where free food is served to all visitors, regardless of their religion, caste, or social status. The kitchen is run by volunteers and serves around 10,000 people every day.
Gurudwara Bangla Sahib is not just a religious site but also a cultural and historical landmark. It is a symbol of unity and brotherhood and attracts visitors from all over the world. The gurudwara is open to visitors from early morning till late evening and is an ideal destination for anyone seeking peace and spiritual solace.
Visitors to the gurudwara are required to dress appropriately and cover their heads before entering the premises. Shoes must also be removed before entering the main prayer hall. The gurudwara welcomes visitors of all faiths and is a place of worship, peace, and harmony.
Lotus Temple is a Bahá’í House of Worship located in New Delhi, India. It is a prominent landmark of the city and attracts millions of visitors every year. The temple is known for its unique lotus-shaped design, which is meant to symbolize the purity and universality of the Bahá’í faith. It was designed by Iranian-Canadian architect Fariborz Sahba and was completed in 1986.
The Lotus Temple is surrounded by nine large pools of water that reflect its stunning white marble exterior, making it a popular spot for photographers. The interior of the temple is equally impressive, with a large central hall that can accommodate up to 2,500 people. There are no idols or religious symbols inside the temple, but visitors are invited to sit quietly and meditate or pray according to their own beliefs.
The Lotus Temple is open to visitors of all faiths and backgrounds, and there is no admission fee to enter. However, visitors are expected to observe certain rules and guidelines while inside the temple, such as removing their shoes before entering and maintaining a respectful and quiet demeanor.
The Lotus Temple has become a popular destination for both tourists and locals alike, and is widely regarded as one of the most beautiful buildings in the world. In addition to its religious significance, the temple is also a center for social and cultural activities, including lectures, musical performances, and art exhibitions.
St. James’ Church:
St. James’ Church is a historic Anglican church located in the heart of Delhi, India. It was built in 1836 and is considered to be one of the oldest churches in the city. The church is named after St. James the Great, one of the twelve apostles of Jesus.
The architecture of St. James’ Church is a mix of different styles, with a Gothic Revival style dominating the exterior. The church is built of red sandstone and is adorned with beautiful stained glass windows, intricate carvings, and other decorative features. The church has a beautiful bell tower, which is visible from afar and adds to the beauty of the structure.
Inside the church, visitors can admire the impressive nave and chancel, as well as the beautiful altar and pulpit. The church is known for its impressive organ, which was installed in 1932 and is still in use today. The church also houses a number of interesting memorials, including a memorial to the Indian soldiers who died in World War I.
St. James’ Church has played an important role in the history of Delhi and is a significant part of the city’s cultural heritage. It continues to be an active place of worship for the Anglican community in Delhi, and is also a popular tourist attraction. Visitors are welcome to attend services at the church, as well as to explore the beautiful building and learn more about its fascinating history.
Delhi’s temples and shrines are not just places of worship, but they are also symbols of the city’s rich heritage and cultural diversity. Each temple and shrine in Delhi has a unique story and architecture that reflects the faith and beliefs of its followers. Whether you are a spiritual seeker or a history buff, a visit to these temples and shrines will leave you with a sense of peace and wonder. So, the next time you are in Delhi, take some time out to explore its spiritual side, and you will not be disappointed.