Famous Temples and Spiritual Places in Delhi


Chhatarpur Temple
Deity: Devi Katyayani

Chhatarpur Temple (Shri Aadya Katyayani Shakti Peetham) is located in a down town area in south of Delhi. The temple is dedicated to Goddess Katyayani (Durga). The temple was established in 1974, by Baba Sant Nagpal ji, who died in 1998. His samadhi shrine lies in the premises of the Shiv-Gauri Nageshwar Mandir within the temple complex.

The entire temple complex spread over 60 acres, has over 20 small and large temples divided in three different complexes. The main deity in the temple is Goddess Katyayani, a part of Navadurga, the nine forms of Hindu goddess Durga or Shakti, worshipped during the Navratri celebrations.

The entire complex of the temple is spread over a wide area of 70 acres. This temple was considered as the biggest temple in India and second largest in the world, before the Akshardham Temple was created in 2005 in Delhi. This temple is totally constructed from marble and on all the facets there is jaali (perforated stone or latticed screen) work. It is located at Chhatarpur, on the southwestern outskirts of the city of Delhi and is just 4 km from Qutub Minar, off Mehrauli-Gurgaon road.

Laxminarayan Temple
Deity: Devi Laxmi and Lord Narayan

The Laxminarayan Temple, also known as the Birla Mandir is a Hindu temple up to large extent dedicated to Laxminarayan in Delhi, India. Laxminarayan usually refers to Vishnu, Preserver in the Trimurti, also known as Narayan, when he is with his consort Lakshmi. The temple, inaugurated by Mahatma Gandhi, was built by Jugal Kishore Birla from 1933 and 1939. The side temples are dedicated to Shiva, Krishna and Buddha.

It was the first large Hindu temple built in Delhi. The temple is spread over 7.5 acres, adorned with many shrines, fountains, and a large garden with Hindu and Nationalistic sculptures, and also houses Geeta Bhawan for discourses. The temple is one of the major attractions of Delhi and attracts thousands of devotees on the festivals of Janmashtami and Diwali.

Shri Digambar Jain Lal Mandir
Deity: Lord Parshvanatha

Shri Digambar Jain Lal Mandir is the oldest and well-known Jain temple in Delhi, dedicated to Lord Parshvanatha (23rd of 24 Tirthankaras). It is located opposite to the Red Fort, at the intersection of Netaji Subhas Marg and Chandni Chowk in the historical Chandni Chowk area.

According to Jain scholar Balbhadra Jain’s compendium of Digambar Jain shrines in India, it was built in the year 1656 AD. The present-day temple buildings were constructed after the fall of the Mughal Empire, and dates from 1878 AD. Balbhadra Jain states that one of the idols in the temple dates back to 1491 AD, and was originally installed by Bhattaraka Jinachandra. The Agrawal Jain community acquired three marble idols installed by Jivaraj Papriwal under the supervision of Bhattaraka Jinachandra in Samvat 1548 (1491 AD) for the temple. The main icon is that of Tirthankara Parshva.

It is said that the deities in temple were originally kept in a tent belonging to an Agrawal Jain officer of the Mughal army. The Jain officer is said to have kept a tirthankara statue in his tent for personal worship. The tent gradually started attracting other Jain Army officers, and subsequently, a Jain temple was constructed at the site in the year 1656 AD.

The temple is known for an avian veterinary hospital, called the Jain Birds Hospital, in a second building behind the main temple.

Swaminarayan Akshardham Temple
Deity: Lord Swaminarayan

Swaminarayan also known as Sahajanand Swami, was a yogi, and an ascetic whose life and teachings brought a revival of central Hindu practices of dharma, ahimsa and brahmacharya. He is believed by followers to be a manifestation of God.

Swaminarayan was born as Ghanshyam Pande in Chhapaiya, Uttar Pradesh, India in the year 1781 AD. In the year 1792, he began a seven-year pilgrimage across India at the age of 11 years, adopting the name Nilkanth Varni. During this journey, he did welfare activities and after 9 years and 11 months of this journey, he settled in the state of Gujarat around 1799. In 1800, he was initiated into the Uddhav sampradaya by his guru, Swami Ramanand, and was given the name Sahajanand Swami. In 1802, his guru handed over the leadership of the Uddhav Sampraday to him before his death. Sahajanand Swami held a gathering and taught the Swaminarayan Mantra. From this point onwards, he was known as Swaminarayan. The Uddhav Sampraday became known as the Swaminarayan Sampradaya.

Swaminarayan developed a good relationship with the British Raj. He had followers not only from Hindu denominations but also from Islam and Zoroastrianism. He built six temples in his lifetime and appointed 500 paramahamsas to spread his philosophy. In 1826, Swaminarayan wrote the Shikshapatri, a book of social principles. He died on 1 June 1830 and was cremated according to Hindu rites in Gadhada, Gujarat. Before his death, Swaminarayan appointed his adopted nephews as acharyas to head the two dioceses of Swaminarayan Sampradaya. Swaminarayan is also remembered within the sect for undertaking reforms for women and the poor, and performing non-violent yajñas (fire sacrifices) on a large scale.

Lotus Temple
Place of Worship (not affiliated to any religion)

The Lotus Temple, located in Delhi, India, is a Baháʼí House of Worship that was dedicated in December 1986. Notable for its flowerlike shape, it has become a prominent attraction in the city. Like all Baháʼí Houses of Worship, the Lotus Temple is open to all, regardless of religion or any other qualification. The building is composed of 27 free-standing marble-clad “petals” arranged in clusters of three to form nine sides, with nine doors opening onto a central hall with a height of slightly over 34.27 metres and a capacity of 2,500 people. The Lotus Temple has won numerous architectural awards and has been featured in many newspaper and magazine articles. A 2001 CNN report referred to it as the most visited building in the world.

Hanuman Temple
Deity: Lord Hanuman

Hanuman Temple in Connaught Place, New Delhi, is an ancient Hindu temple and is claimed to be one of the five temples of Mahabharata days in Delhi. The other four temples are the Kalkaji, a Kali temple in South Delhi containing Swayambu (self manifest) rock Idol, the Yogmaya Temple near Qutub Minar, the Bhairav temple near the Purana Qila and the Nili Chatri Mahadev (Shiva temple) at Nigambodh Ghat outside the walls of Old Delhi.

The temple, which has a self manifest idol of Hanuman, has an unusual feature fixed in the spire (Shikhara) in the form of a crescent moon (an Islamic symbol) instead of the Hindu symbol of Aum or Sun that is commonly seen in most Hindu temples. This became particularly important during the Mughal period corroborating this extraordinary depiction.

The idol in the temple, devotionally worshipped as “Sri Hanuman Ji Maharaj” (Great Lord Hanuman), is that of Bala Hanuman (Lord Hanuman as a child).

The temple is known to be built originally by Maharaja Man Singh of Amber (1540–1614) during Emperor Akbar’s reign. It was reconstructed by Maharaja Jai Singh (1688-1743) in 1724, around the same time as the Jantar Mantar. After that the temple has undergone many improvements making it a notable religious centre in the heart of Central Delhi.

An important feature of the worship at this temple is the 24–hour chanting of the mantra (hymn) “Sri Ram, Jai Ram, Jai Jai Ram”, since 1 August 1964. It is claimed that this continuous chanting has been recorded in the Guinness Book of World Records.