Temples, Shrines And Spiritual Places Across Delhi
Delhi officially the National Capital Territory of Delhi (NCT), is a City and an Union Territory, and New Delhi is the capital of India and an administrative district of NCT Delhi. This capital city is know for its great historical background and rich heritage. It is a very happening place with a delightful concoction of cultures and faiths.
The landscape of Delhi is rich with spectacular architectural structures of different religions, some that have existed from ancient times and have survived different periods of demolition throughout history. A visit to the famous temples in Delhi brings you closer to the ancient architecture, myriad cultures and serene spirituality that surprisingly continue to co-exist with the political upheavals in the city.
One structure that has transformed into a prominent landmark of Delhi is the renowned Lotus Temple, adorned with twenty-seven spectacular petals carved from marble. Established in 1986, the temple that represents the Baha’i religion now welcomes devotees of all faiths. The Chhatarpur Temple in South Delhi is a sprawling complex of temples built in the Vassar architectural style. This abode of Goddess Katyayani is famed for its intricate stonework.
The towering Kalkaji Temple in Delhi is believed to have been built by the Pandavas after the battle of Kurukshetra. Dedicated to Goddess Durga, the ancient temple offers a rare opportunity to explore history right from the era of Satyug. Another temple in Delhi believed to have been constructed by the Pandavas is the magnificent Yogamaya Temple dedicated to lord Krishna’s sister Goddess Yogamaya. This ancient temple survived invasion and demolition by various armies and continues to offer a tranquil ambience for thousands of devotees every year. One of the most recognizable sights in Delhi is the massive Hanuman statue of the ancient Hanuman Mandir believed to date back to the times of the Pandavas. The ceiling of this magnificent temple is adorned with numerous frescoes of Lord Rama.
The strong presence of Jainism in Delhi is evident from the 165 Jain temples towering over the city. Most famous of these is the Sri Digambar Jain Lal Mandir located in Chandni Chowk and dating back to 1656. It is interesting to observe the veterinary hospital attached to the temple that treats birds and small animals such as squirrels. It is the oldest Jain temple in Delhi, and features a majestic idol of Lord Parshvanath, enchanting carvings and splendid frescoes on walls and pillars. The Jain Shwetambar Temple near Kinari Bazaar is renowned for its brilliant artwork and sculptures. Naya Mandir in Dharampur and Ahinsa Sthal in Mahrauli are other renowned Jain temples in the city.
The culture of Delhi that also includes Buddhist elements has resulted in numerous Buddhist sites, temples and monasteries. The Ladakh Buddhist Vihar located in Majnu ka Tilla is the most famous Buddhist monastery in Delhi. Encircled by a quaint Buddhist settlement, a popular Tibetan market and vividly coloured prayer flags fluttering in every lane, the monastery has a serene ambience perfect for meditation. Other popular Buddhist sites in Delhi include the World Buddhist Center in East of Kailash, Buddhist Temple in Lakshmi Nagar and Buddha Vihar in Bhogal.
One can find a Gurdwara on almost every nook and cranny of the city. Gurudwara Bangla Sahib is one of the most prominent Gurdwara located in the Connaught Place. Gurudwara Sis Ganj Sahib in Chandni Chowk, Gurudwara Shri Rakab Ganj Sahib in Rakab Ganj, and Gurudwara Nanak Piao Sahib on Grand Trunk Road are some of the famous Sikh Gurdwaras popular among the devotees.
The political administration of the NCT of Delhi today more closely resembles that of a state of India, with its own legislature, high court and an executive council of ministers headed by a Chief Minister. New Delhi is jointly administered by the federal government of India and the local government of Delhi, and serves as the capital of the nation as well as the NCT of Delhi.
Through most of its history, Delhi has served as a capital of various kingdoms and empires. It has been captured, ransacked and rebuilt several times, particularly during the medieval period. Modern Delhi is a cluster of a number of cities spread across the metropolitan region. A tour of the temples in Delhi is more than a spiritual journey; it is a breathtaking insight into the tumultuous history and rich culture of the Country.