The famous temples in Delhi, India, representing multiple religions, are visually, educationally, and culturally significant. As a result, they are frequently visited by tourists who are interested in religion or like admiring the architecture.
Tourists are free to visit, but they must dress modestly (covering their legs and shoulders) and be respectful of believers. Inside the majority of the temples, photography is prohibited. Furthermore, you may be compelled to deposit your goods in a storage locker at the entry for security reasons.
1. Swaminarayan Akshardham
The Swaminarayan Akshardham temple complex is the world’s largest Hindu temple complex and one of Delhi’s most popular tourist attractions. The complex, which is dedicated to promoting Indian culture, was built by the global BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha spiritual organization and over 8,000 volunteers over five years. The spectacular main temple, with nine amazingly elaborate domes and over 200 pillars, lies at its core. It is composed of exquisitely carved sandstone and marble. There are also 20,000 statues there. Because the complex is so large, plan on spending at least half a day exploring it thoroughly. At dusk, when the architecture is wonderfully illuminated, is the finest time to visit. Following that is a ticketed laser and water show.
2. Lotus Temple
The Baha faith, which originated in Iran and emphasizes oneness, is represented by Delhi’s renowned Lotus Temple. The faith aspires to bring the entire world together by eradicating all prejudices, particularly those based on race and gender. The temple’s unusual design, which resembles a lotus blossom, is particularly interesting. It’s a great way to combine a visit to the ISKCON Temple and Shri Kalkaji Temple nearby, the Qutub Minar, or the trendy Hauz Khas urban hamlet in South Delhi.
3. Gurudwara Bangla Sahib
The largest and most important Sikh temple in Delhi is Gurudwara Bangla Sahib. It’s conveniently placed near Connaught Place and is well worth a visit if you’re looking for some peace while touring. The shrine was once the home of Mirza Raja Jai Singh (a ruler and commander of the Mughal army) in the 17th century, and Guru Har Krishan, the eighth Sikh guru, lived there.
Most notably, the temple feeds over 10,000 people for free every day. Volunteers are welcome to assist with the preparation of the meal in the community kitchen. To discover more about the religion, go to the Sikh history multimedia museum and art gallery. The temple is available round the clock a day, however, the most atmospheric moments are sunrise and sunset. It is vital to wear a hat.
4. ISKCON Temple
This temple belongs to the International Society for Krishna Consciousness and is known as Sri Radha Parthasarathi Mandir (more commonly known as the Hare Krishna movement). It is devoted to Lord Krishna (a mighty manifestation of Lord Vishnu) and Radharani (in the guise of Radha Parthasarathi), his consort.
The temple’s Vedic Cultural Museum, as well as the uplifting aarti (worship service) and bhajans, will appeal to spiritual searchers (singing of hymns). The aarti is performed numerous times during the day. The prayer hall’s lotus-shaped dome, which is magnificently embellished with religious murals, is another feature. Please keep in mind that the hall is closed from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. every day. Visit the temple’s Govinda’s restaurant during lunch or dinner for a hearty vegetarian meal.
5. Shri Digambar Jain Lal Mandir
Shri Digambar Jain Lal Mandir (the Red Temple) is the city’s oldest and most well-known Jain temple, located across from the Red Fort in Chandni Chowk. It was built for Jain merchants and army commanders during the Mughal Empire, while the date of the current construction from the 19th century. The temple’s inner worship room is lavishly decorated with exquisite gold artwork. A stunning miniature model of Jainism and full literature are also available at the temple. The bird hospital, located in a separate building within the enclosure, is not to be missed.
Upon entrance, all leather things, such as belts, must be removed by the Jain belief in nonviolence, which includes not harming animals.
6. Birla Mandir Lakshmi Narayan Temple
Between 1933 and 1939, the Birla industrialist family constructed this enormous Hindu temple complex. It was the first of the Birlas’ temples in India, as well as the first significant Hindu temple in Delhi. The temple was inaugurated by Mahatma Gandhi on the condition that people of all castes be permitted to enter. The temple’s striking construction is a modern take on the traditional Nagara style of north India.
Lord Narayan (a form of Lord Vishnu, the preserver, and protector) and Goddess Lakshmi are worshipped in the main shrine within the compound (the goddess of prosperity). The inscription on the temple walls, which includes quotations describing Hinduism’s nature, is very interesting. Attend the morning aarti around sunrise to avoid the throng.
7. Shri Adya Katyayani Shaktipeeth Chhatarpur Temple
The second-largest Hindu temple complex in India is located in South Delhi, not far from Qutub Minar, and spans 70 acres. It was formed in 1974 by Hindu elder Baba Sant Nagpal Ji, who dedicated his life to improving the lives of the underprivileged and needy. Goddess Katyayani is honored at the main white marble shrine (the warrior goddess and sixth form of Mother Goddess Durga). However, the large complex contains temples dedicated to a variety of different gods, as well as a massive statue of Lord Hanuman. The variety of architectural styles is impressive. The main celebration is Navaratri, and the compound is decked specifically for the occasion. On full moon evenings, it’s very evocative.
8. Pracheen Hanuman Temple
The Pracheen Hanuman Temple at Connaught Place is one of Delhi’s oldest Hindu temples, devoted to the monkey god Lord Hanuman. Maharaja Man Singh I of Amber is reported to have erected it during the reign of Mughal emperor Akbar (1542-1605), and Maharaja Jai Singh II of Jaipur restored it in 1724. The temple is also one of five in Delhi that are linked to the Mahabharata, the great Hindu epic.
The Guinness Book of World Records has recognized the temple’s continuous 24-hour devotional chanting, which has been going on since 1964. If you don’t like crowds, avoid going on Tuesdays and Saturdays, when the temple is packed with worshippers at all hours of the day and night.
9. Sankat Mochan Hanuman Temple
With the world-class Metro train whizzing past, the colossal 108-foot-tall statue of Lord Hanuman that rises above the railway tracks at Karol Bagh shows the contrast between traditional and contemporary Delhi. It is one of India’s tallest Hanuman statues and is part of the Sankat Mochan Hanuman shrine. The temple’s peculiar entry is through the cavernous mouth of a monster at the base of the statue, which was slain by Lord Hanuman. It is said to protect you from ill luck. On Tuesdays and Saturdays, the statue’s chest opens to display pictures of Lord Ram (whom Hanuman is a devout follower) and his wife Sita during morning and evening aarti.
10. Gurudwara Sis Ganj Sahib
The ninth Sikh Guru, Guru Tegh Bahadur, was killed on the spot in 1675 by brutal Mughal emperor Aurangzeb for refusing to convert to Islam, and this ancient Sikh temple at Chandni Chowk remembers his tragedy. After taking Delhi in 1783, Sikh military leader Baghel Singh Dhaliwal founded the temple, albeit the current edifice dates from the early twentieth century. The golden prayer chamber inside the temple offers a calming environment. Take a trip to the rooftop for spectacular views of the Old City. Gurudwara Sis Ganj Sahib, like all Sikh temples, is open 24 hours a day, serves free food, and requires head coverings (and provided).