Most amazing religious places to visit in Delhi, this winter.
The religious places of Delhi reflect the secularism of the country. Religious destinations in this city are not limited to any particular faith or religion. Infact, there will be hardly any religion in Delhi which does not have its own place of worship. If there are numerous temples in the city, there are also a large number of mosques, churches as well as gurdwaras. Many places of worship in this city are believed to have mystical powers and have become famous for being a spiritual wonder.
Along with being sacred and revered, the pilgrimages in Delhi are architecturally magnificent and historically significant. Be it the soothing silence of the Lotus Temple or the architectural beauty of the Akshardham Temple, the worship places in the city continue to mesmerize their visitors. Infact, many people come here especially for the purpose of visiting its numerous temples, mosques, churches and gurdwaras. A trip to Delhi without a visit to its various pilgrim destinations is incomplete.
1. LOTUS TEMPLE
Located near Delhi’s iconic tourist attraction, ISKCON temple, Lotus Temple is a Baha’i house of worship that welcomes people from all religions. Shaped like a lotus flower with 27 intricately-carved marble petals, this architectural marvel has won several awards for its design and continues to get acclamations all around the world. It rests on a sprawling green patch and has luxuriant interiors, which is a rare phenomenon in the bustling city like Delhi. The nine ponds, surrounding the temple, light up beautifully in natural light and add to the beauty of the temple. The motto of architect, Fariburz Sahba, was to build such a place where people from all the religions can pray or meditate. The Bahai is therefore quintessentially spiritual and secular in that sense.
The temple saw the light of day in the year 1986 and continues to enthral visitors with its remarkable tracery.
2. AKSHARDHAM TEMPLE
This temple is more than just a place of worship! Reflecting the eir good taste in architecture, Akshardham is a must visit temple in Delhi. This massive shrine is situated near the Common Wealth Games Village on NH 24. The temple is dedicated to Swaminarayan Akshardham. A large complex situated amidst gardens; it is one of the well-maintained temples in Delhi. Along with paying homage to Swaminarayan, one can look at the rich collection of Indian culture here; the light and sound show in the evening is worth seeing.
3. HANUMAN MANDIR
This ancient temple is reckoned to be one of the five temples that were built during the time of the Mahabharata. However, the current structure had been reconstructed by Maharaja Jai Singh in 1724. It is situated on the Baba Kharak Singh Marg in Connaught Palace and is evidently one of the most popular places of worship in Delhi. The main deity in the temple is that of Lord Hanuman. The ceiling of the shrine is worth appreciating where the images of Lord Rama are embossed. Although the temple remains open on all days, a large number of devotees throng on Tuesdays and Saturdays here.
4. JAMES CHURCH
St. James Church is situated in the Kashmere Gate area of Old Delhi. Believed to be the oldest surviving Church of Delhi, it was constructed by James Skinner, the son of a Scottish father and a Rajput mother. James Skinner, a Maratha Colonel, got badly injured in a war in the early 19th century. He prayed to God and promised that if he survived, he would build a church as a commemoration of his faith in God. Fortunately he survived and as promised, he built as church, which is now known as the Delhi Saint James Church. The compound of the St. James Church still houses the grave of James Skinner, in front of the altar.
5. KALKAJI MANDIR
Kalkaji Temple is situated beyond the commercial complex of Nehru Place in South Delhi. This domed twelve-sided temple is devoted to Goddess Kalka Devi, a reincarnation of Goddess Durga. The oldest section of the Kalka Ji Mandir dates back to the year 1734. It is said that the Maratha rulers looted the temple in the year 1738, after they were defeated by the Mughals in the battle of Talkatora. Somewhere in the mid-19th century, certain changes and additions were carried out on Kalkaji temple by Raja Kedarnath, the treasurer of Emperor Akbar.