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iXiGOers Dec 09 2012

Which are the famous religious sites in Delhi?

Manish Kumar DEC 10 2012
0 people found this answer useful Useful ?Yes

Delhi, being the capital city of India, might seem like a complete metropolitan city, with sky soaring modernity and what not. It is all that, and much more too. Explore the various religious sites in Delhi to understand how the people here are still rooted in tradition. Enrich yourselves with a spiritual calm at the following temples, churches and mosques in Delhi:

  • Akshardham Temple: Get mesmerised by the sheer architectural wonder that is this temple, spread over a whopping 30 acres. Dedicated to Lord Swaminarayan, this beauty has been built completely without steel, with ornate pillars, domes and statues of all divine saints and Sadhu’s of India. Plan at least a half day trip here to explore it to the extent it deserves. You could even do a small picnic in the lawns there. Capture this place in your mind, for photography is prohibited here. Parking is allowed within the complex, for a maximum of 6 hrs, though parking slots are limited. It would be wise to reach earlier if you’re taking to the wheel!

    Nearest metro station: Akshardham
    Timings: 11am to 8pm (Monday closed)
    Entry Fee: Free for the complex
    For the museum: INR 125 for adults and children, INR 75 for senior citizen
    Address: On NH 24, Mayur Vihar
    New Delhi
    Telephone: +91-11-22016688 / 22026688

  • Gurudwara Bangla Sahib: Walk in to this Sikh temple, without worrying about what caste or religion you belong to. Built in 1783 under the rule of the Mughal Emperor Shah Alam II, this beautiful shrine with a golden dome is associated with the 8th Sikh Guru, Guru Har Kishan and his philanthropy during the cholera and smallpox epidemic in 1664. The pond here, called Sarovar is considered sacred by Sikhs and the water from this pond is believed to have healing properties, and thus rightly called, Amrit. Experience the Sikh hospitality in the community-style cooking of Langar, where everyone sits down together for a meal. You can also learn more about Bangla Sahib’s history at the in-house gallery here. Parking is free here and is available at two, well-managed underground levels.

    Nearest metro station: Rajiv Chowk, Patel Chowk
    Timings: Open all day and night
    Entry: Free
    Address: Ashoka Road
    Connaught Place
    New Delhi
    Telephone: +91-11-23340175

  • Jama Masjid: This mosque, overlooking the Red Fort in Old Delhi is the largest, and perhaps the most significant place of worship for Muslims in India. Built in 1656, it was commissioned by the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan. The courtyard here can hold upto 25,000 worshippers, which is usually the case during Islamic festivals like Eid and Ramzan. The North Gate here has a closet full of old relics, like a copy of the Qur’an, written on deer skin. If you are a woman, you might find it a little difficult to explore the area without a male companion because of the regulations of the mosque and their religion. Men too are required to wear full pants, as khakis or shorts are considered disrespectful to the Islamic religion. You can climb up the minaret for an bird’s-eye view of the whole neighbourhood, though you won’t be allowed to do that during prayer hours.

    Nearest metro station: Chawri Bazar
    Timings: 7am to 12pm, 1.30 to 6.30pm
    Entry: Free
    Address: Off Netaji Subhash Marg
    Near West Gate of Red Fort

  • Sacred Heart Cathedral: Built in 1930, this is one of the most magnificent Catholic churches in Delhi. The central altar is built in pure, white marble and offers a quiet, calming experience of spirituality. It now stands between the two popular schools of Convent of Jesus and Mary and St. Columba’s in Central Delhi, almost a landmark in itself. Visit the church during Mass hours and learn about the religion and its followers.

    Nearest metro station: Rajiv Chowk, Patel Chowk
    Timings: Open all day
    Mass: 6am and 6.30pm (in English)
    Entry: Free
    Address: 1, Ashok Place
    New Delhi
    Telephone: +91-11-23363593

  • Baha’i House of Worship: Fondly known as the Lotus Temple by locals and tourists alike, this place of worship of the Baha’i sect is literally constructed in the shape of a large, white lotus flower. An architectural landmark in itself, this beautiful temple is flocked by people from all religion, a living example of the openness and equality promoted by Baha’i laws. Experience calm like never before, for the main temple area prohibits visitors from making any noise. This exemplifies the true nature of Buddhist traditions, which lays emphasis on meditation as a way to experience divinity. Enjoy the lush green surroundings and maybe even lounge around for a picnic.

    Nearest metro station: Kalkaji Mandir
    Timings: 9am to 7pm (Monday closed)
    Entry: Free
    Address: Bahapur, Kalkaji
    New Delhi
    Telephone: +91-11-26470526 / 26444029

Other beautiful and equally epiphanic temples that you can visit in Delhi are Chhattarpur Temple, Birla Mandir and ISKON Temple (in Kalkaji and Punjabi Bagh).

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