Places of Worship

The big city, which tends to recognize you by your calling, has a way of leveling out religious identities—at least in its more public spaces. This is even truer of a cosmopolitan metropolis like Delhi, notwithstanding the many Temples, Mosques, Churches, Gurudwaras and Dargahs that have come at different points in its long and eventful history.

It is not that Delhi’s citizens are less religiously inclined than anywhere else; it is just that they tend to practise their faith privately rather than socially, tolerantly rather than fanatically. There are many sacred monuments in New Delhi that predate the construction of the Imperial capital and while these may not always rival the sacred monuments of the British Raj era in terms of their majestic or ceremonially aesthetic value, they certainly remain quite popular as sacred spaces.

JAMA MASJID

The largest mosque in India, with a seating capacity of more than 20,000 was built by the great Mughal emperor Shahjahan.

 

Begun in 1644 and completed finally in 1658 at a cost of ten lakhs of rupees, it has three gateways, four angle towers and two 40 m high minarets. Situated on a rocky eminence in Old Delhi on the other side of road to the Red Fort. One of the finest Specimen of Mughal structure, its notable features are its bold treatment in red sandstone inlaid with black and white marble, spacious courts, massive pillars supporting engrailed arches, elegant bulbous domes – all well proportioned with decorative manipulation.

 

The bulbous domes and tapering minarets built with marble stand strong and beautiful even to this day. You can even go to the top of minarets and have a bird’s eye view of Delhi.

 

This is the area that still retains the traditional charm of markets in Mughal times. Spend some time here for some serious travelmasti pleasures

GURUDWARA SISGANJ

Located in Chandni Chowk near the Red Fort in Old Delhi, this is the place where Guru Teg Bahadur was beheaded under the trunk of a Banyan tree. The tree is still there in the Gurudwara premises. The Gurudwara building is an imposing structure with its interior depicting scenes from the life of the Guru Teg Bahadur.

DIGAMBER JAIN TEMPLE

One of the oldest and most impressive of the Jain temples in India, this temple is located in Chandni Chowk, near Red Fort houses the main shrine of Lord Paraswanath. Other than Chandraprabhu, the eight manifestations of the Jain hierarchy, there are a number of other shrines, too. A Birds hospital is attached to the temple.

AKSHARDHAM TEMPLE

The Akshardham mandir is situated in The Akshardham Temple Complex in East Delhi. If you want to explore the modern Hinduism is the largest faith Naqqashi traditions, then this is a place to be. The main structure has been embroider with 20, 000 statues, floral motifs, arches and exquisitely carved pillars. The Swaminarayan sect of Hinduism that is very popular in Gujarat has constructed the temple. It is estimated that, the temple has been built at the cost of nearly 100 million Dollars.

 

BAHAI TEMPLE / LOTUS TEMPLE

Lying to the east of Siri, just inside the outer Ring Road near the Nehru Place, this Bahai house of worship is a marvel of modern architecture.

 

Completed in 1986, it represents the Bahai faith, an independent world religion, divine in origin and all embracing in scope. Set among pools and gardens, adherents of any faith can visit, pray or meditate The temple represents the Bahai faith which is broad in its outlook, scientific in the influence it exerts on the hearts and minds of men.

 

It signifies the purity and the universality of the lord and equality of all religions. Visited by over four million people, annually, this gleaming lotus- like marble structure is located on Bahapur Hills (South Delhi) and it is the seventh and most recent Bahai houses of worship in the world. The temple is a must visit for every tourist who comes to Delhi. The view of the temple is very spectacular just before dusk when the temple is flood lit.

 

Anyone is free to visit the temple and pray or meditate silently according to his or her own religion. The temple is around 45 minutes from Domestic Airport.

MOTI MASJID

Situated in the Red Fort Complex. Moti Masjid (Pearl Mosque) was built by Mughal emperor Aurangzeb in 1659 for his personal use. Made in marble, the outer walls of this small mosque are in perfect symmetry with the rest of the fort. The inner walls give the mosque correct orientation to the Mecca.

NIZAM-UD-DIN SHRINE

Independent Day is celebrated on August 15. Processions and flag hoisting on the Red Fort mark the celebration.

Dussehra

This is the tomb of the famous Sufi saint, Nizam-ud-din Auliya. Built on the way from Humayun’s tomb, the premise of the shrine is a tank, which is surrounded by many other tombs.

 

It is said that there was an argument between the rulers of Tughlakabad and the saint over building this tank. The saint had said that the city of Tughlakabad will never prosper and so did it happen. The tomb has been through several renovations ever since it was built. The present mausoleum dates back to 1562.

 

The complex of the shrine includes several other tombs, including that of the noted poet Mirza Ghalib (1786-1869), Amir Khusru and the grave of Jahanara, the daughter of Shah Jahan.

 

This shrine is now an important Muslim pilgrim centre. After sunset, every Thursday, qawawals sing the melodious lyrics of Amir Khusro after the evening prayers. It is also the venue for Urs festival.

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