The stunning white marble Birla Temple sits like a pearl amid serene greens at the foot of Moti Dungri Fort in Jaipur. It is an oasis of peace and spirituality. Formally known as the Lakshmi Narayan Temple it has beautiful images of the god and goddess carved from single pieces of marble in its inner sanctum. The temple has images of many other deities of the Hindu pantheon. Along with the floral motifs carved on the outside walls are figures of leaders of world religions like Buddha, Christ and Zoroaster.
Curious to know more…
The intricately carved temple was built by the wealthy industrialist Birla family in 1988. The Birla family trust has built similar temples in other cities like Kolkata and Delhi. The Birlas, who began as traders, trace their roots to the small town of Pilani in the Shekhawati region of Rajasthan. The land on which the Jaipur temple stands at the foot of Moti Dungri Fort was bought from the Jaipur royals for a token sum of one rupee.
How to get there?
A local cab or an auto-rickshaw would take you to the entry point for the temple on Jawaharlal Nehru Marg, one of the main thoroughfares of the new city of Jaipur.
There are direct flights to Jaipur from major Indian cities like Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Kolkata, Chennai and Hyderabad as well as trains.
The NH8 connects Jaipur to Delhi. Air-conditioned buses ply regularly on this route. You could also hire a car.
Plenty more to HopOn near Birla Temple…
The popular old Ganesha Temple also below Moti Dungri Fort is worth a stop with its domes, marble lattice work and large orange Ganesha idol. The fascinating Moti Dungri Fort, built in the style of a Scottish castle, dominates the skyline. The fort is not open to the public as it is the private property of the Jaipur royals. A short ride away is the Albert Hall, a sprawling state-run museum which has an extensive display of artefacts, textiles, paintings and weapons from various regions of Rajasthan.
Places you shouldn’t miss…
Jaipur’s old quarters – the walled Pink City – gives a taste of royal Rajasthan. Palaces, havelis and brimming bazaars jostle for space in a grid of pretty pink walls. Visit the City Palace, the royal residence of the erstwhile maharajas of Jaipur, the 18th century Jantar Mantar, an observatory that is on the list of Unesco World Heritage sites and the fascinating Hawa Mahal. The Majestic Amer Fort is located half-an-hour’s drive from the city. The fort was the seat of the Kachchawa Rajput rulers for over two centuries till they built their new capital at Jaipur in 1727. HopOn India has a popular audio walk that guides you through the landmarks and bustling bazaars of the Pink City.
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