The Akshardham temple lit up at night

Temples, mosques and gurudwaras: famous religious places in Delhi

Simran Raju

Contributing writer

Planning a trip to Delhi? Here are our top picks...

Stay: Maidens Hotel New Delhi

City tour: New and Old Delhi

Sacred sites: Temples and spiritual sites tour

Food tour: Old Delhi street food tour

Day trip: Taj Mahal and Agra

Delhi is not only the political heart of India but also a city of spiritual diversity. This vibrant capital is home to several of religious landmarks, each with a unique story.

From ancient temples to grand mosques and serene gurudwaras, these spiritual sites are not just places of worship but are also architectural marvels, reflecting the city's diverse cultural heritage.

Whether you're a devotee, a history enthusiast, or simply a curious traveller, these landmarks are quintessential elements of Delhi's identity and are must-visit destinations on your journey through this enchanting city. 

The Laxmi Narayan Temple (Birla Mandir) on a sunny day in New Delhi

1. Laxmi Narayan Temple (Birla Mandir)

The Laxmi Narayan Temple, also known as Birla Mandir, is an iconic structure in Delhi built in 1939. This splendid temple, spreading over 30,000m2, showcases a harmonious blend of Orissan and North Indian architectural styles with its tall spires and intricate carvings.

Inaugurated by Mahatma Gandhi, it stands as a symbol of unity, welcoming all castes, a revolutionary concept at the time. Inside, visitors can explore various shrines, fountains, and sculptures of Hindu deities, including the primary deities, Goddess Laxmi and Lord Narayana.

The temple is also home to the Geeta Bhavan, dedicated to Lord Krishna, and is surrounded by a serene garden, ideal for contemplation. The temple's architecture and the festive celebrations of Diwali and Janmashtami here are particularly noteworthy.

General information

  • Open all days.

  • Entry is free.

  • Visiting hours are from 4:30 AM - 1 PM & 2:30 - 9 PM (closed for 1.5 hrs in the afternoon).

  • The recommended time for the visit is 30-40 minutes.

  • It is not too convenient by metro and the better option is a car or an auto.

People walking in front of the Jama Masjid in Delhi at sunrise

2. Jama Masjid Mosque

Jama Masjid, a stunning example of Indo-Islamic architecture, was built in the 17th century during Shahjahan’s reign. It's one of his last architectural marvels, constructed with red sandstone and white marble, and capable of holding up to 25,000 worshippers.

This grand mosque features relics including an ancient Quran written on deer skin and offers a panoramic view of old Delhi from its left minaret. The interior of Jama Masjid is as impressive as its exterior, with its vast courtyard and intricate designs showcasing India's rich Islamic heritage.

Visitors can experience the mosque's spiritual ambience outside of prayer times, and are advised to avoid Fridays due to the large congregations for weekly prayers.

General information

  • Open all days.

  • Entry is free, charges for photography and climbing the minaret.

  • Visiting hours are 7:00 a.m.-12:00 pm and 1:30-6:30 pm, entry prohibited during prayer times, avoid Fridays.

  • Expect to spend 30-40 minutes there.

The Lotus Temple, a Bahai house of worship in Delhi, India.

3. Lotus Temple 

The Lotus Temple, renowned for its stunning lotus-like architecture, represents the Bahai faith's emphasis on universal peace and unity. Comprising 27 marble-clad petals, this architectural marvel is set amidst lush green landscaped gardens, enhancing its tranquil ambience.

The temple is unique in its approach, open to all regardless of religion, and promotes the idea that humans should unite into a single global community. The main hall, capable of accommodating 2000 people, offers a quiet and meditative space, ideal for reflection and prayer.

The Lotus Temple not only serves as a place of worship but also as a symbol of architectural and ecological innovation in Delhi.

General information

  • It is open from Tuesday-Sunday. (Closed on Mondays).

  • Entry is free.

  • Visiting hours are from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

  • Expect to spend 30 mins-1 hour at the temple.

  • The nearest metro station to the Lotus Temple is the Kalkaji metro station (550 meters away) that falls on the Violet Line route.

Swaminarayan Akshardham complex, a Hindu temple in New Delhi, India

4. Akshardham Temple

Akshardham Temple, built in 2005, is a testament to modern Hindu culture and ancient Indian architecture. This grand temple with its intricate golden carvings, narrates the glory of ancient India and its spiritual messages.

It's more than just a place of worship; it's a cultural hub featuring an IMAX theatre, a musical fountain, a large garden, and various exhibits. The temple complex educates visitors about the life and teachings of Swaminarayan through its exhibitions and architectural elements.

The evening light and sound show, a combination of spirituality and modern technology, is a major highlight, offering an immersive experience. Akshardham's grandeur and opulence make it a must-visit attraction in Delhi. 

General information

  • It is open from Tuesday-Sunday(closed on Mondays).

  • You have to buy tickets to enter.

  • Akshardham’s visiting hours are from 9:30 a.m.-6:30 p.m.

  • Akshardham Metro Station is just next door, cab is a good option too.

  • You need to deposit all your belongings, including cameras and mobile phones before entering the temple complex.

The beautiful Gurdwara Bangla Sahib temple reflected in the pond at night

5. Bangla Sahib Gurudwara

Bangla Sahib Gurudwara, originally the bungalow of Raja Jai Singh, is a significant Sikh shrine established in the 7th century. It became a place of worship after Guru Har Krishan resided here during his visit to Delhi in 1664.

The Gurudwara, with its large sacred pond (Sarovar), museum, art gallery, and library, offers a holistic spiritual experience. 

It's particularly famous for its Langar, a community kitchen that serves free meals to around 10,000 people daily, embodying the Sikh value of selfless service.

The Gurudwara is open to all visitors regardless of their background. Expect to be immersed in a serene atmosphere, accentuated by the continuous recitation of the Guru Granth Sahib.

General information

  • The main shrine is always open for visitors.

  • Entry is free.

  • Covering your head is mandatory; don’t forget to carry a stole/ handkerchief.

  • Nearest metro station: Shivaji metro station. (750 mtrs away). Auto or car is the recommended transport.

Want to visit a few of the above temples? Book a private temples and spiritual sites tour.

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Simran Raju

Author - Simran Raju

Simran Raju is a travel writer based in Delhi, India. As well as travelling extensively throughout India, Simran has visited many destinations in the US, UK and Europe. She particularly enjoys experiencing different cuisines and cultures when she travels.

Last Updated 31 January 2024

The Taj Mahal at sunset


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