Monday, January 26, 2009



Delhi is the second largest city in India with more than eleven million inhabitants; just one million more than the whole Portugal... With so many people around, it has lots of temples. The most impressive Hindu temple is the Akshardham or Swaminarayan Akshardham complex. Since you are not allowed to take pictures in there (even my cell phone had to be returned to the car before entering), you'll have to refer to Wikipedia to have some views of the magnificent building. And even so, mostly from outside only! Or you buy the souvenir book... From some other worship places, we managed to get a few pictures...



"JAAMA MASJID - The Masjid-i Jahan-Namaa, built from 1650 through 1656 by five thousand workers for Emperor Shah Jahan, is the most important mosque of Old Delhi and allegedly the largest mosque in Asia. The courtyard of the mosque can hold up to twenty-five thousand worshippers"

"SRI DIGAMBAR JAIN LA - Just in front of the Red Fort"

"GURDWARA SIS GANJ - Built on the site where the Mughals beheaded Sikh Guru Tegh Bahadur in 1675, it commemorates his martyrdom. According to the legend, Guru Tegh Bahadur was beheaded by Mughal emperor, Auranzeb, as he refused to convert to Islam. On his death, no one dared to pick up his body. Suddenly, sky became clouded, followed by a heavy downpour. Then, two of his disciples fled with his head and body. One can still see the trunk of the tree under which the Guru was martyred"


"GANESH is one of the best-known and most worshipped deities in the Hindu pantheon, widely revered as the Remover of Obstacles or as Lord of Beginnings"



"ISKCON - Also known as the «Hare Rama Hare Krishna Temple», is dedicated to Lord Krishna and was built by the Hare-Rama Hare-Krishna cult followers in 1998"

"LOTUS TEMPLE - Built between 1980 and 1986, it's the last of seven major Bahai temples build all over the world and the only Bahai Temple of Worship in Asia. The Temple has a Prayers Hall for Meditation for Faiths of all Religions"

"BIRLA MANDIR - Also known as the Lakshmi Narayan Temple, it was built in 1938 by B.D.Birla and was inaugurated by Mahatma Gandhi on the condition that people of all castes in particular untouchables would be allowed in. The temple enshrines almost all the deities of the Hindu Pantheon, headed by Narayan (Vishnu, the preserver in Hindu trinity) and his consort Lakshmi, the Goddess of prosperity and good fortune"


Anonymous said...

Hi everybody! OK. Just left the Tombs to turn to the Temples! A bit more joyful, I believe, but still great architectural achievements... ;) Hope you enjoy these, which make the transition from old monuments in Delhi to the monuments of New Delhi we’ll see in the next post!
And, as today is Chinese New Year: Kung Hei Fat Choi 恭喜發財

Anonymous said...

Don't tell me you visited all these temples in a single day !! I have not visited even half of them till date.

Beautiful pictures.

Anonymous said...

Excellent pictures as always! I have seen most of these temples but they come alive in your pictures.

Baron's Life said...

Hey Last time I was in didn't look so clean.... Excellent pics bud..keep up the good work.

SusuPetal said...

That Lotus Temple is interesting, I like the shapes. Something different.

Daniel Chérouvrier said...

Copieux et savoureux !

Mariposa said...

ooh nice! The Bahai temple is definitely something. I remember my friend telling me something about it. it looks beautiful.

hpy said...

It's interesting to see how the Lotus temple combines modern architecture and old models.

lyliane six said...

Que de belles couleurs ces temples! mais j'aime bien la forme du lotus, pour une construction moderne, elle est belle.

Venksh said...

These are some awesome picture's bcos its much familiar, even my parents had been there when they had gone for Delhi tour which i missed it.
Lotus temple wow its so superb, that temple in front of Red fort its almost same picture which my dad clicked only difference is my mom was standing in that picture.
Nice picture of Lord Ganesh, yup u said it rite Lord of Beginning.


Cergie said...

Elle est particulièrement belle ta photo du dessus, le cadrage en est réussi et le temps maussade lui réussit bien. Je m'extasie aussi sur le temple lotus, on dirait un origami géant.
Ne t'attriste pas d'avoir accompli ton cycle, les civilisations sages savent respecter l'expérience qui donnent la sérénité et la fierté d'être reconnu après une première partie de vie bien remplie. Ensuite la vie est encore belle au delà avec moins de contraintes professionnelles et familiales
Alors pour toi tout particulièrement, Gil, une heureuse année du Buffle de Terre !

Joy said...

I liked the look of the Lotus Temple. Similar to the Sydney Opera House :D

Thanks for visiting Norwich Daily Photo and leaving your comments. It's Monday. I hope it's not manic for you!

A Pinay In England
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angela said...

What a great tour round these temples, Gil. That Lotus temple really does stand out in its simplicity. I know nothing about the religion. I'll have to do some research..

Anonymous said...

Very interseting to see the modern temple, but I like the old ones better. and it's great to have a look inside. Strange statues there ;-)

Anonymous said...

Another amazing pictures from you, Trot!

I love the magnificence of the Jama Masjid, and the amazing form of the Lotus Temple. They are so serene and lovely!

alice said...

Le dernier temple, vanille-chocolat, j'adore!

Unknown said...

Beautiful pictures Gil, especially love the images of Lord Ganesh. Kung Hei Fatt Choy to you :D

Thérèse said...

Cette lecture aujourd'hui est fascinante! On a du mal à s'imaginer la taille et les nombres cités sont impressionnants!
Mais quelle sagesse.

PeterParis said...

As many other commentators, I'm also happy to see the modern Lotus Temple. Something which can be left for the future and possibly be compared with the magnificent older temples!

Oman said...

i love the shots. i learn a lot about indian culture through your posts.

kung hei fat choi. (happy new year in chinese)

alicesg said...

Thank you for your wishes, Trotter. Gong Xi Fa Cai. May the year of the Ox bring good health, good luck and good fortune to all. Very interesting to see the photos of India. My husband went to India several times but never take a single photo, it was work, work and more work that he did not have time to tour around. What a waste! Your photos really show the amazing culture and buildings in India.

Jen Laceda | Milk Guides said...

Wow! What an eclectic mix of temples! I was surprised to see the modern Lotus temple!

Today is Chinese New Year. Happy Year of the Ox, Gil!

RuneE said...

There were many beautiful buildings, but somehow I fell for the most modern one, the Bahai. Maybe for their respect for the others?

Nikon said...

Great as always, Gil! The lotus temple is stunning. What an incredible country - India just seems to be such a mix!
Happy Chinese New Year to you, too!!

bindu said...

It's been about 20 years since I was in Delhi as a kid. Some of these places look just as I remember them. Your pictures took me back to that time!

Maria Verivaki said...

really fantastic stuff today - like i am there

Tootie said...

Very interesting and informative photos!

Anonymous said...

Awesome and awe the Lotus temple. ~ Lynn

Azer Mantessa said...

fantastic pictures

Birla Mandir is ... i think i have nevr seen such a modern type temple before.

the lotus temple too looks great.

Light and Voices said...

This temple The Masjid-i Jahan-Namaa holds 25 thousand worshipers. Amazing!

Light and Voices said...

Ooops, guess it was the courtyard that can hold 25 thousand worshipers. Still wow!

Rakesh Vanamali said...

Marvelous pictures and very well researched write-ups accompanying them. Thanks for sharing them!

Reminds me of my time in Delhi.... I hope you have also made inroads into the southern part of India, which is a world in itself!

Tinsie said...

BIRLA MANDIR is my fave :-)

Neva said...

I can see why my daughter loved her trip to India from your lovely photos.....she is planning a trip back ASAP....the temples are stunning!

Marie-Noyale said...

It's still January so I am not too late to wish you a Happy New Year filled with many new trips for the famous globe trotter you are!!

Like you ,It took me a while to put India on my travel list but I really think I am ready... and looking at all your posts,Comments and Photographs, on Old Delhi is convincing me even more!!!
It must have been a beautiful trip!! I took the name of the French book you gave to buy it next time I am in France.
Enjoy the rest of the week.

Lori said...

What amazing sights. They build the temples on such a massive scale there. It must be so impressive in person. Your photos show them beautifully. I would love to visit India!

kuanyin333 said...

Luv all the Ganesh photos--we're Ganesh collectors!:-)

Ron said...

Very nice pictures. Those temples are unbelievable. Can't wait to see more.

I think I have no reason to go to India now, I've seen it all from your lens.

S-V-H said...

All this shots are great and show the beauty of other cultures. I love to visit temples and churches or even small chapels in foreign countries. Thanks for sharing, Gil!

I'm just now for some days in sunny and warm Florida, photographing my palm trees and sunrises (at the Space Coast!) before we will travel again, at coming Saturday.:)

Sue's Daily Photography

Pietro Brosio said...

Another excellent post, Gil.
The temples are really magnificent, I'm particularly attracted by the timeless image of the Iskon Temple.
I'm glad you have appreciated Michelangeli's videos: I'm always been a great fan of Benedetti Michelangeli and I had the luck to go to some of his great concerts (it was difficult to get the tickets!) in Turin and in Bregenz.

Shionge said...

Hiya Gil, thank you for much for your new year's greeting, truly appreciate it.

I love Delhi and one of the places that I would like to travel sometimes.

My Unfinished Life said...

nice post..u have covered almost all the popular temples in delhi....except i think the hanuman mandir and the bangla sahib gurdwara in C.P..
the reason the security is so tight in akshardham coz the swaminarayan temple in Gujarat was attacked by terrorists in 2005 and lot of people got injured...after that all the swaminarayan temples have beefed up their security....

Emery Roth said...

I am constantly amazed by the range of your travels and the depth of your explorations. This is no different in that respect from previous. Thanks so much for taking me places.

Pernille said...

Wow! I wish I could visit those wonderful places! Abolutly just fantastic and beautiful!

You wanted to se my "fjord-photo" in color. Now you find it in my blog under my BW-photo;)

Have a nice evening:)

Indrani said...

Okay, so these were the Ganesha shots you mentioned in your comments on my Ganesha post... they are beautiful. Lovely post, Gil!

indicaspecies said...

I've climbed up the narrow stairway of the Juma Masjid minaret right up to the top during my last but one visit to the Juma Masjid in Feb last year this time (passed by also in Aug 2008).

Gil, I notice you've covered places of worship of the following religions: 1. Islam; 2. Hinduism; 3. Sikhism; 4. Jainism (Sri Digambar Jain La, the one opposite Red Fort); and 5. the Bahai faith.

Bravo! Great post from a tourist to India.;)

Anonymous said...

Hi Folks! Great to read you here as always! Thanks for the time and patience to put your thoughts on my posts...

No, not in a single day; but I can’t believe that living there you haven’t seem half of them... Have to get back and show it to you... ;))

Thanks! Hard task to bring them alive... ;))

Baron’s Life,
Some parts are cleaner than others; and you don’t need to be looking for the dirt... If you do, you may find it anywhere in this world... ;)

That’s an original one, indeed!!

Savoureux! C’est vrai que l’Inde a des saveurs très prononcés… ;)

The Lotus is actually an amazing building! Quite creative!!

It’s quite impressive, and actually a nice blend…

Tu as toujours cette idée que le moderne ne peut pas être beau, mais ce n’est pas forcement vrai… ;))

Some of these buildings are tourist must see; no wonder you have already had some images of them… ;) I also have some pictures with people standing, but try to post only the ones with the best view of the monuments… ;))

La Jaama Masjid est impressionnante et le minaret est très joli! Merci pour tes vœux pour l’année du Buffle, mais ce n’est pas drôle d’accomplir le cycle… ;) Et, en plus, ce n’est pas sûr qu’on aura moins de contraintes professionnelles et familiales…;)) On verra!!

Nice connection. They actually have something in common!!

According to Wikipedia, «Three core principles establish a basis for Bahá'í teachings and doctrine: the unity of God, the unity of religion, and the unity of humankind. » The temple is beautiful!

By statues are you meaning Lord Ganesh representation? It’s quite popular…

It’s true that Jaama Masjid is magnificent; can imagine 25000 people on that courtyard… ;) And the Lotus is an architectural masterpiece!

Ah, Birla Mandir! Amazing!!

I knew that Lord Ganesh pictures would always be a guaranteed winner… ;)

C’est seulement une partie du tout, mais avec plus d’onze millions d’habitants il devrait y avoir des chefs d’œuvre pour tout le monde… ;)

I agree with you; the Lotus temple will be a standing sign of our times…

Thanks. It’s reciprocal: I also learn a lot about the Philippines with your blog!!

Alice Sg,
Work, work, work… OK, but at least a short time to make some pictures to show at home. What a waste, I agree… ;))
Thanks for your wishes for the Year of the OX!

They’re pretty eclectic over there… ;)) and what I showed is only a little bit…

The Lotus temple is a landmark!!

More than a mix: a true blend! Actually, it seems there is some unity on all that diversity…

Great to bring back your twenty year-old memories; amazing that things look alike; maybe be they have had good maintenance!!

Thanks. It’s always a great pleasure to read you here!!

Thanks! Glad you liked it…

You’re not the alone… ;))

Birla is also an amazing building; I’m sorry I couldn’t take picture of the awesome Akshardham or Swaminarayan Akshardham complex. Incredble!!

Even at the courtyard is incredible… ;))

Unfortunately, this wasn’t yet the time to make an incursion in southern India; one day maybe…

You’re a girl of good taste!!

I’m not surprised at all to learn that your daughter is preparing a return; I wish I had the time to make it also… ;))

Welcome back! Great to read you here again! India is definitely an amazing destination… Complex, however!
The book is an interesting one; however, sometimes is too technical, as the Author was a psychiatrist at the French Consulate in Mumbai and had to deal with the actual cases of French people and other Westerners who somehow got «lost» in India… ;)

Yes, massive; and I couldn’t show the most impressive of them all… ;)

Ganesh collectors? I also brought a silver one home… ;)

It’s always better to confirm «in loco»… on the spot, I mean… ;))

So great to see that you had time and connection to get here! Love to read your comments!
Wish you a great trip around USA!! Florida wouldn’t be bad for a break, should I have some time left… ;)

Lucky guy to have heard Michelangeli life; I heard only records… ;))

My pleasure! You’re not that far from Delhi… ;))

Shooting Star,
I’m sure I missed many other magnificent temples, but time wasn’t that large… Anyhow, thanks for the hint; next time… ;)
Of course, I understand the security, but it’s always hard to let the cameras outside… ;)

My pleasure to travel you around… ;) Thanks for the kind words!!

I’m sure you’ll be able to see everything you actually wish… I’ll check your colour fjord asap!!

Exactly!! I agree with you; they look great!

You were there in February 2008; so we could have met on the spot!!!
Thanks! I wasn’t making it for the record; actually it was interesting to visit all those temples!!

Ash said...

Brings back memories....I've visited the Birla Mandir in 2003 :-)

Anonymous said...

Glad to bring back good memories to you...

Lakshmi said...

A divine tour indeed :)

Anonymous said...

Thanks! Great to see you back here! All the best!

Rhonda Hartis Smith said...

Wow what a tour! How long were you in India? you really saw a lot.

Anonymous said...

Very short, but intensive tour...

adelynne said...

i can't believe they won't allow you to take your camera inside! ohmygosh. it's not like it's the BEST temple in the world :p seriously though... there are many other impressive structures in the world that have no qualms about letting people and tourists take photographs of them. it's weird how the keeper of this temple in delhi is like that. but i love that shot of that lotus temple. beautifully designed.

Anonymous said...

The problem seems to be that some time ago there was a bombing of one of the temples and thus security was highly improved on the Akshardham... That's current day life...

A Lady's Life said...

lotus temple is very nice.

Seems silly to talk about untoucheables in this day and age.
That shouldn't be.

Trotter said...

From what we see around the globe, sometimes 1938 doesn't seem so far away...

Dasanudas said...

Please let me correct you that "Hare Rama Hare Krishna" ISKCON is not a "Cult" but a part of age old(around 5000 yrs) tradition of Vaishnavas. They are the followers of Krishna and follow the rules & regulations mentioned in the Vedic Scriptures.

Thanks for the nice photos. It seems you didnot bother to visit ISKCON temple and take a few snaps inside the temple. This one posted here is taken from the Lotus temple.

Trotter said...

Tradition? OK...