The Lakshmi Narayan Temple in Jaipur
Jaipur is a city of palaces and forts founded by the Maharajas back in the 18th century. The amazing pink stone architecture so captivated and filled the mind that a completely white temple complex in a purely Hindu style came as a complete surprise. I almost unprepared for the trip to Jaipur, I went there only for the Holi celebrations and the Elephant Festival. But it turned out that my son and I arrived a few days before the holidays, so it was a shame not to see this beautiful city, the former capital of the whole state, which was located in these lands. And so, among the magnificent palaces, we saw the equally magnificent Birla Mandir or Lakshmi Narayan Temple.
As the name implies, this most beautiful temple is dedicated to Narayan, the incarnation of God Vishnu on Earth, and his divine consort, Lakshmi. I remember at one time everyone who was lazy posted pictures in social networks and blogs with the image of goddess Lakshmi, who promised to give everyone who posted wealth and monetary good luck In Hinduism, Lakshmi really is the goddess of abundance, prosperity and wealth. And in my opinion, this white temple fully embodies all of these attributes.
Back in 1904, Sri Rank Ramanuj the tenth saw in a dream the god Vishnu, in the form of Narayana, who informed him that there should be a temple on the place of Sri Rank’s house, for this is the holy ground. Ever since then, the construction of the temple was begun. The Lakshmi Temple of Jaipur acquired its present appearance in 1988 when it was rebuilt practically from scratch.
The temple now rises majestically against the bright blue sky. The white marble used to build the Lakshmi Temple is very reminiscent of the same material that was used to build the famous Taj Mahal.
And inside one can’t help but notice a strong resemblance.
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It was forbidden to take pictures in the temple. I clicked my dangling camera “from the gut” =))
Strangely enough, the architecture inside reminds more of Mughal buildings. On the walls similar to the Muslim paintings.
But when you go out on the terrace the carved stone patterns of the traditional Hindu style are revealed to the eye again.
This mix is a bit surprising, but even more surprising when you see images of Christian saints on the columns. Here, for example, is St. Anthony.
It turns out that the Birla Mandir Temple in Jaipur was originally designed to combine the three major religions of India – Hinduism, Islam and Christianity. Even the three domes of the temple reflect the unity of these three religions. Notice how they are all different, each in a different style.
Moreover, the walls and columns depict not only saints, but also philosophers and other historical figures, including Buddha, Confucius, Socrates, Zarathustra and others. Well and could not do without the legendary Maharajas of Jaipur, whose faces are also carved in white stone.
But still, inside the temple is an altar for the worship of the gods of Hinduism exclusively.
In the stained glass windows is Krishna with a pipe (Krishna was also an incarnation of Vishnu).
And here is a scene from the Ramayana: Sita chooses her husband. It turns out that it wasn’t Rama who chose his wife, it was Sita who chose him to be her husband. And he, the scoundrel, did the same to her – he ordered his courtiers to take her to the forest and leave her pregnant there! :/
Svambara is an ancient Indian custom when a girl chooses her future husband. As a rule, the girl’s father took part in this rite and sent messengers to all places he could reach to summon all willing young men to win his daughter’s hand. This, of course, came as a complete surprise to me, who was already so used to arranged marriages in India… I have written before about how marriage is done in India today. I remember it struck me. So, the last few centuries, the tradition is quite different, exactly the opposite. Rama, on the other hand, was chosen by Sita because he was the only bridegroom who could pass the test set by her father to lift and draw Shiva’s bow. And such tradition was quite widespread; Swayambara was mentioned not only in Ramayana, but also in Mahabharata and other texts of ancient Hindu literature.
From the terrace of the Lakshmi Narayan temple one can see the ancient fortress – Moti Dungri Fort.
The fort was built in the likeness of Scottish castles.
Today the fort is closed to visitors because of what is inside, I could not find out, but from the outside the sight is very powerful.
Around Birla Mandir are colorful gardens with gazebos. In one of them, Shiva is sitting on his tigiri skin and holding a trident in his hands
Shiva is one of the gods of the Trimurti, the highest pantheon in Hinduism, besides Shiva, the Hindu trinity includes Brahma and Vishnu.
Lakshmi Narayan temple leaves the most positive impression! Very much air, very spacious, moderately quiet (by Indian standards :)), and most importantly cool, given the hot climate of Rajasthan. So, I definitely recommend it if you find yourself in Jaipur. At least for a change, because the traditional architecture is completely different, and the temple is absolutely unique and fresh. Especially if you haven’t been to other similar temples in India, because the Hindu style of construction is fascinating with its carving in stone.
Visiting hours and cost
You can visit the Lakshmi Narayan Temple in Jaipur any day of the week (except holidays). It is open to visitors from 8 a.m. to 12 noon and from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. Admission is free. If you come by car or other rented vehicles waiting for you, you will need to pay a parking fee of 10 rupees. You can enter the temple only barefoot, shoes are handed in front of the gate.
Lakshmi Narayana Temple in Jaipur on a map
How to get to Jaipur
The most convenient way to Jaipur is from the Indian capital Delhi. The city is a part of the popular tourist route “Golden Triangle”. In addition to Jaipur, it includes Delhi and Agra. Therefore, I advise you to plan your trip to India with a mandatory visit to these cities.
You can fly to Delhi, and then go to Agra, and from there follow to Jaipur, or vice versa. But you can also fly to Jaipur first and then visit other cities. Although there are no direct flights from Russia to Jaipur, but AirArabia, an Arab airline, occasionally sells bargain tickets from Russian cities to Jaipur with a connection in Sharjah. My friend flew this route, as the ticket was several thousand cheaper.
The best prices for tickets to Delhi, Agra and Jaipur can be found through a convenient form of current offers. Ticket prices are per round-trip flight.
If you are planning a trip to Jaipur, you may also need information about hotels in Jaipur, which I have reviewed in my blog earlier. There I also wrote about our experience and showed photos of the hotel where Mishuta and I stayed.
Fort Amber Galtaji Temple Complex Birla Mandir Temple Old City of Jaipur Chand Baori Well Sejjour Hawa Mahal Restaurant Choki Dhani Village
The site contains Jaipur attractions – photos, descriptions and travel tips. The list is based on popular travel guides and presented by type, name and rating. Here you’ll find answers to what to see in Jaipur, where to go, and where are the popular and interesting places in Jaipur.
Amber Fort, built in 1592, is considered one of the finest fortifications in India. It is situated on a hillside and its walls are reflected in the waters of Moata Lake. Tourists are taken to the fort in different ways – hikers can go up on their own, those who like comfort can take one of the tourist roads, and lovers of the exotic can go to the fort on horseback on an elephant. Inside the fort, in the first courtyard, there are many souvenir stores. A little further away is the Shila Devi Temple, dedicated to the warlike goddess Kali. On the huge open terraces you can often see wild monkeys. If you move deeper into the temple, you come to the Pleasure Hall, not far from where there is a canal that was once used as a water reservoir. The Jai Mandir temple near the Maharaja’s chambers offers a wonderful view of the entire complex and the lake below.
Another fort, Jaigar, is situated above Amber Fort. It was built by Jai Singh in 1726. The observation towers of this fort are well preserved and it is here that the largest wheeled cannon in the world is located.
Coordinates : 26.98430900,75.85119700
Galtaggi Temple Complex
Galtaji has earned its fame for its ancient temples built of extraordinary pink sandstone. It owes its sacred status to the healing springs that fill the temple pools.
A legend has it that the area once suffered from a shortage of water. Sage Galva prayed for hundreds of years, and the deities took mercy and blessed the area with springs. In gratitude to Galva, the people erected a temple to always remember his great merits. The walls of the temple are densely decorated with carvings and paintings. A day is not enough to see all the scenes and that is not the reason why people come here.
The main goal of the pilgrimage is to take a dip in the waters of the holy sources. There used to be several pools for ablutions, but now there are only two. One of them is designed for monkeys (there are more than five thousand of them) and they really bathe in it and dive funny. The second pool with a waterfall is used by pilgrims.
Galtaji is sometimes called the “Monkey Palace” – macaques are the real masters here. They behave peacefully enough, but still remember that they are wild animals, that this is their territory, so do not take them in your arms and try to make friends.
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Birla Mandir Temple
The Birla Mandir Temple (another name for it is the Lakshmi Narayan Temple) is located in the south of Jaipur. This beautiful bright Hindu temple was built by the famous Birla industrialist family of India.
The main gods of the shrine are Vishnu and Lakshmi, his consort. Shiva, Ganesha, Hanuman, and Durga are also worshipped here. On the territory of Birla Mandir there is a well-groomed park with a small temple of Shiva made in the form of a small cave. The main festivities of Maha Shivaratri are held there.
Before entering the Lakshmi Temple, foreign visitors remove their outer clothing and shoes in a special room.
Coordinates : 26.91349800,75.78719800
In photo mode, you can browse the sights in Jaipur by photos only.
Old Town of Jaipur.
The capital city of Rajasthan, Jaipur, after the visit of the Prince of Wales in 1867, was called the “pink city” – then the entire city was painted pink (in Rajput culture, pink is a symbol of hospitality).
The bright colors of the old town’s buildings today are complemented by the equally colorful national costumes of the different tribes living here. In the numerous markets they trade bracelets and other handicraft products. A large number of markets are concentrated in the old part of the city, surrounded by a long and once strong wall with seven gates. Jewelry shops are a great place to spend your time and money.
Apart from the shops, there are a huge number of architectural monuments like the minaret of Ishwari Minar Swarga Sull and the city palace, the Jantar Mantar observatory, the central museum – here one can hide from the bustle of the city for a while.
Coordinates : 26.91372800,75.78772500
Chand Baori Well
Stepped wells or so called baori were invented in India in ancient times. They are a stepped construction, descending gradually. It was the way the ancient builders reached the ground water, as well as a reservoir for rainwater. One legend says that the well was dug in just one night by a certain ghost on the orders of a sorcerer.
Legends are legends, but in fact the magnificent stepped well of Chand-Baori was built during the reign of a raja named Chand (or Chandra). He came from the Chahmana dynasty that ruled the ancient city of Abbha-Nagari (as Abaneri used to be called) in the 8th-9th centuries.
The total depth of the stepped well is 19.8 meters, it has a rectangular shape and is surrounded on all sides by compound terraces. On three sides of each of the thirteen tiers there are steps in two rows. The steps in the northern part lead in the direction of the multi-storey pavilions, and in two niches there are sculptures of the god Ganesha and the goddess Durga. The Chand Baori Well, like many of its counterparts, is filled with rainwater during the monsoon and can retain most of its water for months at a time.
Coordinates : 27.00721400,76.60665600
Sejjour Restaurant is one of the most popular places in Jaipur. This place is famous for its variety of Mediterranean, Indian and Asian dishes. It has several large dining rooms, bar and is suitable for romantic dinners as well as friendly and business meetings.
Sejjour restaurant is located in the heart of the “pink city” of Jhampur. The interior of the restaurant is designed in dark brown, purple and dark green hues. These colors create a cozy, tranquil atmosphere.
One of the main features of the restaurant is the open terrace on the roof of the restaurant. At any time of the day you can enjoy a breathtaking view of Jaipur.
The menu is varied and includes the most popular cuisines of the world as well as a wide variety of wines and traditional Indian beverages.
Coordinates : 26.91209200,75.74776100
Hawa Mahal, the “Palace of the Winds” is one of the finest creations of the Indian Masters, located on one of the streets of the wonderful city of Jaipur. “The Palace of the Winds” is a part of the City Palace Complex and is located in the heart of Jaipur, in one of the busiest business districts of the city.
The palace was designed by Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh of the Kachwaha clan, ruler of Rajasthan. But it was only completed during the reign of Sawai Pratap Singh in 1799.
During the summer, the palace became a favorite resting place of the Rajah’s large family, due to the fact that it was always cool. Hawa Mahal is built of red and pink sandstone, which gives it an amazing appearance when the sunlight hits it.
This five-story, pyramid-like building rises 15 meters above the square. It has countless rooms, each “equipped” with a small balcony decorated with a small dome.
Choki Dhani Village
Rajasthan Folk Village Choki Dhani, located in Jaipur, introduces tourists to the life of the locals.
The village has been a mirror of Rajasthan culture since 1989. It covers an area of 10 acres of picturesque village grounds. The traditional huts of ancient times take the tourists back many years, giving them an opportunity to enjoy the coziness of the village of those times. A variety of festivals are held here every evening, showcasing the rich and vibrant cultural heritage of Rajasthan. It is the music and dancing throughout the evening that are some of the main attractions of the village. Local folk artists have revived the arts and crafts that were popular in Choki Dhani in ancient times.
Magic shows, puppet shows and performances are also regularly staged in the village, further captivating visitors. The artificial forests with animal sounds, boat rides, horse rides, camel rides and elephant rides are also enjoyable.
Coordinates : 26.76603500,75.83673500
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