The magnificent Birla Mandir of Kolkata is an exemplary work of art. It is one of the finest architectural beauties of the city. The indigenous craftsmanship of the temple is the hallmark of its grandeur. It represents a beautiful blend of traditional and contemporary art. The temple is also a revered place of worship and devotion. Thousands of people from various parts of the country come here to offer their prayers especially on Janmashtami (Birthday of Lord Krishna). During the festive months when the temple and its surroundings are illuminated with lights, it provides for a spectacularly divine vision. The best time to visit this beautiful temple is in the evening during evening Aarti when the white marble temple is at its glittering best. The serene and sublime atmosphere of the temple offers much peace and tranquility to the mind. It is one of the most visited tourist spots of Kolkata.
Location of Birla Temple (Mandir) in Kolkata
It is located at Ballygunge in Kolkata, West Bengal.
History of Birla Temple (Mandir) of Kolkata
The Birla Mandir has been built by the ‘Birla family’, the famous industrialist family of India. The construction of the temple began in 1970. It took 26 years to complete the indelible structure. The temple was inaugurated on the 21st of February, 1996 by Dr. Karan Singh. The Pran Prathistha ceremony of the idols was done by Swami Chidananda Maharaj. The temple is dedicated to the consortium of Lord Krishna and his beloved Radha.
The marvelous architecture of the temple is the work of intricate Rajasthani style of architecture. The entire temple has been constructed with sandstone and white marble. The manner in which the layering and decoration of the temple facades have been done is a pointer to the high degree of skill involved during the construction process. The interiors of the temple are laid with exquisite marble carvings that depict shlokas and pictorial engravings from the Bhagavat Gita. The engraving is spectacularly eye-catching. The ceiling of the temple is bedecked with breath-taking chandeliers and electric diyas that add marvelous luster and shine to the interior. The colossal structure stands at 160 feet above the ground and is spread over 44 kathas of land. The architectural pattern of the temple is partly inspired from the Laxmi Narayan Temple and Lingaraj Temple of Bhubaneswar. Apart from the beautiful Radha-Krishna idols, the idols of Lord Shiva and Goddess Durga have also been installed inside the sanctum. The Birla Mandir depicts the ideals of Hinduism as enshrined in the Vedas and Upanishads and their application to everyday life.
- The main temple houses statues of deities Krishna and Radha.
- The left side temple shikhar (dome) houses goddess Durga, the Hindu goddess of Shakti, the power.
- The right side dome of the temple houses Shiva in meditation mode.
- Birla Mandir also showcases pictorial depiction of scriptures of Bhagavad Gita in its stone engravings. It was designed by the architect Nomi Bose.
- Preferred Timings: Early morning and after dusk in time for the evening Aarti.
- There is also a small enclosure of green grass before entering the main temple where one can sit and meditate.