Sri Digambar Jain Lal Mandir

Weather :

Timings : Holi to Diwali (Summer Timings): 5:30 AM - 11:30 AM and 6:00 PM - 9:30 PM
Diwali to Holi (Winter Timings): 6:00 AM - 12:00 PM and 5:30 PM - 9:00 PM

Time Required : 1 - 2 hrs

Entry Fee : No Entry Fee

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Sri Digambar Jain Lal Mandir , Delhi Overview

Sri Digambar Jain Lal Mandir is the best-known and the most ancient Jain temple in Delhi. Located in the Chandni Chowk area, in the vicinity of Red Fort, the striking building is made entirely out of red sandstone. Originally built in 1658, the temple underwent major modifications and alterations in the later years. Popularly known as Lal Mandir aka ‘Red Temple’, the temple is dedicated to 23rd Jain Tirthankara- Parshvanath. Besides the huge statue of Parshvanath, the temple also houses idols of Rishabhdev, Lord Mahavir and several other deities; the main devotional area is however present on the first floor.

The shrine is famous in the city because of the massive avian veterinary hospital behind the main temple complex which is called Jain Birds Hospital. Inspired by Vardhman Mahavir’s message ‘live and let live’, the centre comprises of general wards and ICU and tends to birds and avian patients that need utmost care. Situated adjacent to the most chaotic area of Delhi, the temple is mostly popular for its striking architecture, beautiful carvings, pure gold artwork and frescos. Paryushan, Samvatsari, Jnaan Panchami and Deepawali are the major festivals celebrated at the temple and we recommend you to visit at the same time to be a part of the elaborate festivities.

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History of Sri Digambar Jain Lal Mandir

The Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan founded the old Delhi city. As is known from history, he built a walled city and resided in the Red Fort. He also invited some Jain merchants in the city for trading purposes and granted them some land to the south of Red Fort area in the Dariba Gali locality. With his permission, the merchants constructed a temporary Jain temple in the area (which stands till date). The community building the temple acquired three prominent statues of Jain deities, the most important being Parshvanath.

Later in 1800 - 1807, Raja Harsukh Rai made some modifications to the temple and a royal shikhara was added accentuating the beauty of the shrine. The temple then was called “Naya Mandir” meaning new temple.

Architecture of Sri Digambar Jain Lal Mandir

A pillar of honour called the Manastambh stands in front of the main temple complex at present. The prime meditation area is situated on the first floor accessible through a flight of stairs. Besides the major shrines of Parshvanath, Mahavir and Rishabhdev, the temple has several smaller shrines dedicated other Jain deities. The compound also has a memorial dedicated to the popular Digambara Jain monk Acharya Shantisagar. In addition to the famous birds hospital, the complex also houses a tiny bookstore selling Jain literature books and accessories.

Charitable Birds Hospital at Digambar Jain Lal Mandir

Situated within the premises of Digambar Jain Lal Mandir in Chandni Chowk, Jain Birds Hospital or Charitable Birds Hospital admits up to 60 birds in a day and takes care of them free of cost. The hospital is mostly run on the donations given by the devotees and social workers. All kinds of birds are brought here including sparrows, pigeons, cuckoos and koels. Efficient workers take special care of the feathered patients who have been injured by ceiling fans, kites’ threads, stones etc. However, the hospital has a slight aversion to birds of prey considering the Jain philosophy of non-killing. Only in exceptional cases, they admit eagles and vultures etc. for treatment. The hospital also has an ICU and a special treatment ward. Once the birds are treated, they aren’t given to their owners to rule out the question of their captivity. In fact, every Saturday, all the treated and healthy birds are set free to fly away to their freedom.

As a visitor, you are free to donate money (for medicines etc.), food and/ or seeds for the avian creatures. Charitable Hospital is open on all days for a visit between 8:00 AM and 8:00 PM.

Best Time To Visit Sri Digambar Jain Lal Mandir

The ideal time to visit the temple is during the festivals of Paryushan, Samvatsari, Jnaan Panchami and Deepawali when the celebrations at the shrine are in full swing.

How To Reach Sri Digambar Jain Lal Mandir

The nearest metro station to the Digambar Jain temple is Chandni Chowk Metro, situated on the red line. The temple is just about 1.5 kms from the metro; you can hire a local or a battery run rickshaw. You can also choose to travel in the DTC state buses which ply regularly on this route.

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