Time Required : Around 1-2 hours
Entry Fee : Free
Timings : 7:00 AM - 12:00 PM and 3:00 PM - 9:00 PM
The Birla Mandir in Hyderabad forms a pleasant serene atmosphere and is a perfect place for those who wish to get away from the city life and immerse themselves in prayer and meditation. Created in 1976 by Swami Renganathananda from Ramakrishna Ashram and constructed by the Birla Foundation, the Birla Mandir has been a safe haven for all those looking for a few hours of peace amongst the glorious landscape. The Mandir is dedicated to the Lord Venkateshwara of Tirumala and is in fact modelled after and is the replica of the idol of Balaji of Tirupati.
The temple itself is located at the top of a 280 feet tall hill called the Naubat Pahad that overlooks both, Hyderabad and Secunderabad as well as the Hussain Sagar Lake and is one of the best viewpoints in the city, especially at night when the lights covering the Mandir illuminate the area and make it a beacon of hope that it is and has been since its creation. The Birla Mandir provides not only the view but also the unruffled tranquillity because the temple is entirely devoid of the sound of bells. This also makes it just the place to meditate or collect your thoughts. The main idol in the Birla Mandir is eleven feet tall and made entirely of white marble, approximately 2000 tonnes from Rajasthan making it a truly majestic sight to behold. The idol is also covered by a carved lotus canopy made of granite stone which vastly contrasts with the marble of the idol.
Statues of several other Hindu deities are also spread across the temple and given equal reverence. The temple of Buddha containing several paintings from his life and showing a vivid picture of his history and struggles is also a highlight of the Birla Mandir. Other important sites that should not be overlooked include the planetarium and the Birla Science Museum which are located at a walking distance from the Birla Mandir.
The architecture of the Birla Mandir is of a most curious nature and has drawn the eye of several architectural enthusiasts and individuals with keen interest in the field. The architectural style is mainly a healthy fusion of South Indian and Nagara Style and the temple was deemed to be complete after 10 years of welding these styles together to create a masterpiece.
While the main tower and shrine or the Jagadananda Vimanam itself are designed in a way that distinctly reflects the Dravidian Style, the other smaller towers strongly resemble the South Indian Style of Architecture. Aside from this, the Sanctum Sanctorum is designed in distinct Oriya Style whereas the 42 feet talk Flagstaff is made entirely of Bronze.
The fusion of all the various diverse styles as well as the depiction of scenes from Mahabharata and Ramayana which are carved on the walls, fuse to create an enchanting atmosphere that pulls visitors back to the times of the gods and manages to enthral them completely. Furthermore, this atmosphere is only enhanced due to the fact that the Birla Mandir was created in such a way that it would be suitable for meditation and therefore has no bells which is unlike most of the Hindu Temples.
Air: Rajiv Gandhi International Airport of Hyderabad hosts many national and international flights. The Birla Mandir is at a distance of 28 km from the airport. A taxi can be hired from the airport to reach the temple.
Rail: From Nampally railway station, the Birla Mandir is at a distance of 12.7 kilometers. Taxis and buses are easily available outside the station which will take you directly to the temple.
Road: Mahatma Gandhi Bus Station is the nearest bus stop to Birla Mandir. Buses regularly run on this route.
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