Birla Mandir is one of the foremost tourist attractions in Hyderabad. Surely no trip to the city is complete without a visit to this beautiful temple. The best thing about this temple is that it is open to people of all religious faiths. At the very entrance of the temple there is a brass memorial welcoming everyone.
The Birla Mandir was built by Raja Baldev Birla. In the year 1938, the temple was inaugurated by Mahatma Gandhi. There is a very interesting anecdote. At that point of time, the social evil of Untouchability was like a poisonous sore and needed to be mitigated. Everyone was not given the permission to enter the premises of temples. Gandhi placed the condition that he would inaugurate the temple only if people belonging to all strata of the society were permitted to offer their prayers in the temple.
The Birla Mandir is a splendid structure that is built of marble. It is a unique combination of both the Oriya and South Indian style of temple architecture.
In keeping with the South Indian style, there is a Rajagopuram to greet you as soon as you enter the temple. The main shrine is devoted to Lord Venkateshwara. The tower over this main shrine reaches a height of 165 ft whereas the towers over the shrines of Venkateshwara’s consorts, Padmavati and Andal reach a height of 116 ft. The image of this deity is very admirable and it rises to a height of 11 ft.
You will surely wonder at the exquisite carvings in the temple that point out to the brilliance of our craftsmen. The sculptures depicting scenes from the Ramayana and Mahabharata are highly impressive.
Other deities including Shiva and Durga are also housed in this temple which is dedicated to Goddess Lakshmi. Interestingly there is a shrine which is dedicated to Lord Buddha as well. Beautiful Fresco paintings adorn the walls of this temple. The frescoes throw a great deal of light on the life and works of Buddha. At the rear end of the temple, an artificial landscape with mountains and waterfalls has been created. The beauty of this spot is sure to mesmerize you.
Being located on top of the Kala Pahad, an additional attraction of visiting the temple is that it offers great views of the twin cities of Hyderabad and Secunderabad. If you see the temple at night when it is well illuminated, the sight will remain imbibed in your memories forever. It sparkles with a brilliance that will overwhelm you.