Birla Lakshmi Narayan Temple

Hindu Temple in Jaipur
Byelikova_Oksana / Getty Images
Byelikova_Oksana / Getty Images

This splendid modern marble edifice lies at the foot of Moti Dungri fort. The wealthy industrialist Birla family, from Pilani, Rajasthan, bought the land on which the temple now stands from the maharaja for a token ₹1. The family has erected similar grand temples across India, including in Delhi, Kolkata and Hyderabad. The temple’s stained-glass windows depict scenes from Hindu scriptures.

Ganesh, the protector of households, is above the lintel, and the fine quality of the marble is evident when you enter the temple and look back at the entrance – Ganesh can be made out through the marble, which is almost transparent. The images of Lakshmi and Narayan were carved from one piece of marble. Many of the deities of the Hindu pantheon are depicted inside the temple, and on the outside walls historic figures from other religions are shown, including Socrates, Zoroaster, Christ, Buddha and Confucius.

Next to the Birla Lakshmi Narayan Temple there’s a small museum, which houses objects belonging to the industrious Birla family.