Sri Digambar Jain Lal Mandir is the most famous temple in Delhi, as this is the most famous ancient temple in Delhi. The temple is situated in Chandni Chowk near the Red Fort. The temple is often referred to as the Lal Mandir because it is entirely made up of red sandstone. The temple is originally built in 1658 since the temple had gone in major modifications over the years. And the temple is dedicated to 23rd Jain Tirthankara Parshvanath, and apart from the huge statue of Parshvanath, the temple also houses other idols including, Rishabhdev, Lord Mahavir, and other deities also.
However, the temple is also famous because there is a huge veterinary hospital near the temple which is called the Jain Birds Hospital. Also, the temple is mostly popular for its amazing architecture, pure gold artwork, beautiful carvings, and frescos (wall paintings). Paryushan, Samvatsari, Jnaan Panchami, and Deepawali are the major festivals that are celebrated at the temple. People come from far to see the celebrations at the temple.
Let’s talk about the history of the temple, it is rooted by the Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan in old Delhi city. He built a walled city and lived in a red fort. He also invited some Jain merchants for trading and granted them some of the pieces of land to the south of the Red fort area called Dariba Gali locality. And following this, the merchants built a temple in the area which we still see today, Lal Mandir. However, later at the time of 1800 to 1807, Raja Harsukh Rai made some modifications to the temple and a royal shikhara was built and adding to the beauty of the temple. The temple then was called Naya Mandir means new temple.
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The architecture of the temple is so amazing, there is a pillar of honor called the Manastaambh which stands in front of the main temple shrine currently. The meditation area is situated on the first floor and is easily accessible. The temple has several smaller temples that are dedicated to other Jain deities. The interesting fact about this temple is the Jain Birds Hospital or Charitable Birds Hospital, which is within the temple premises they admit up to 60 birds in a day and take care of them free of cost. The hospital is mostly run on donations given by devotees and social workers. All kinds of birds are brought here including pigeons, sparrows, cuckoos, and koels. The workers take special care of the feathered patients who have been injured by ceiling fans, threads, kites, stones, etc. Once the birds are treated, all the treated and healthy birds are set free to fly away in the limitless sky.