Located Bang Opposite The Red Fort, Here's All About Shri Digambar Jain Lal Mandir
The Digambar Jain Temple is one of the prominent landmarks of Old Delhi. It’s located right opposite the Red Fort, at the start of the busy commercial street of Chandni Chowk. You cannot possibly miss the massive temple on your left as you come down the Netaji Subhash Marg from Daryaganj towards Kashmere Gate. Come follow us as we take you through it!
The Inspiring Architecture
The colour of the fort seems to overflow across the street - so much so, that the temple is actually called Digambar Jain Lal (Red) Temple! The temple dates back to the 17th century, during the Mughal era. You can make out the different layers with which the temple has developed. On the rightmost corner, you will find red sandstone, same as the material of the Red Fort. Look up, and you’ll notice a jungle of structures – a Mughal period dome, followed by a spire in sandstone beyond which stand three masonry Shikhars (peaks) in bright red. A white peak attracts your attention when viewed from the Chandni Chowk side. The façade is a smart combination of red & white, with abundant use of delicately carved brackets and pillar cladding in marble.
Here’s The Catch
Yeah so the catch here is that it remains closed for visitors from 12 Noon - 6 PM, so you have to plan your visit either in the early mornings or late evenings! The main entrance to the temple is from Netaji Subhash Marg, and a second gate is located towards Chandni Chowk.
Inside The Hallowed Premises
The temple has two storeys. The administrative office/inquiry desk, a publication centre and a shoe house is located on the lower floor. You cannot carry any leather items inside the temple and you’ll have to deposit your wallets, handbags (you got that right!), belts etc. with the guard before entering the premises. Photography is also prohibited inside.
On climbing up, there’s a miniature model of the temple complex for your admiration. There are three main chambers inside, where statues of various Tirthankaras (prophets) of Jainism are placed. The most famous ones are of Lord Mahavira and Lord Adinath. The ambience inside is calm & peaceful, as devotees pray quietly and light candles and lamps in front of the statues. An interesting way to pay homage to God can be witnessed as people offer rice grains in small portions here.
The Overhanging Balcony
There is a long balcony overlooking Chandni Chowk, where religious ceremonies are performed. The balcony itself contributes to various celebrations: Streamers are hung from it across the road during New Year, and the National Flag is displayed in the week preceding 15th August and lights are gracefully hung up during Dussehra. The temple is well maintained and clean. It’s also painted once a year.
Landmarks & Accessibility
The complex also houses a Charity Birds Hospital, a unique service offered by the authorities. The other important landmarks in its vicinity are the Old Delhi Railway Station & Mori Gate. Being situated on such a busy link, the temple enjoys excellent bus connectivity through routes such as 118, 246, 347, 405, 411, 419 & 901 etc. Chandni Chowk is the nearest metro station. You may get dropped by a car, but don’t have any high hopes of finding a parking space nearby.
Plan a day full of fun - a visit to the temple followed by visiting the Red Fort, eating & shopping at Chandni Chowk and end it with a movie at the Golcha Cinema!