Hyderabad is a city of monuments and tombs, of rich hyderabadi food and its lake. It is also a land of temples, masjid and other holy places. So today, let us have a look at one of the most famous temples of Hyderabad called the Birla Mandir.
Birla Mandir is a magnificent temple built entirely in marble, with great architectural significance. In its entirety, it is made of 2000 tons of pure Rajasthani white marble. It is built on a 280-feet high hillock called the Naovath Pahad in a 13 acres plot. The construction of the temple took 10 years and it was consecrated in 1976.
The temple is dedicated to Lord Venkateshwara. The granite image of the presiding deity is about 11 ft. tall and a carved lotus forms an umbrella on the roof. The consorts of Lord Venkateshwara, Padmavati and Andal are housed in separate shrines. There is a brass flagstaff in the temple premises, which rises to a height of 42 ft. The temple manifests a blend of South Indian, Rajasthani and Utkal temple architectures. A Rajagopuram built in the South Indian style greets the visitors. The tower over the main shrine of Lord Venkateshwara called the Jagadananda Vimanam is built in the Orissan style, while the towers over the shrines of the consorts are built in the South Indian style. Exotic scenes from the great epics of Ramayana and Mahabharata are finely sculpted in marble. In the inner shrine of the temple is a replica of the Venkateshwara temple at Tirupati.
The temple complex overlooking the southern side of Hussain Sagar, offers a magnificent panoramic view of the twin cities of Hyderabad and Secunderabad. It presents a colourful spectacular sight when illuminated at night.
Kausalya supraja Rama poorva sandhya pravartate... the mantra chanted to arouse Lord Venkateshwara (Vishnu), to whom the temple is dedicated, can be heard at dawn. In addition, as for the evenings, they are a treat to the ears in this hilltop temple. Sweet melodies of cuckoos and the kirtanas of Annamayya, Tyagaraja and Ramadas against the backdrop of an orange-red sky pleasantly soothe the soul.
There is also a temple dedicated to Buddha in this complex, with fresco paintings describing his life and work.
The Birla Planetarium is an accolade to the advances made in technology and science since the dawn of human civilization. Late Sri N.T.Rama Rao inaugurated this beautiful dome shaped architectural wonder, on 8th September 1985. The Planetarium offers daily sky shows (in Telugu and English) reciting various aspects of the enigmatic Cosmos, the mind boggling mysteries of the Universe, the undying comets, the Hubble Space Telescope, Eclipses, the puzzling Unidentified Flying Objects (UFO s) and the very recent clash of the Titans. As the sky show begins, the visitors are virtually transferred into the galaxy as they watch a large canopy of dark sky, full of shining stars looking down upon them. The convincing background sound effect multiplies the feel of being in outer space, which adds to the excitement and exhilaration.
It is located at Adarsh Nagar near Secretariat Birla Mandir and is well connected by APSRTC buses or an MMTS Train. Distance from Secunderabad railway station is about 7 km. Distance from Hyderabad (Nampally) railway station is about 3 km. Distance from Kacheguda Railway Station is about 5 km. Distance from Begumpet airport is about 6 km. Nearest MMTS station is Lakdi-ka-pul. One can easily hire a taxi from these points to have a look around.
The temple is open for visitors from 7.00 am to 12.00 am and 3.00 pm to 9.00 pm on all days of the week.
The Birla Mandir looks over the whole of Hyderabad, keeping it safe and healthy. In addition, over the years it has only added to the rich divine experience. A tour to Hyderabad is considered incomplete without a visit to the enchanting Birla Mandir.