Birla Mandir refers to different Hindutemples or Mandirs built by the Birla family, in different cities. All these temples are magnificently built, some of them in white marble or in sandstone. The temples are generally located in a prominent location, carefully designed to accommodate a large number of visitors. The worship and discourses are well organized. The first one was built in 1939 in Delhi collectively by Ghanshyamdas Birla and his brothers, as well his father. Later temples have been built by, and are managed by different branches of the family.
The Birla temples in Delhi and Bhopal were intended to fill a void. Delhi, even though it was the capital of India, did not have any notable temples. During the Mughal period, temples with shikharas were prohibited until the late Mughal period. The Delhi temple, located at a prominent spot was designed to be lofty and spacious, suitable for congregational worship or discourses. Although built using modern technology, it confirmed with the Nagar style. The Delhi, Banaras and the Bhopal temple use a modern style.
The later temples are built of marble or sandstone and are constructed in the classical (Chandela or Chaulukya) style of 10-12th century. The Saraswati temple, in the BITS Pilani campus is one of the very few Sarasvati temples built in modern times (see Sharda Temple, Maihar). It is said to be a replica of the Kandariya Mahadeva Temple temple of Khajuraho; however it is built of white marble and adorned with not only images of gods, but also philosophers and scientists. The Gwalior Sun temple is a replica of the famous Sun Temple of Konark, as it would have appeared before the collapse of the main tower. Anne Hardgrove states:
A national chain of the “Birla temples,” temples of grandiose scale and design, have become major landmarks and part of the cityscapes of Indian urban life in the late twentieth century. The Birla temples exist in conjunction with other large industrial and philanthropic ventures of the wealthy Birla family, including major institutions of technology, medicine, and education. Birla temples have redefined religion to conform to modern ideals of philanthropy and humanitarianism, combining the worship of a deity with a public institution that contributes to civil society. The architectural forms of the two newest Birla temples (Jaipur and Kolkata) incorporate innovative, dual-purpose structures into the temple design that alter temple practices to reflect the concerns of modern public culture in a religious site.