The Lal Mandir in. Delhi, the capital of India, is situated at what, at the time of its construction, was a very prestigious, location opposite the Red Fort, at the entrance to the historic Chandni Chowk. built-in 1658 A.D, the year in which the reins of the Mughal Empire passed from Shah Jahan to Aurangzeb, it is said to be the oldest existing temple in Delhi. It is also occasionally referred to as Lashkari Mandir because it was reputedly built by a soldier who was a Jain devotee. Although it has undergone several modifications over time, it remains a haven of peace and tranquility in what has now become a very noisy and chaotic neighborhood. Approximately 50 cm. high, Pratima of Lord Parshwanath, the 23rd Tirthankara, is seated in the lotus posture.
While it is not an ornate as the fine temples in Gujarat and Rajasthan, it does boast detailed carvings and decorative paintwork in the antechambers surrounding the main shrine.
In keeping with the principle of Jeevdaya, the temple premises houses, a unique medical care center for birds, the Bird’s Charity Hospital. Free treatment is given here, which draws inspiration from the message of ‘Live and let Live’ given by Lord Mahavir. The hospital serves as a recuse sanctuary for partridges, caught and wounded by fowlers, and bought in bulk by Jain merchants who bring them here to recover. There are separate wards for pigeons, parrots, sparrows, and domestic fowl. Squirrels, who will not hurt the birds, are also treated here, but birds of prey are seen on a strictly outpatient basis, they are not vegetarians! Most of the cages are home to pigeons with a disease that brings on paralysis. As their condition improves, they are moved to larger cages closer to the roof and eventually released.
The Lal Mandi, together with another temple in Kinari Bazar dedicated to Lord Sumatinath, is sometimes referred to as Shri Indraprastha Tirth. Delhi has about 75 oth-er Jain temples, scattered all over the sprawling city.
Lal Mandir is barely a kilometer from the Delhi Junction railway station.