Lotus Temple – The Baha’i place of worship
The Baha’i House of Worship in New Delhi was inaugurated in December 1986 has drawn more than 70 million visitors, making it one of the most visited edifices in the world. Baha’i is a religion teaching the essential worth of all religions, and the unity and equality of all people. Started by Baha’u’llah in 1863, it initially grew in Iran and parts of the Middle East, where it has faced ongoing persecution. Currently it has worshipers of about 5 and 7 million, known as Baha’is.
The design of the temple is inspired by lotus flower, the symbol of purity associated with the religion in India .The temple was designed by an Iranian architect, Fariborz Sahba. He was approached for the project in 1976, way later than the time when land for it was acquired. He was selected by the Baha’i governing body for the project as he belonged to the Baha’i religion himself. The temple is surrounded by 9 large pools which makes the prayer hall cool, in addition the nine sides symbolizes comprehensiveness, oneness and unity. The construction began April 21st 1980, and completed on the 24th December 1986. The petals are made of white concrete, with the outer layer in white marble panels. There are 27 free standing lotus petals – arranged in three circles with nine petals each. The inner two clusters curve inward over the central dome, while the petals of the outermost ring curve outward, forming canopies over the nine entrances into the temple. The temple is surrounded by green gardens, making the entire temple picturesque.
As you walk into the prayer hall it gives you a sense of calmness as people immerse themselves in silence, you are not allowed to take pictures or make any sound inside the prayer hall. The prayer hall can seat up to 2500 people. The visit can take about 10 minutes or more depending on your prayer. Inside the hall you will find benches where you can seat while you do your prayers, and you can leave at your own accord. I enjoyed the few minutes I was inside; I felt the peace from everyone around me.
Open: Tuesday to Sunday (Monday Closed)
Hours: Winter: 9:00 am to 5:30 pm (Last Entry 5.00 pm. For winter)
Summer: 9:00 am to 7:00 pm (Last Entry 6.30 pm. For summer)
Entrance Fee: Free
Guided tour available
Information Center available for all information (Plus Gallery)
Sights from the temple: