Lotus Temple

Lotus Temple or Bahai Temple is one of the best places to gain knowledge on spirituality and major attraction of New Delhi and it is among the most visited monuments in India. It is located in Kalkaji at Mandir Marg of South Delhi it has been built in the shape of a half-opened lotus flower so it is called the lotus temple. Lotus temple signifies peace and purity. Lotus is the manifestation of God. The pure lotus rising above the stagnant and muddy waters is the symbol of detachment from material things. The lotus, the emblem of purity and tenderness, bears connotations to the Manifestation of God. The lotus is universally held in reverence as a sacred flower and its significance is deeply rooted on the minds of the Indians. According to Indian mythology, the Creator Brahma sprung from the lotus that grew out of Lord Vishnu’s navel when that deity lay absorbed in meditation. In Buddhist folklore the Boddhisatva Avalokiteswara is represented as born from a lotus, and is usually depicted as standing or sitting on a lotus pedestal and holding a lotus bloom in his hand. Lord Buddha said you have to be like a lotus which grows and lives in dirty water, yet its beauty remains untarnished by the surroundings. So lotus is deeply attached to the mythology and culture of Hinduism. But the history of the Bahai Faith in India started with the inception of the Faith in Iran when the Báb (literally, the Gate) inaugurated a new era in the history of the human race. The Bab Himself had appointed one of the Indian believers as the ‘Letter of Living’ in 1844-45, the first year of his Ministry. Since then, India is spiritually connected with the Bahai Faith. So the Bahai Faith is the youngest of the world’s independent religions. Its founder, Bahadullah (1817-1892), is regarded by Bahais as the most recent in the line of Messengers of God that stretches back beyond recorded time and that includes Abraham, Moses, Buddha, Zoroaster, Christ and Muhammad. So this temple has no restrictions for visitors and is open to people from all religions. The place provides immaculate environment for meditation, peace and wisdom. The interior, especially, the Hall of Worship, conforms to that of all Bahai temples and is so calm and quiet that even a low whisper echoes loudly in the structure. And most importantly no image representing a religion are housed here except the copies of the Holy Scriptures and wooden pews.

Visitors to Lotus Temple have admired the teachings of Bahai Faith and have also liked the structure of the temple. Bahai Temple is most captivating architectural wonder of the 20th century. It inaugurated in 1986, sparkling pools and gardens set around it. The architecture represents a blend of both traditional and modern engineering expertise. The brainchild behind the architecture of this temple is a Canadian architect named Fariborz Sahba. He took 10 long years in planning the design and implementing it. With the help of a team of about 800 engineers, technicians, artisans and workers brought to realization one of the most complicated constructions in the world. It has been constructed by using cement, marble, sand and dolomite. The temple has got double curved surfaces. The steel used for making the shells of the petals were galvanized to protect it from rust. These shells have got a thickness of about 6 to 8 centimeters. Totally outside is the structure of the house of worship. It is constructed into three ranks of nine petals. The structure of the House of Worship is composed of three ranks of nine petals each springing from a podium which elevates the building above the surrounding plain. The first two ranks curve inward, embracing the inner dome; the third layer curves outward to form canopies over the nine entrances. The petals, constructed of reinforced white concrete cast in place, are clad in white marble panels, performed to surface profiles and patterns related to the geometry. The double-layered interior dome, modeled on the innermost portion of the lotus, is comprised of 54 ribs with concrete shells between. Nine arches that provide the main support for the superstructure ring the central hall. Nine reflecting pools surround the building on the outside, their form suggesting the green leaves of the lotus flower. So this fabulous white structure is a fantastic sight to behold.

People visited here from all religious faiths and pray or meditate silently according to their own religion. There are six other Bahai temples in the world. Though some concepts are same, but each of them differs in their cultural identity. It is open to the general mass from 9:00 am to 7:00 pm in the summer months and 9:30 am to 5:30 pm during the winter months. The temple remains closed on Mondays.

How to Reach Lotus temple

By Rail: The temple is located in New Delhi so reaching it won’t be a problem by air and Delhi has two railheads – New Delhi Railway Station and Old Delhi Railway Station, both of which is connected to rest of India by several trains. Through road services Delhi has well defined road and can be reached from anywhere very easily.

By Road: The temple is situated to the east of the intersection of Mathura Road (the way to Agra) and the outer Ring Road. Tourists can reach upto Nehru Place (the bus terminal is well connected to every part of the city), from where one can take an auto-rickshaw or walk for 15 minutes.
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