Located in the national capital of New Delhi, the Lotus Temple is an edifice dedicated to the Baha'i faith. The magnificent structure of this building unfolds in the form of a stupendous white petal lotus and is one of the most visited establishments in the world. The design of this shrine was conceptualized by Canadian architect Fariborz Sahba and was completed in the year 1986. This temple seeks to propagate the oneness of the Almighty and is open to all regardless of their nationality, religion, race or gender. The Lotus temple it is one of the seven Baha'i House of Worship present around the world.
As you enter the complex of the temple, you encounter an enchanting entrance gate, beautiful floral gardens and scintillating pools. The pathway leading up to the temple doors is lined with lush green shrubs and a feeling of tranquillity adorns the atmosphere despite the bubbling crowd. Once inside, the mesmerising architecture will lull you into an introspective silence. You can read and chant religious texts of any faith, and musical renditions of religious texts can be sung without any inhibitions in the temple complex. The Bahai Lotus Temple is without a doubt one of the must-visit places in the capital. not just for its marvellous architecture but also to experience a new way of meditation in a completely different, blissful ambience.
The temple is built of Greek white marble in the shape of Lotus flower. Lotus was chosen as the symbol as it was common to religions like Jainism, Buddhism, Hinduism and Islam. The structure for the House of Worship in New Delhi is composed of 27 free-standing marble-made "petals" organized in bunches of three to form nine sides. The nine doors of the Lotus Temple open onto a central hall, that has the capacity of holding up to 2,500 people. The Temple is designed in such a way that no external lighting is required to light up the huge prayer hall. The light filters through the inner folds of the Lotus and diffuses through the entire hall of the temple, functioning as a skylight. With its nine surrounding ponds and the gardens, the Lotus Temple property is spread over 26 acres.
The Lotus Temple offers four main or 'core' activities to anyone who might be interested in pursuing them. These include:-
1. Children's Classes: These classes aim at imbibing values such as generosity, justice, kindness, unity, courage, truthfulness, reliance on God and service to humanity through Baha'i teachings.
2. Junior Youth Classes: These classes seek to develop spiritual and intellectual capacities in children aged 11-14 years.
3. Devotional Meetings: These sessions are aimed at creating a loving and harmonious environment within the community.
4. Study Circles: These meetings are aimed at making a comprehensive study of Bahá'í Writings, Prayer, and Life and Death, and hence create a spiritual consciousness among the people.
In addition to these core activities, Lotus Temple also hosts the One Ocean Events, which is a performing arts series celebrating the unity and diversity of humankind.
A short film on "An outline of the Baha'i - Faith" in English is showcased in the temple. If you arevisiting in a group, you may approach their volunteers for an escort to the Conference Hall, where they will give you a briefing for about 5 minutes. Short films are showcased every 20 minutes, from 10:30 AM to 5:30 PM.
Dusk and evening hours are the best time to visit this temple, as its beauty is even more enhanced by the floodlights during this hour.
Being situated in the capital of India, Delhi, Lotus Temple is well connected by the bus and Metro. The nearest metro station is the violet line, Nehru Place station. One can take hail an auto or even walk down for 20 minutes.
If you plan on getting an accommodation near the Lotus Temple, you might want to try out FabHotel Conclave Inn, Oodles Residency, FabHotel Conclave Comfort, Basil the Residency Hotel and Eros Hotel among the others.
1. Lotus Temple is a place for silent prayer and meditation for people of all religious backgrounds. So one should not make noise.
2. Prayers timings are 10:AM, 12:00PM, 3:00PM and 5:00PM for five minutes and a few prayers from different religions are chanted or read out loud. People are requested to not leave the Prayer Hall during this time, but wait until the prayers are over.
3. Reading non- scriptural texts, delivering sermons, playing instruments and fundraising are forbidden here.