Time Required: 1 hour
Open Time: All days of the week except Monday: October-March: 9:30 AM - 5:30 PM, April-September: 9:30 AM - 7:00 PM
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.
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.
A short film on "An outline of the Baha'i - Faith" in English is showcased in the temple. If you are visiting 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.
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.
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.
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Before visiting Lotus Temple, keep in mind that it is a very serene place and you will be required to follow several rules once you are inside this temple. This Baha’i House of Worship witnesses around eight thousand to ten thousand visitors on a daily basis. You will be required to take off your shoes at a point within the temple complex. They are kept safely so you need not worry. Once you are inside the premises, you will not be allowed to click pictures. They are quite stringent about the rules so make sure to respect them. You are allowed to sit there in silence and meditate for as long as you want to. If you are planning to stay there for several hours then make sure to pack some light food and do not forget to carry water.
Lotus Temple offers a peaceful serene ambience, away from the hustle and bustle of New Delhi. We visited it in June, but the weather was not really uncomfortable as we had gone during the afternoon. There was a long queue outside since at any point of time, only a handful of people are allowed inside. There is no idol of any particular deity, and one can just sit and meditate in the big hall. I personally liked the exterior more than the interiors, and spent more time outside the temple, admiring its splendid architecture, taking pictures, and taking a stroll in the surrounding gardens. Overall it hardly took us around two hours to explore the place, excluding travel time.
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