Lotus Temple ( Bahai Temple )
The Lotus temple is a renowned prayer hall of the Bahai faith. This marvel of the 20th century architecture is known as one of the most splendid temples of India due to its structure and unique design of a Lotus flower. This remains the only worship place of the Bahai faith in Asia. The main temple is nestling with numerous pools and a sprawling garden. There are no idols in the temple. People visit here for some moments of serenity.
The Bahai faith is said to be inspired from the basic tenets of Islam such as Monotheism. The temple is designed in the shape of a lotus flower as it signifies purity and peace. The white lotus represents the Bahai Faith, an independent world religion. The Bahai faith is the youngest of the world's independent religions. Founded by Baha Ullah (1817-1892), it works on the vision of humanity as one global family and the earth as one homeland. An Iranian architect Fariburz Sahba was assigned to build Lotus Temple in 1980. The temple was completed and opened to the public in 1986.
Located close to the popular ISKCON and Kalka Ji temple, South Delhi, this structure sprawls over 26 acres of lush-green campus. The 27 petals designed as a half-opened lotus on its exterior look fabulous. It is the seventh and the latest Bahai house of worship in the world, and has been adorned with nine pools and walkways representing the nine unifying spiritual paths of the Bahai faith.
The central hall of the temple is where people pray/worship and meditate. The prayers in the hall are termed as 'Conversation with God' and meditation is described as the 'Key for opening the doors of mysteries'. Fariborz Sahba, the Canadian architect of Iranian origin, and a team of about 800 engineers, technicians, artisans and workers built the temple with mathemetical and geometrical configurations of designing and project management.
There is also an information centre here which offers information on different facets of the Bahai Faith and showcases photographs, books, miniature and short films related to the same. The temple is an ideal place for meditation and attaining peace and tranquility.
Several devotional programs are organised regularly in the temple that consist of prayers, meditations, and the reading of the sacred scriptures of the Bahai Faith and other religions. The unaccompanied choirs of the temple provide music in such programmes.
One of the most beautiful temples in India, the Lotus Temple with 27 giant white marble petals and nine pools, is also known as Taj of modern India.