Lotus Temple: Interesting Things To Know About Bahá’í House of Worship
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Located in the national capital of Delhi, the Lotus Temple stands out among its peers for its distinctive style and architecture. Delhi has a rich cultural heritage and many monuments that stand as a tribute to the same. The Lotus Temple is a modern-day assertion of its cosmopolitan heritage.
Here are a few interesting facts about this unique monument.
- The Lotus Temple is a Bahá’í House of Worship. It is one of the seven such places of worship in the world. The other six are in Sydney in Australia, Kampala in Uganda, Frankfurt in Germany, Panama City in Panama, Apia in Western Samoa and Wilmette in USA.
- The Bahá’í faith is one of the youngest of the world’s major religions. It was founded in Iran by Baha’u’llah in 1863.
- The Bahá’í Faith is a monotheistic religion which emphasizes the spiritual unity of all humankind.
- Like all other Bahá’í Houses of Worship, the Lotus Temple is open to all, irrespective of religion or any other distinction.
- No sermons can be conveyed at the Lotus Temple. Neither can one hold formal functions specific to any one religion inside its precincts.
- The Bahá’í laws, however, encourage reading or chanting from the holy scriptures of the Bahá’í Faith as well as other religions inside the House of Worship regardless of language. Readings and prayers can be set to music by choirs, but no musical instruments can be played inside.
- Aside from its religious and spiritual aspect, the Temple has also attracted worldwide attention in terms of professional architecture as “one of the masterpieces of 20th-century”.
- The Temple was designed by Canadian architect Fariborz Sahba. Its construction was completed in 1986.
- Fariborz Sahba chose lotus as the temple’s symbol as it is common to India’s religions. The lotus is also a symbol of purity and tenderness. It represents the Manifestation of God.
- Sahba spent 10 years in designing and project management to bring to realization one of the most complicated constructions in the world. This was made possible with the help of a team of about 800 engineers, technicians, artisans and workers.
- The surface of this unique edifice is made of pure white marble from Penteli mountain in Greece, the very same from which many ancient monuments and other Bahá’í Houses of Worship are built. The outer coating of white marble makes the temple visible from a distance and highlight with sunlight, turning purple at sunset.
- The architectural style of Lotus Temple is called Expressionist. It resembles a lotus flower with all the petals meeting at the top. The interior of the structure is articulated in true Expressionist fashion. The top of the structure appears open but actually contains a glass-and-steel roof that lets in natural daylight into the interiors.
- The Lotus Temple property spans an area of 26 acres. It has walkways with beautiful carved balustrades, bridges and stairs. You can find some of the best hotels in Delhi for stay nearby and soak in the positive vibes of this place.
- The entire edifice is made of 27 free-standing marble “petals” which are arranged in clusters of three to form nine sides and there are nine doors opening onto a central hall. The nine pools surrounding the temple represent the floating leaves of a lotus. The halls has a height of about 40 meters with capacity to accommodate 2,500 people at a time.
- As is with every Bahāʾī House of Worship, the temple follows a pattern of nine-sided construction. This is because the Bahāʾī faith believes in the mystical properties of the number nine.
If you are in Delhi even for a day and staying at the 5-star hotels in Delhi near airport, do try spending an evening at the Lotus Temple to calm your soul and experience peace.