Lotus Temple so called due to its flower like shape is a Baha’i House of Worship and is one of the most important attractions in Delhi. It was completed in 1986.
Lotus Temple serves as the Mother Temple of the Indian subcontinent and has won numerous architectural awards.
The Baha’i laws emphasize that the House of Worship is a gathering place where people can worship God irrespective of their religion and without any restrictions.
The Baha’I laws also stipulate that only the Holy Scriptures can be read and no musical instruments can be played. No ritualistic ceremonies can be practiced inside the complex or no sermons can be delivered.
Structure of the Lotus Temple
Abdu’l-Baba, the son of the founder of the religion, inspired by the shape of lotus flower, stipulated that a House of Worship requires to have a nine sided circular shape.
The design of the Lotus Temple is composed of 27 free-standing marble clad “petals” arranged in clusters of three to form nine sides. It was kept in mind that no pictures, statues or images were displayed within the House of Worship and no pulpits or altars be incorporate as an architectural feature.
The central hall of the temple is slightly more than 40 meters tall and its surface is made of white marbles. It has the capacity of holding 2,500 people and all the nine doors of the Lotus Temple open onto the central hall. The House of Worship is surrounded by nine ponds and gardens. The Lotus Temple is in the village of Bahapur, in the national capital territory of Delhi and its architect was an Iranian.
The Temple has received wide range of attraction in professional architectural, fine art, religious, governmental and other venues. Since its inauguration to public worship in December 1986, the Temple has attracted more than 50 million visitors, making it one of the most visited buildings in the world.
In India, during the Hindu festival Durga Puja, many times a replica of the Lotus Temple has been made as a pandal, a temporary structure set up to venerate the goddess Durga. In Sikkim a permanent replica is of the Hindu Legship Mandir, dedicated to Shiva.