Bahai House of Worship: Since its establishment in New Delhi in the year 1986, tourists have themselves proved that this is a 'must visit' attraction. How? - This house of worship better known as 'Lotus Temple' attracts a whooping four million visitors towards it each year!
Located at a hamlet named Bahapur, it is a major tourist attraction in New Delhi, is the sect's mother temple in Indian continent and has won accolades in oodles for its lovely architecture. Such is the beauty of this architectural must-see that apart from being featured in various publications and television programmes, it has also constantly won for itself, various awards in different arenas.
Like all other Bahai temples, this Bahai House of Worship in Delhi too is open to all people irrespective of the religion they belong to, for that is what is emphasized in the Bahai texts. However, though people of any sect are allowed to gather, pray and chant the religious scriptures of their respective religions, none are allowed to deliver sermons or practice ritualistic ceremonies inside the sacred place.
A Little About the Holy Place's Architecture …Let's learn about what's behind the idea of constructing the beautiful 'Lotus Temple' the way it has been. According to the Bahai Scripture, Abdul Baha, son of the founder of Bahai religion – Bahaullah specified that a house of worship should have a nine sided circular form, no statues or pictures should be put on display inside the place and no altars or pulpits be part of the construction of the structure. Like all other Bahai temples, Delhi's Lotus temple too has been accordingly built.
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This particular building in Delhi is inspired by the beautiful flower lotus and is made of 27 free standing marble stones in the form of petals. They are arranged in clusters of three in order to form nine different sides. The building also has nine doors entering through any of which will let you into a main central hall with a capacity of housing about 2,500 people at a time. Present in a 26 acre land, the hall is about 40 meters tall and is surrounded by nine ponds and some beautiful gardens.
What's more, for the uniqueness in its architecture, the lotus temple holds various distinctions. While it has received various awards for being a masterpiece since its inception, it has also been featured in books, Indian postage stamps, music, newspapers, magazines and TV programmes. In the year 2001, it also was featured in the Guinness Book of Records for having been the world's most visited religious building that year!