Delhi Lotus Temple
|Location||On Baharpur Hills near Kalkaji in South Delhi|
|Built in||During 1980-1986|
|Also known as||Bahai House of Worship|
|Structural engineer||Flint & Neill|
|Structural system||Concrete frame and precast concrete ribbed roof|
|Type||House of Worship|
Situated in Kalkaji in the southern Delhi, it is a lotus shaped temple having its name being rightly given. It is formed of marble, dolomite, cement and sand and is open to people of all faiths and is the ideal place for acquiring peace and tranquility as well as for meditation.
It has a very recent architectural marvel of faith of the Bahai. The Bahá'í Faith can be called as the youngest among the world's religions which are independent. The founder of this relgion was, Bahá'u'lláh (1817-1892), considered as Bahá'ís most recent in an array of Messengers of God who stretched back beyond the recorded time and includes Abraham, Buddha, Moses, Zoroaster, Muhammad and Christ. The central theme of Bahá'u'lláh teachings was that humanity is just one race and that the days for its unification have come in a global society. God, Bahá'u'lláh preached that the historical forces are breaking down traditional barriers of class, race, creed, and nation and this would in times to come create a universal civilization. The major challenge faced by the people is to accept the fact of they being one and also assist the unification processes.
The Bahai Faith history in the country began with the inception of the Faith in Iran when the Báb, inaugurated a new era. The Báb Himself appointed an Indian believer as the 'Letter of Living' in 1844-45, during the first year of His Ministry. It is since then, that India is spiritually connected to the Bahá’i Faith.
In 1987, Lotus Temple was awarded for its architecture by Mr. Sabha from International Federation for Art and Architecture, USA.
It has been honored with the Citation Award for personifying the impact of the fabulous Lotus flower visually.
In 1988, it was given Accreditation for the outdoor illumination and was awarded by American Concrete Institute Award for being one of the concrete structures being built most artistically.
In 2000, it acquired the "Glob Art Academy Award" from Glob Art Academy in Vienna.
Fariborz Sahba took 10 long years to accomplish the Lotus Temple in Delhi. There were around 800 Engineers, workers, Artisans and Technicians who gave their valuable contribution in accomplishing this task.
The structure has over 20 Petals which are arranged in 3 Ranks. The petals are formed of concrete cast and also wrapped in Marble. The arches give support to this concrete structure. One can find pools on the outside where there are reflections of the petals seen. These are actually the green leaves of the petals of lotus.
During the construction of Lotus Temple, workers faced a lot of hardship because of the fact that the 9 petals were to be constructed so close to each other, also that there was less space for working upon the structures adjacent to each other.It was a difficult task and quite challenging. There were times when the workers worked for 48 hours at a stretch to sustain the continuity of the structure.
One can find 9 Entry Points in the temple which open directly into a central hall capable of accommodating about 25,000 devotees.
One of the major features of the Lotus Temple is the exactness with which the temple has been built without upsetting the history of India and also creating it as an engineering masterpiece.
How to Reach
Delhi is the capital city of India and hence connected to the other neighboring states as well as countries via road, rail and air. When one arrives Delhi via different means of transportation, there are opt for tourist buses, easily available cabs, auto-rickshaw for reaching the Lotus temple.
Tourists either go for local buses from several points within the city for reaching the temple situated in South Delhi, or can go for auto-rickshaws or taxis or metro trains.
The Central Secretariat is the closest metro station.
One can also reach there through Sarai Kale Khan Bus Stand i.e. Nizamuddin Railway Station, from where a seat in local buses (Bus No.492) to Nehru Place can be taken.
The temple is found in New Delhi hence reaching by air is an easy option for the visitors. Anybody can visit the temple or pray or meditate as per his own religion. The temple is nearly 45 minutes from Domestic Airport.
Delhi consists of two railheads - New Delhi Railway Station and the Old Delhi Railway Station, connected to different parts of India through various trains
The Lotus temple is found towards the east of the intersection of Mathura Road and the outer Ring Road.Tourists can arrive Nehru Place from where auto-rickshaw is available and can go for a 15 minutes walk.
Significance of the Temple
It symbolizes the possibility of being spiritual and even pure in this materialistic world. The temple comprise of a very large prayer hall where visitors from different faiths can meditate. The hall does not have any idols or rituals and its daily public services have sections from the holy books of different religions. It is well said that the Lotus Temple is "Architecturally, artistically, ethically, the edifice is a paragon of perfection" which cannot be denied.
The lotus refers to the Manifestation of God, and symbolizes purity and tenderness. Its importance is deeply rooted in the hearts and minds of the Indians.
It is found that the lotus is associated with worship of different faiths, and remained a part of the lives of Indians since ages. So this temple worshipping is like in their dreams since ages.
Timings and other Important Information
There are 4 Prayer Sessions held every day. The Prayer Sessions are distinguished because prayers from all religions are recited in this Prayer Session. The timings for Prayer Session: 1000 hrs - 1015 hrs (15 minutes), then 1200 hrs - 1215 hrs (15 minutes), then 1500 hrs - 1515 hrs (15 minutes) and finally 1700 hrs - 1715 hrs (15 minutes).
During summer months from April to September: 9:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m., while in Winter months from October to March: 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Mondays Closed.
Weather and Time to Visit
Delhi has a large variation between the summers and winters climates.
- Summers (March to June) are found scorching with 47°C rise in temperature. Usually the tourists avoid coming to Delhi during the summer season.
- Winters (December to February) are quite chilling, with temperature going down to 1°C. January is found foggy with heavy fogs which disrupts traffics.
- Monsoons (July to September) are followed by heavy flooding rains. The gardens in Delhi get enlivened during monsoons.
The Best time to visit Delhi is from month of July to February.
The months of July to Septemebr are good for city trips and also short sight- seeing. One should keep a check on road blocks because of rains.
The months of October to December are ideal for all types sight- seeing activities in and around Delhi.
Hotel Cosy Palace
Found in the heart of New Delhi, the hotel is at a walking distance of Lotus Temple as well as the ISKCON Temple.
One can avail a complimentary buffet breakfast here. Hotel Cosy Palace has all necessary features like a conference center, a roof top terrace and a coffee shop/café.
B-11, East of Kailash, New Delhi, Delhi N.C.R, 110065 India
Hotel Parkland Kalkaji
It is a resort found in New Delhi (South Delhi), nearby the Lotus Temple
Besides a restaurant, the Hotel Parkland Kalkaji is featured to be a famous business center. Several other amenities which are included here are wireless Internet access (surcharge) as well as a conference/meeting rooms.
Cc 30 31, Nehru Enclave, opp. Nehru Place, New Delhi, Delhi N.C.R, 110029 India
Tips for Devotees
- This temple remains closed every Monday.
- Kindly remove footwear before entering the temple premises
- Do switch off the mobile phones.
- Do maintain absolute silence inside the temple.
The temple comprises of no idols, or religious pictures or religious symbols unlike all other worship places. It can be considered as a perfect place for peace, wisdom and meditation.
The Lotus Temple has is regarded as an masterpiece of architecture which has won several awards.It is one of the seven Baha'i Houses of Worship in the world and adheres to basic common design.
Since its opening in 1986, there are over 70 million people who have already visited this House of Worship and makes it an average of around 8,000-10,000 visitors or more everyday and hence it is one of the major tourists destination preferred by people belonging to different parts of the globe.<