Lotus Temple - Delhi
Lotus Temple is one of the remarkable architectures of Bahai faith. It is located at Kalkaji in New Delhi. The temple looks like a lotus flower and is made of marble, cement, dolomite and sand. The Bahai temple was completed in 1986. The credit for building this beautiful structure goes to the Persian architect Fariborz Sahba from Canada.
Personifying Lotus in the temple does not merely mean giving a lotus shape to the edifice but it has a message to the people of India in the form of a manifestation from the almighty. Lotus is a symbol of peace, purity, love and immortality. It is this particular specialty of Lotus flower which makes the flower an important icon in Indian culture and society. This is why the design of Lotus temple has been inspired by lotus flower.
Stealing a moment or two from your hectic shopping day, if you happen to stand atop any highrise in Delhi's Connaught Place, you would encounter a great architectural wonder. The outline of a white lotus is silhouetted against the blue sky - this is none other that the petal perfect Lotus Temple. It is also famous as Bahai Temple and is referred to as the Taj Mahal of the twentieth century. The temple is shaped like a half opened lotus flower and is a specimen of great architectural style.
Lotus Temple in the Making
The Lotus Temple has been designed and managed by a Canadian architect Fariborz Sahba. It took him around 10 years in this work. With the assistance of around 800 engineers, technicians, artisans and workers, the construction of this architectural beauty got commenced. A cost of Rs. 10 crore was involved in the making. Light and water are used as the fundamental design elements. 10,000 sq m of marble was quarried from the Mount Pentilekon mines of Greece and sent to Italy, from where each panel was cut and shaped before being transported to Delhi.
Lotus TempleThe architecture
The temple is set amidst the sprawling green lawns. The temple is made of marble, dolomite, sand and cement. The petals are surrounded by nine pools that represent the floating leaves of the flower. The interior dome is spherical and patterned after the innermost portion of the lotus flower. The interior dome is like a bud consisting of 27 petals. Light enters through these inner folds and is diffused throughout the hall. The central bud is held by nine open petals each of which functions as a skylight. External illumination is arranged to create the impression that the lotus is afloat on water.
The Lotus Temple is a combination of picture perfect architecture, nature and culture. It is a temple of a unique kind, where there is no priests, idols, pictures, sermons or rituals of any kind. It is rather a place for communication between man and his God. It joins other six Bahai temple around the world. The other six temple follow the same basic principles of design.
The entire structure of the Lotus temple has great religious significance. The lotus flower represents the manifestation of God. It is said that Lord Brahma the creator of the universe sprung out from the Lotus flower. In Buddhist folklore the Boddhisatva Avalokiteswara is represented as born from a lotus, and is usually depicted as standing or sitting on a lotus pedestal and holding a lotus bloom in his hand.
The temple was inaugurated or opened to pubic on January 1, 1987. The Bahai temple draws more than 50 millions visitors every year, which makes it one of the most visited edifices in the world. People overshadow the scorching heat of Delhi and make it a point to see this great architecture in marble. People are attracted towards the Bahai temple and towards the Bahai faith at large, which propagates the oneness of religions and oneness of mankind.