Lotus Temple by bchworld.com.
Situated in New Delhi, India, Lotus Temple is a House of Worship for the followers of the Baha’i Faith whose construction was completed in 1986. Its flowerlike shape, inspired by the Lotus, gives it its name. 27 free standing, marble covered “petals” set in clusters of three compose the building. These form its nine sides with nine doors leading to a central hall that is capable of holding some 2500 people. Towering over 40 meters high, the Lotus Temple happens to be one of the most frequently visited attractions, with roughly 4.5 million tourists flocking to it each year. It is open to all tourists and visitors, with no discrimination based on religion or any other matter; this feature is true for all Baha’i Houses of Worship and probably all other religious buildings of the world as well.
Structural / architectural facts
A nine sided circular shape is a vital characteristic of all Houses of Worship in the Baha’i religion; this was stipulated by the son of the founder of the religion, Abdul-Baha. Even though all present Baha’i houses of worship have domes, they are not a critical part of their architecture. Baha’i scripture also emphasizes that no statues, images or pictures should be exhibited inside the House of Worship and architectural features should not include altars or pulpits. The white marble covering the surface of the Lotus Temple building is from Penteli Mountain, Greece. Other olden monuments as well as Baha’i Houses of Worship also import or use the same marble. The Lotus Temple property comprises 10.5 hectares inclusive of the nine ponds and the gardens which surround it. An Iranian architect by the name of Fariborz Sahba was approached for the designing of the Lotus Temple in 1976 and he kept an eye on its construction too later on. The architect was presented with two well earned “Excellence in Religious Art and Architecture” awards by international institutions.
The Lotus Temple, though very inviting during daytime as well, is definitely a sight to see at and after sunset. At sunset, watching the building illuminated by the final rays of the sun setting behind the Lotus is an awesome experience. After the sun has set, the Lotus Temple is lit from inside as well as outside, giving a majestic and inviting view to the onlookers. The nine ponds as well as the beautiful gardens surrounding the glorious structure complete the peaceful atmosphere of the Lotus Temple for visitors and tourists.