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Lotus Temple

December 18, 2010

While going through the HT City i found that they were doing something on discovering Delhi by metro. So I decided to out my article on the places that i visited in effort to rediscover Delhi.

This exercise that I undertook during the summer holidays and still am continuing with was a conscious a decision that i took. A lot of my out of station college friends would keep on talking about different places in Delhi, and thats when i realized that being born and brought up in Delhi didn’t make me a true Delhite. And for that matter i didn’t even feel like one, i had forgotten how it felt to visit the zoo during winters(lots of migratory birds), attending performances at the old fort! Or how amazing it was to sit under the Amaltas trees in the Qutub Complex, relax and soak up the sun in Lodi Garden or roam around in the busy lanes of Chandani Chowk.

So here is an article i wrote for HT while i was interning with them this summer.

Popular belief is that Delhi is a very noisy city but after spending a day at the Baha’i Temple your belief is bound to change. Situated near Kalkaji, the Baha’i Temple commonly known as the Lotus Temple, is a marvel of modern architecture. Even before you reach the temple complex you can see the beautiful structure from far away.

As one enters the complex, one finds oneself amidst sprawling lawns- the temple is spread across almost 27 acres. Though the summer heat renders the lawns a little dry, along the path are various varieties of flowers in full bloom –from Easter Lilies to Morning Glories. While walking towards the temple one is awestruck by the simplicity of the structure.

Dedicated to the oneness of God, humanity and religion, the Baha’i House of Worship is in the form of 27 lotus petals made of white marble and is surrounded by nine pools.
The lotus flower represents purity. Although often found in murky water, it symbolizes that every human is born pure, and like the lotus, one can rise above the dirt. The House of Worship is nine- sided. As a volunteer explains, nine is the holy number for Baha’is, it is the highest digit and symbolizes comprehensiveness, oneness and unity.

On the way to the prayer hall there are numerous volunteers who will greet you warmly with folded hands saying namaste. They will explain to you the principles of the Baha’i religion and the importance of prayer and meditation. Once you enter the prayer hall you will be surrounded by the sound of silence. People of all religions are welcome here to pray and meditate. The silence is once in a while disturbed by the beautiful sound of birds, who have somehow managed to come in. The echoing makes their songs even more melodious. As you look around you will notice that the inside of the temple is devoid of any carvings. Just like the entire structure, the seats too are made up of marble. You can sit here for quiet self-introspection. If you look up at the lotus shaped skylight you will see two stars representing the twin manifestations of God- Baha’u’llah and the Bab, and a Baha’i symbol known as the ‘Greatest Name’, in the dome.

Afterwards one can sit on the steps besides the water pools. Some people make use of the water to cool themselves, while children enjoy making paper boats out of the literature handed over. Soon calmness takes over and you are at peace with yourself. Take a deep breath and you will find all the answers you have been frantically searching for.

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