Delhi’s temperature has started sliding. With less sunshine & shorter days, everyone’s warm clothes are breathing again. This is a good time to go and enjoy the serenity of the Baha’i Mashriqu’l-Adhkar, popularly known as the “Lotus Temple”. Amidst the well groomed gardens & marked paths is this architectural marvel by Fariborz Sahba, an Iranian-Canadian architect. He along with a team of about 800 engineers, artisans and technicians accomplished this unfathomable construction in the world. And since its construction in 1982, it has received many awards & recognitions.
The Lotus temple got its name from its structure which is a half opened Lotus flower with 27 detached “petals” . There are three levels of petals; each a group of nine petals. The first two clusters incline inward, camouflaging the inner dome; the third layer curves outward shrouding the nine entrances.
Basking in the warmth of the autumn sun, I surged to the threshold of the youngest of the world’s independent religions that has transformed the concept of worship: the Baha’i faith. Its founder, Baha’u’llah (1817-1892), is a preacher of equality & humanity. The Baha’i philosophy believes in elimination of prejudice by giving birth to a universal civilization. People of all faiths come here & meditate silently by sitting on the benches inside. Everyone takes back a sense of enlightenment with them.
There are six other Bahá’í Houses of Worship around the world, each with their own distinct cultural identity while sharing the basic design concepts & conveying the principle of oneness. India has it in a shape of a lotus because it is believed that Lord Brahma the creator of the universe was born out it.