While on your India Tour, The Lotus Temple is an absolute must-see! As one of the most beautiful structures in New Delhi, it is known around the world. While many of the most popular sites on an India Tour are steeped in history and can be centuries old, the Lotus Temple is one of the newest sites that you will see while on your India Tour.
The Lotus Temple is a Baháʼí House of Worship that is fully open to the public and for all religions of the world. The project took 6 years to build and was completed in 1986 by renowned architect Fariborz Sahba. The Lotus Temple was the lifelong dream of Ardishír Rustampúr who provided much of the estimated $10 million needed to pay for the complex. Now finished, the Lotus Temple can hold up to 2,500 people within the cavernous walls, with thousands of people visiting each week.
The reason the Lotus Temple is such a popular tourist attraction is the inspiration of the lotus flower used in construction. The shape of Baháʼí Houses of Worship is specified by scripture and must have a 9 sided building, this fits perfectly with the shape of the lotus flower. The 9 sides create a stunning site which makes it instantly recognizable, it has also received numerous design awards from tourism and architectural organizations from around the world. Missing the Lotus Temple on an India Tour would be a big mistake!
Set on an elevated plinth and surrounded by a 26-acre park with 9 pools, and red sandstone walkways that give you access to the temple. The complex is made of 27 separate marble petals which create the look of the lotus flower. The petals are built in 3 rings with the outermost rings facing outwards to create a canopy of the 9 entrances. The second ring covers the outer hall, with the ring on the inside built to create the main area for prayer. All three rings form what looks like an exact copy of a massive lotus flower, with the top looking open from the outside. The opening is closed off to protect from the elements but allows a significant amount of natural light to improve the feeling of awe while inside.
If you are on a tour of India or just on a short sightseeing trip in New Delhi you must see the Lotus Temple. While the building does not carry the historical weight of many of the sites in India it shows that the country is continually developing new ideas for future tourism endeavours. As the Lotus Temple has quickly become one of the most popular destinations on an India Tour it shows that India can renew itself by adding magnificent buildings that add to the history of this great country!
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