The Lotus Temple, also known as the Bahá’í House of Worship, is a lotus-flower-shaped temple that has won numerous awards for its architecture and design. It is one of seven Bahá’í temples located around the world. Opened to the public in 1986, the temple welcomes up to 10,000 visitors daily.
Marvel at the temple’s impressive exterior, which is comprised of 27 free-standing marble shells depicting the petals of a lotus flower. The temple’s architect, Fariborz Sahba, chose the lotus flower because it symbolizes purity and tenderness. Widely recognized as a 20th-century masterpiece, in 2000 the temple received a GlobArt Academy award for promoting unity and harmony among people of diverse nations, religions and social status.
Enter the temple’s prayer hall through one of the nine outer petals, remembering to leave your shoes in the room outside. Here you can listen to the chanting of prayers from different religions, including Buddhism and Hinduism. Note the absence of any paintings, images or figurines, which is in accordance with the Bahá’í faith.
After visiting the prayer hall, go to the Information Center to watch short films about the Bahá’í faith and the history of the temple’s architecture and construction. Refer to the temple’s official website for details of cultural events such as One Ocean, a series of performances featuring traditional, as well as modern, music and dance.
Stroll around the temple’s manicured gardens, which offer fantastic photo opportunities. Admire the nine pools circling the temple, which represent the leaves of the lotus flower and also act as a natural cooling system for the temple.
The Lotus Temple is a 25-minute drive south of downtown New Delhi. It is easily accessible by metro, with the nearest station just a short walk from the temple’s entrance. Public buses and trains also stop nearby. The temple is open from Tuesday through Sunday, and admission is free. Photography is prohibited inside the prayer hall. Allow about one hour for a visit so you can explore all that the Lotus Temple has to offer.