The Bahá'í Temple in Delhi is one of the most visited buildings in the world, attracting over 50 million people since it opened in 1986. Also known as the Lotus Temple for its distinct half-open lotus design, the belief behind the Bahá'í house of worship is that it should be open for all, regardless of denomination. There are however certain rules: no sermons can be delivered, no ritualistic ceremonies and no musical instruments can be played. There are also no religious images displayed.
Bahá'í temples must all be a nine-sided circular shape as set out in their scriptures, hence the solution of a lotus shape. Bahá'í is an independent religion founded around 1844. Their belief is in a mystic feeling with unites man with God and they do not dictate how that be done, hence their openness to other forms of worship within their temples.
The Lotus Temple was designed by Fariborz Sahba, and has won many awards. It was designed in 1976, opened in 1986, and largely built with moneys left by Ardishír Rustampúr of Hyderabad who, in 1953, bequeathed his life savings to the church to build a temple. The temple is made of white marble from Greece and sits on 26 acres (10.5 hectares) of land, which has nine ponds and extensive gardens.
Catch the bus to Nehru Place Bus Terminal and it is a short walk from there. You can go on a guided tour or self-guided tour of the temple. There is an information center showing films and regular daily prayer sessions in the hall. You must take off your shoes before entering - there is a shoe room. Also no photography is allowed inside.
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