Known as the Lotus Temple for its unusual, 9-sided floral shape, the Delhi Bahá'í Temple is one of the most visited architectural sites in the city, if not on the planet. Constructed entirely from white marble imported from Greece, this impressive structure stands in a 26-acre (10.5-hectare) garden featuring extensive landscaping and nine ponds.
Built in the 1980s, the Lotus Temple was fashioned after a lotus flower, a common symbol in Eastern religions, in a nod to its South Asian location. The temple is worth visiting not only for its architecture but also for its ambiance, as it’s a quiet, peaceful place to get away from the cacophony of Delhi’s streets and markets. As it’s a major tourist attraction, most city tours stop here, as do tours focusing on the spiritual side of the city.
Things to Know Before You Go
- Remove your shoes before entering the inner prayer hall.
- Note that photography is not allowed inside the temple.
- Remember to remain silent inside the prayer hall out of respect for spiritual practice.
How to Get There
The Lotus Temple is located in the eastern part of South Delhi, a 20-minute walk from the ISKCON (Krishna) Temple and 10 minutes from Shri Kalkaji Mandir. It’s about a 20-minute drive from Connaught Place in the city center, without traffic. The nearest metro stop is at Kalkaji Mandir (a 10-minute walk away), which connects to central Delhi via the Violet Line.
When to Get There
The Lotus Temple is open from Tuesday through Sunday from 9am to 7pm, with 5-minute prayer services held daily at 10am, noon, 3pm, and 5pm. It’s best to arrive early, as the number of visitors allowed in at any given time is limited, and waits to get in can be long.
The Bahá'í Faith
The Bahá'í Faith was established in 1863 in Iran by a Persian leader by the name of Bahá'u'lláh. The religion's primary feature is that it teaches that all religions and people are worthy of respect and that all people are one. As such, people of all faiths and backgrounds are welcome in its houses of worship.