Lotus Temple. India
One of the most striking architectural landmarks, a building of unprecedented beauty, is located in the heart of India, in New Delhi. The Lotus Temple or the Baha’i house of worship was built on the site of the mysterious village of Bahá Pur 24 December 1986 by the architect Fariborz Sahba, a Canadian of Iranian origin.
Bahaism is a very young religion, which appeared only in the mid-19th century. Its founder preached the unity of humanity, religion and God. Thus, the meaning of Bahaism is in the faith that unites all people. The basic principles of religion lie in independent search for truth to believers, equality between men and women, the harmony of faith and scientific knowledge, the rejection of racial and religious prejudices. “House of Worship” is available to people of all kinds of religion, and inside there is a section dedicated to the world religions. The priests, as well as volunteers, serve in the temple, but also anyone can pray on their own. About 10 thousand people visit the temple every day.
The temple is in the shape of a giant semi-open lotus flower, consisting of 27 petals, arranged in three rows. Lotus petals are made of white concrete and externally they are covered with white marble slabs. Nine outer pools create a complete landscape composition. Thanks to them, it seems like a lotus flower floats on the water surface. The lotus flower has a special meaning in almost all Indian religions. It is enough to remember the image of the Brahma or Buddha, who is called the “heart of lotus.”
The temple was built according to all the canons of the Baha’i faith. The temple must necessarily be circular in shape, without any images and altars. The main symbol is the Bahaism is a nine pointed star. It is always reflected in the architecture of churches – they all have nine corners and a dome.
The architect had been creating a computer model of the temple for two and a half years. It is a unique architectural structure, which doesn’t have even a single straight line. There is a unique system of “natural ventilation” here, based on the principles of ancient buildings ventilation. Warm air comes out the room through the central hole in the dome, and the cool air, passing through the pool of water and foundation, enters the room, keeping the temperature within acceptable.
You can get to the Lotus Temple through the nine entrances that lead to the central hall. Its diameter is equal to 75 meters and rises upwards to 35 meters. Seating capacity includes 1300 seats. There are certain rules of the temple. To enter into the shrine, you need to take off your shoes. In addition, photographing and filming indoors are prohibited, as well as the loud conversations and noisy behavior. This makes it possible to enjoy the peace and quiet.
Lotus is the national symbol of India. But it should be noted that it is also important in many other religions and countries. In China, for example, the plant has always been revered as a sacred, which represented the productive force, chastity and purity. Thus, the form of the construction emphasizes that it is a temple for the people of all nationalities and faiths.