Lotus Temple, New Delhi: Find your spirituality here.
Posted on December 20, 2019 by Ghoomophiro
The lotus temple, though a place of worship and meditation, is a popular tourist destination in New Delhi. The temple has enough room to accommodate approximately 1300 people inside its beautifully carved walls and a spectacular infrastructure.
You can pray to God, meditate, find peace and calm to connect with your spirituality. A trip to New Delhi is not complete without the Lotus temple as one of the visitor spots.
The temple’s architecture is what makes it so unique since it is built in the shape of a Lotus. The Lotus, itself, is a common symbol of many religions like Islam, Hinduism, Jainism, and even Buddhism.
The Lotus Temple is the house of worship for Bahai but no one is restricted to come here and there is no visitor fee charged either. A wheelchair is provided for the differently-abled. You can see the entire structure of the temple, inside and outside within 45 minutes along with learning about its history and Bahai’s way of offering prayer.
The timing for special prayer inside the hall are: 10:00am, 12:00pm, 3:00pm and 5:00pm. The prayer is four-minute-long and prayer services are held four times throughout the day. The temple also has an information center that has many texts and videos on Bahai’s faith. The information center is open to adults but children below 12 years of age are not allowed. If you wish to take pictures, you must take permission from the administration. Volunteers are available at the gate to greet you and show you around the temple.
How to Reach:
By Air: Being the capital city, New Delhi is well connected with international flights and domestic flights. Domestic flights will take you to Palam Airport while international flights land at IGIA (India Gandhi International Airport)
By Rail: New Delhi has four major Railway stations that are well connected to various cities – Old Delhi Railway Station, New Delhi Railway Station, Hazrat Nizamuddin Railway Station, and Anand Vihar Railway Station.
By Road: By road as well, Delhi is well connected to major cities and there is three major Inter-state bus Terminus in New Delhi.
After you reach Delhi, you can travel by Metro, auto-rickshaw, cabs or buses. The nearest Metro station to Lotus temple is Nehru Place Metro Station. From the metro station, it takes 15 minutes to reach the Lotus Temple on foot. You can also take a rickshaw, auto or get an Ola/Uber.
When to visit:
If you are looking for off-season budget travel, pick a month from April to September. But the best time to visit Delhi is from October to March. For visiting the Lotus temple, the timings are:
Winter: 9:00 am to 5:30 pm (Last Entry 5.00 pm) Winter months are October to March.
Summer: 9:00 am to 7:00 pm (Last Entry 6.30 pm) Summer months are April to September.
The timing of the information center is similar, only the information center closes 15 minutes before the temple. The temple and information center are closed on all Mondays.
History of Lotus Temple:
Another name for the Lotus Temple is Bahai’s Temple since the temple has its roots in the Bahai faith. The temple has been widely recognized and has gotten several awards for its unique architecture. The temple was constructed in November 1986 and during 2001, the number of visitors visiting Lotus Temple had exceeded the number of visitors who had gone to see the Taj Mahal and the Eiffel tower that year. Approximately 70 million people visited the Lotus temple in 2011. Even in contemporary times, 8000 to 10000 people visit the temple daily.
The architecture of the Lotus Temple:
The structure of the temple is made to function the same way a skylight functions. The dome is so spectacularly made that light enters the hall in the same way it enters an actual lotus flower, by passing through the petals.
The inside of the temple is a naturally quite cold in summers because the central hall is designed to act as a chimney. It has an opening at top and bottom so cool air passes over the pool in the basement ensuring a nice atmosphere.
The structure has 27 petals in total arranged in clusters of three. It has 9 marble sides and thus, nine doors open to the main hall. The architect of the Lotus temple was from Iran. Fariborz Sahba undertook the task to design and oversee the construction of the Lotus temple in 1976. Later on, the construction was undertaken by the ECC Construction Group of Larsen & Toubro Limited.
Our trip to Lotus Temple:
It is not that impossible to believe but despite belonging to Delhi, there are many popular places we hadn’t visited. Lotus temple is one of them. The architecture of the place is beautiful to admire from afar but its true beauty is in understanding how intricately it was built. Without air conditioning, the temple is cool naturally. We got some beautiful pictures of the structure from outside and bought posters from the cute little shops.
It is a great place to spend a quiet evening at and one gets surprised when one enters the temple how quiet and calm it truly is. We visited during one of the special prayers and got to hear the Bahai ritual of offering prayers. Despite Delhi being a city filled with noise and chatter, the Lotus Temple was the one place where it was so silent that we could almost hear the sound of our heartbeats. No matter how much one may explain it in words, the true feeling of why it is the place you must visit to find your spirituality will only be understood once you visit the place and feel the aura yourself.
You might need to stand in queues for a time because many visitors are wanting to see the mesmerizing temple and its nine pools. The pool area is the best place to click pictures along with the garden area surrounding the temple.