Far away from the commotion of Chandni Chowk, my second day of Delhi Darshan took me on a visit to the Baha'i House of Worship. Sheltered in the heart of South Delhi, the Lotus Temple is one of the most prominent tourist places in the national capital. Inspired by the lotus flower, the temple is open to everyone regardless of their religious background, gender, and other such distinctions. One of the seven Baha'i Houses of Worship around the world, once in the prayer hall of this marvellous structure guests are allowed to chant scriptures of any other religion.
My trip to this sacred place was an astounding journey of discovery. Situated a short walk away from the Kalkaji Mandir Metro Station, I had read many texts about the Lotus Temple before planning out my visit. The architect, Furiburz Sabha, had supposedly chosen the lotus as a symbol common to Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, and Islam. Closed on Mondays, nine ponds surround the main structure.
As I reached the entry gate of the temple, I was redirected 100 meters back to end of the queue which by the way was an extremely long one. I waited for a good 20-25 minutes before I was finally allowed into the confines of this fine architectural marvel. Now while that might seem like a typical waiting time, my wait felt even more elongated with a 5-year child bawling in front of me because he was missing regularly scheduled Ninja Hattori on Nickelodeon. Upon entering through gate, I observed the lush green backdrop that the Baha'i House of Worship was set in. For as far as the eyes could see, verdant turfs dominated the landscape.
Following the directed path, I reached a t-point from where lay beyond my bare eyes the remarkable temple. I can recall standing at the exact point for upto 30 minutes taking pictures. Now while I am guessing that nobody takes that long to take a couple of shots, just remember that the sheer number of locals and foreigners made sure that to make my simple task an obstacle to overcome.
As I reached the stairs leading upto the monument, I noticed the horrendous queue that I was about to enter into. Horrified by the long line, I pushed my friend to settle into the queue while I sat down near one of the pools. Surprisingly though, we managed to enter the prayer hall within 10 minutes. Left awestruck by its size, I took a seat observing the fine craftsmanship. The surface of the hall was made of white marble originating from the Penteli Mountains in Greece. Interestingly, the same marble was used in the building of the ancient monument Parthenon.
With a seating capacity of close to 1,300 people, the House of Worship as the hall is recognised is a place to be one with God. A religious temple made for those of all faiths, take 5 minutes of your time to just recollect your goals. Even if you do not believe in God, this beautiful location provides with a serene environment where you can have an honest converastion with yourself.