Serving as the mother temple in the Indian Subcontinent this flowerlike shaped temple is famous as the Bahá'í House of Worship. Located near Kalkaji, New Delhi this temple has become famous as one of the most visited temples in India. This piece of architecture had become a thing of such great historical importance that it even won numerous laurels in the name of its architecture and has carved a niche for itself in various newspapers as well.
Being one of the Bahá'í Houses of Worship the lotus temple also shares certain prominent architectural features which have been written down in Bahá'í scripture. An essential element of architectural character is for it to have nine-sided circular shape as specified by the son of the founder of the religion named `Abdu'l-Bahá. It further specifies that the house of worship will not contain any picture, images or statues neither will it have pulpits or altars. For the readers portable lecture stands were installed behind which they can comfortably stand. Taking its inspiration from the Lotus flower this temple has 27 self-standing clad ”petals” made up of marble and are further arranged in groups of three each to facilitate the formation of nine sides. The nine doors of the temple open into a hall which is centrally located and measure upto 40 meters in height and can stand nearly 2500 people at a time. The floor of the temple has been surfaced from marble which belongs to Penteli mountain in Greece which is the same marble from which the various ancient monuments and the various other Bahá'í Houses of Worship have been procured. Occupying a land of 26 acres (105,000 m²; 10.5 ha) this temple also houses nine enveloping ponds and the gardens which had to positive aura it flaunts.
Situated in the village of Bahapur in the heart of India this piece of architect was designed and its construction was supervised by an Iranian architect Fariborz Sahba. The Uk firm named Flint and Neill took over the task of its structural design. Ardishír Rustampúr of Hyderabad, Sindh invested whole of his lifetime earnings for the purpose of buying land for this temple.
It has earned the tag of one of the most visited buildings in the world owing to its 50 million visitors since its inauguration in December 1986 till late 2002. The numbers of visitors were greater in numbers as compared to those of the Eiffel Tower and the Taj Mahal. During the celebrative days, this place becomes so full such that it becomes difficult to even put a step down. In order to revere the goddess Durga during the Durga Puja days a temporary structure called the pandal is made in the shape of the lotus temple. Moreover, in Sikkim also permanent lotus shaped mandir has been created that has been dedicated to lord Shiva and named Hindu Legship Mandir.
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