One of the great new landmarks in Delhi is the Lotus Temple, built during 1980-1986 at a cost 10 million rupee. The Temple is shaped like the lotus flower, its 27 petals made of concrete cores clad in a layer of white marble. The marble is surprisingly not of Indian origin (the beautiful Taj Mahal is constructed of beautiful white Indian marble), but rather from Mt. Penteli in Greece. The architect was an Iranian-Canadian, Fariborz Sahba, and the building has won numerous architectural awards.
The temple is set amidst pools and gardens. It was built by the Bahai faith and is the only Bahai Temple in Asia. This Temple is open to people of all faiths, and has no idols of any kind. It has a Prayers Hall for meditation for people of all religions. Visiting Hours are all days except Monday, in the summer from 9:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m & in the winter from 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. The temple is beautifully lite up at night.
I had looked forward to visiting this unique complex, but when I arrived on a mid Sunday afternoon, I encountered the longest lineup I’ve ever seen in my life. I would estimate the lineup was at least a kilometer long, and I simply didn’t have the time or patience to wait in the line to see the interior. Still, I could appreciate some of its beauty from a hill overlooking the temple.
The Temple is visited by over four million people annually. There is no admission fee.