Iconic Building Series – The Lotus Temple
A welcoming exterior reflects the spiritual atmosphere of The Lotus Temple in New Dehli, India. Iranian architect Fariborz Sahba designed the place of worship to resemble a blooming lotus, an example of expressionist architecture. Also known as the Bahaíi House of Worship, it offers a sanctuary for Bahaíis and others who seek peace.
Completed in 1986, the white marble exterior welcomes 3.5 million visitors each year, according to Architravel.com. Nine sides to the temple form 27 marble petals arranged in groups of three. The nine doors, reminiscent of the nine-pointed star in Bahaíi Faith, lead to a 131-foot (40-metre) high prayer hall that can hold 2500 people. Its marble floor came from the Penteli Mountain in Greece. It is one of the first temples in Dehli to use solar power. Fittingly, ponds and gardens enchant visitors at the gates. The property is 26 acres.
Sahba chose the lotus for inspiration because it is special to several religions, including Hinduism and Buddhism. A blooming flower embodies Bahaíi beliefs such as the progressive revelation of religious truth. For this creation, GlobArt Academy in Vienna, Austria, granted him an award for his ability to promote unity.