When I was at New Delhi, I made sure to visit one of the most iconic temples of the city, the Lotus Temple. I have heard so much about it. I have seen so many wonderful pictures of it. But this time, I want to have a personal experience of visiting it.
But it took almost two hours from a hotel I stayed at New Delhi to get there at Lotus Temple. If there was no traffic jams, it would have taken less.
There is security check at its peripheral entrance. I was worried and waited to see if they are allowing cameras and phones. But cameras and phones are allowed.
My taxi driver was telling me to take out my shoes and keep them inside the taxi. When I could see many people calmly entering with shoes and slippers, my bare foot made few look at me.
The driver was right, I cannot get inside the temple with shoes. And the worst thing, I was not even allowed to keep them outside. We have to carry ourselves for which we have to buy sacks at the temple’s doorsteps.
The symbolic meanings of Lotus Temple, New Delhi
Did you ever wonder why this temple is in the shape of a lotus flower specifically? Why its architectural design isn’t in other flowers, that are perhaps better than lotus?
Because we know there are many flowers that are sweeter and more beautiful than lotus. Lotus flowers grow in a muddy and marshy land which are not clean. And moreover, why is it in blooming mode and not in a shape of bud?
To get answer all above questions, we must read a long note given on a marble pedestal standing before entry door.
The note says that Lotus Temple is one of the principal houses of worship in India. And it was constructed under the guiding principles of Bahai religion. This religion is all about striving for oneness; oneness of religions, oneness of Gods and oneness of Mankind.
The person who engineered this Lotus Temple has indeed picked the ‘Lotus Flower’ design as this flower is a symbol of purity, oneness and tolerance in religions like Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Jainism and Islam.
Lotus flowers might grow in the worst environment; stinky, muddy and murky ponds. Yet it never fails to grow beautifully emitting sweet fragrance making it a symbol of purity and tolerance.
It’s scientifically proven that lotus flowers close their petals at evening. And during daybreak, they lift to sky and unfold their beautiful crown. This happens naturally without any external force or stimulation making lotus a symbol of oneness.
The principles of oneness at Lotus Temple, New Delhi
Lotus Temple at New Delhi is open to all people no matter which religion one follows. Indeed this temple isn’t under any specific religious organisation.
The main hall inside the temple doesn’t have any images or statues that are specific to just one religion. I would say the hall doesn’t look like a temple. It looks like a hall for conducting some social events. But that is what it takes to be one.
In the hall, a soothing chord is being played that channelizes our concentration to get into meditation. And I was told, even that hymn isn’t that of any religion.
What Lotus Temple has to offer for people visiting it?
When you see Lotus Temple, you are actually seeing one of the finest architectural creations of humanity. This famous cultural architecture in the design of blooming lotus not only offers you with a captivating sight but also a great hall of meditation.
There are historical details behind design, symbolic meanings, significance and many more of it. Visitors can explore them. Tourists can also try exploring specialty of its designs, materials thus used and its lighting system.
You may also try making walks around its complex on an even lawns. There also clean artificial water pool. And out of many, you’ll love Stuart orange trees with fruits even during off seasons.
Therefore, I can only say that Lotus Temple is not the house of worship, blossom of an inspirational architecture but also one of the places where scientific advantages are leveraged in good proportion to meet cultural desires of people.
Recommend to read following travel experiences and exciting stories from India:
- Rewalsar Lake – Guru Padmasambhava met consort Mandarawa.
- Bodh Gaya – Place where Gautama Buddha attained Enlightenment.
- India Travel – Expectations & Experiences of first time Tourists.
- Manikaran – paradise of good hot springs in Himachal Pradesh.