Baha'i House of Worship (The Lotus Temple)

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Baha'i House of Worship (The Lotus Temple)

The lotus flower is a symbol of purity and spirituality throughout India, and Delhi's Baha'i Temple celebrates this in a unique architectural way. Designed by Fariborz Sahba, an Iranian-born Canadian architect, and completed in 1986, the building incorporates the number nine—the highest digit and, in the Baha'i faith, a symbol of unity. The sleek structure has two layers: nine white marble-covered petals that point to heaven, and nine petals that conceal the portals. From a short distance it looks like a fantastic work of origami. The nine pools outside signify the green leaves of the lotus and cool the starkly elegant, usually silent marble interior. The interior conforms to that of all Baha'i houses of worship: there are no religious icons, just copies of the Holy Scriptures and wooden pews. The road to the temple passes through a colorful temple bazaar connected to the nearby Kalkaji Mandir.

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