The Bahá’í House of Worship in Delhi, India, popularly known as the Lotus Temple due to its lotus bud like shape with 27 petals. It is a prominent attraction in Delhi. It was completed in 1986 and serves as the Mother Temple of the Indian subcontinent.
It has won numerous architectural awards and been featured in hundreds of newspaper and magazine articles. The lotus bud depicted by the temple has been made as close to a real lotus which grows only in water, by providing water ponds all around the temple.
As with all other Bahá’í Houses of Worship, the Lotus Temple is open to all regardless of religion, or any other distinction, as emphasized in Bahá’í texts. The Bahá’í laws also stipulate that only the holy scriptures of the Bahá’í Faith and other religions can be read or chanted inside in any language; while readings and prayers can be set to music by choirs, no musical instruments can be played inside. Furthermore no sermons can be delivered, and there can be no ritualistic ceremonies practiced.
The Lotus Temple, has a nine-sided circular shape. Inspired by the lotus flower, its design is composed of 27 free-standing marble clad “petals” arranged in clusters of three to form nine sides.Bahá’í scripture also states that no pictures, statues or images be displayed within the House of Worship and no pulpits or altars be incorporated as an architectural feature (readers may stand behind simple portable lecture stands). The nine doors of the Lotus Temple open onto a central hall, capable of holding up to 2,500 people.