Wednesday, March 4, 2009


Visualizing brutal polarization of religion, Bab a Persian youth, laid the foundation of a new faith, a new religion the embrace to entire human race, on May 23, 1844.

Known the world over the Bahai, it comprises individuals from virtually every country, ethnic group, profession and social class. In spite of their diverse moorings, the Bahais study a common set of sacred writing, observe universal religious laws and look to a single international governing system for guidance.

The Bahai history in India goes back to 1872, when Jamel Effendi, a Persian scholar, was instructed by Baha’u’llah to present the new Faith to Indian Dignitaries. On 24th December 1986, the two million Bahais of India, realized their long cherished dream of offering silent prayers in their own lotus temple in Delhi.

It is a unique place of worship. Spread over 27 acres with 27 petal-shaped domes and nine pods of peace, this oasis was designed by noted Iranian architect Fariburz Sahba. Its main structure comprises dolomitic marble stone from Alwar (Rajasthan), marble from Greece and white cement form Korea.

Called the Taj Mahal of the 20th century, this unique place of worship owes much of its elegance to the basic motif of the lotus (implying unity in diversity) aptly translated into reality by computer-aided designing.

The central hemispherical prayer hall with a seating capacity of 1300 is open only to those who believe in praying in silence. Neither rituals nor sermons are permitted in the sanctum sanctorum. It has become a tourist attraction and the greenery and peaceful surrounds tell its own tale. For the spiritually inclined a visit is suggested for its majestic architecture and the international material that has gone into it an inspiring spectacle indeed.

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