Sunday, January 8, 2012
back in Delhi, day2; the Lotus Temple
I woke up early and hungry so went down the street to the Vivek Hotel, where they had really good baked goods and ordered a cream cheese bagel. I wanted to knock on Masumi's door, but wasn't sure if she was sleeping and/or if it would be inappropriate, so I just figured if we meet up somehow then good. I hadn't been sitting for long before she passed by the window and noticed me inside. She was braver than I'd been and had knocked on my door but must have just missed me. I was really glad she found me, though.
We talked about things we wanted to do in the city, and visit the Lotus Temple, the Bahá'í House of Worship, was high on both our lists. First, we walked through the Pahar Ganj bazaar, one street over form the main bazaar, where it was less busy, more open, had had a much more authentic feeling. So far, Delhi hasn't won my heart the way Mumbai did, but this helped me warm up to it a little more.
Once we made it through the bazaar, we flagged an auto-rickshaw to take us the long drive to the Lotus Temple. It is the Mother Temple of the Indian sub-continent, and open to any one of any faith to come worship. As we approached, it began to poke up from its hill over the street, with its white lotus petals just about to open. There is a beautiful park surround it, providing a deep breath in the midst of New Delhi.
video from http://www.bahaihouseofworship.in/
We had to pass through a pretty serious security check before entering, and inside was a stunning, fully open space, full of light and people seated along the long rows of wood benched that curved around, facing the far wall.
We explored the ground and the small museum then headed back as the sun began to get low. The evening sky was a remarkable backdrop to the stunning architecture, and I would have liked to have stayed around long enough to see the temple lit from the outside, but it was better to get back before dark.
I've only had four friends who were Bahá'í, two from university, and two English teachers I met in Korea, but they are all among the nicest people I know. I thought of them all I was pleased to have visited a place I'm sure they would have loved to join me at.
(here is a website with some great views of the Lotus Temple, including aerial, night time, and inside views: http://artsecurehouse.com/contemporary-house/beauty-in-cultural-architecture.html)