Modern TajMahal – INDIA

THE LOTUS TEMPLE

1.The grand “Lotus Temple” is termed by many as the Taj of modern India.It is “the most visited building in the world, according to a CNN report” also “the most visited building in India, surpassing even the Taj Mahal with some 4.5 million visitors a year.”

2.The vast lawns, the massive white structure, the high ceiling Prayer Hall, and a temple without idols standing so close to an ancient Hindu temple aroused the interest of all and sundry.

3.It is made of marble,cement,dolomite and sand. It reaches a height of more than 40m. One can see 27 giant white petals of marble in a lotus shape,springing from nine pools and walkways indicative of the nine unifying spiritual paths of the Bahai’s faith.

4.It is located in Kalkaji, south of Delhi and is shaped like a half opened Lotus flower.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.

5.The architect was an Iranian, who now lives in Canada, named Fariborz Sahba. The major part of the funds needed to buy this land was donated by Ardishír Rustampúr of Hyderabad, who gave his entire life savings for this purpose in 1953.

6.Since its inauguration to public worship in December 1986, the Bah?’? House of Worship in New Delhi, India has drawn to its portals more than 50 million visitors, making it the most visited edifice in the world, its numbers surpassing those of the visitors to the Eiffel Tower and even the Taj Mahal.

7.This “House of Worship of the Indian subcontinent” joins six other Bah?’? temples around the world. Each of these Houses of Worship, while sharing some basic design concepts, has its own distinct cultural identity embodying the principle of unity in diversity.

8.The structure of the House of Worship is composed of three ranks of nine petals; each springing from a podium which elevates the building above the surrounding plain. The first two ranks curve inward, embracing the inner dome; the third layer curves outward to form canopies over the nine entrances. The petals, constructed of reinforced white concrete cast in place, are clad in white marble panels, performed to surface profiles and patterns related to the geometry.

9.The double layered interior dome, modelled on the innermost portion of the lotus, is comprised of 54 ribs with concrete shells between. The central hall is ringed by nine arches that provide the main support for the superstructure. Nine reflecting pools surround the building on the outside, their form suggesting the green leaves of the lotus flower.

10.. Fariborz Sahba spent 10 years in designing and project management, and with the help of a team of about 800 engineers, technicians, artisans and workers brought to realisation one of the most complicated constructions in the world.

11.To avoid construction joints, petals were concreted in a continuous operation for approximately 48 hours. Concrete was carried up the staging by women bearing 50-pound loads in baskets balanced on their heads.

12.All the steel reinforcing for the shells of the lotus petals was galvanised to avoid rust stains on the white concrete in the prevailing humid conditions, and guarantee the life of the delicate shell structure of 6 to 18 cm thick shells of the petals.

13.When the temple was first opened to the general public on January 1, 1987 they flocked to the “Lotus Temple”, as they fondly call it, from sheer curiosity.

14.Nine doors open onto a central hall, capable of holding up to 2,500 people. Slightly more than 40 meters tall, its surface shining white marble,the temple at times seems to float above its 26 acre (105,000 m²; 10.5 ha) nine surrounding ponds.

Read More – Wikipedia

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