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Celebrations at Lotus Temple

delhi Updated: Nov 11, 2011 01:31 IST
Rajat Arora
Rajat Arora
Hindustan Times
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The architectural wonder of Delhi, the Bahá’í House of Worship, popularly known as Lotus Temple, will be commemorating its 25th anniversary on November 12-13.

http://www.hindustantimes.com/Images/HTEditImages/Images/11-11-11-metro8.jpgThe monument will mark its 25th year with a series of cultural programs and the prominent community members that are spread across the globe, will be felicitated. In commemoration of this anniversary, the Incredible India campaign of the government of India is featuring the iconic lotus-shaped temple on the posters and billboards in 14 countries including South Africa, Japan, the USA and Singapore. The image of the temple will also be appearing as the part of Delhi Meri Jaan initiative of the Delhi government that was launched last year.

The temple was built by lesser known Bahá’í community, which only has a population of six million across the globe. “This is the only Bahá’í temple in Asia and in India we are not even a recognised minority community. The lotus design was selected by architects because it is associated with worship, and has been a part of the life and thoughts of Indians through the ages. People get to know about the community through this architectural marvel,” said Shatrughun Jiwnani, a senior official at the temple.

Prayer services, traditional music, dance performances, talks, films on the house of worship and its contribution to the Indian society, books stalls featuring the Bahá’í publications in all Indian languages and handicraft will be part of the anniversary event.

The Bahá’í faith was founded by Bahá’u’lláh in Iran in 1863. “We don’t have any clergy or rituals but we have a holy book called Kitab-I-Aqdas, which was originally written in Arabic. Here also, during the prayers we read from holy books of all religion,” said Amy Kems, a US Bahá’I, who is here to attend the anniversary celebrations.

“Around 5,000 prominent Bahá’i community members will be gathering here to participate in the celebrations. Special films featuring history of our community will be screened and the temple will be closed for visitors during the two-day celebrations,” added Jiwnani.