The Lotus in bloom, 25 years running | delhi | Hindustan Times
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The Lotus in bloom, 25 years running

delhi Updated: Mar 17, 2011 00:26 IST
Nivedita Khandekar

The iconic Baha`i House of Worship, popularly known as the Lotus Temple, has been around for a quarter of a century.

Built by the followers of the Baha`i community, it will celebrate the inaugural event of its 25th year anniversary on Sunday, at its sprawling premises in Kalkaji.

The temple complex witnesses footfalls of on an average 8,000 persons daily, from poorest or the poor to visiting heads of the states.

“There is no entry ticket. But we keep a manual counter for the number of visitors. About 100 million people have visited the temple since its inception 25 years ago,” said Nalina Jiwnani, coordinator of the task force for 25th year celebrations.

Former President Dr APJ Kalam would grace the occasion as, “We consider him to be a figure of goodness, as someone who has been able to draw people together -- the very principles that the Baha’i associate with,” said Nazneen Rowhani, general secretary, national governing body of the Baha`i in India.

India has 1.8-2.0 million followers of the faith. The programme on Sunday, to be held on the eve of the Baha’i New Year on March 21, will have an all religion prayer session.

“Although the Sunday programme is restricted to invitees due to VIP presence, there would be an evening of cultural programmes on March 21 that would be open for all,” Jiwnani said.

Apart from the main temple, the premises have an information centre and an auditorium.

“The information centre showcases various aspects of the faith, including a short film about it, apart from ample literature. Baha`i community works towards creating a world civilisation characterised by justice and peace,” said Shatrughan Jiwnani, director (public relations).

Apart from the programmes on Sunday and Monday, the Baha`i community has planned various activities throughout the year.

The Baha`i Faith was founded by Baha`ullah of Iran in 1863. India has followers of the faith since 1890. Today, they number 1.8-2.0 million.