Where: Lotus Temple Rd, Bahapur, Shambhu Dayal Bagh, Kalkaji, New Delhi, Delhi 110019
The Lotus Temple is a popular edifice in Delhi dedicated to the Bahai faith which counts among the most visited establishments in the world. Conceptualized by the Canadian architect Fariborz Sahba, the temple was completed in the year 1986. The temple is built in a unique structure where it unfolds in the form of a stupendous lotus in white petal built in Greek white marble. The flower Lotus was selected as the shape and structure of the temple for its common significance to religions like Jainism, Buddhism, Hinduism and Islam. The structure for the House of Worship comprises 27 free-standing marble-made petal like structures organized in bunches of three to make the nine sides. All the nine sides have one entrance each that open onto a common central hall which can hold up to 2500 people. The temple is designed in such a strategic way that the light filters through the inner folds of the Lotus and diffuses through the entire hall of the temple functioning as the skylight. The temple complex is spread over 26 acres including the nine surrounding ponds and gardens. The temple is a must visit not only for its marvelous architecture but also to experience a blissful meditation experience.
Swaminarayan Akshardham Temple
Where: Noida Mor, Pandav Nagar, New Delhi, Delhi 110092
An epitome of Indian culture, spirituality and religious belief, Swaminarayan Akshardham Temple is an abode of God built near the banks of River Yamuna in Delhi. Constructed in 2005, the temple holds the Guinness Book of World Records as the World's Largest Comprehensive Hindu Temple. The mighty temple is dedicated to Lord Swaminarayan as the main deity. Showing imperial work of architecture, Hinduism and its age old culture, the temple is a splendid work of miracle. The construction work was voluntarily contributed by over 8000 people from all over the world, which involved carving out structures in marble and sandstone. The temple walls intricately showcase timeless Hindu teaching and extravagance traditional marvels. The largest step well of India is located in the temple complex, which is a platform to host light and water shows, an open garden, Narayan Sarovar, several expeditions, and rituals. The centerpiece idol of Lord Swaminarayan is accompanied by 20,000 deities, significant personalities in Indian history and sages speak for the essence of Indian architecture, traditions and timeless spiritual thoughts. Not only for the spiritual feel and devotional factors, the entire look of the complex is no less than a heavenly sight to stare at.
Hazrat Nizamuddin Dargah
Where: Boali Gate Rd, Nizamuddin, Nizammudin West Slum, Nizamuddin West, New Delhi, Delhi 110013
Dedicated to the famous Muslim Sufi Saint Nizamuddin Chisti, Hazrat Nizamuddin Dargah is a famous mausoleum and shrine located in Delhi. The dargah was built in the year 1526 with the aim to propagate the Sufi tradition based on spirituality and views that all religions are equal and show path to one Almighty. People of all religions and spiritual beliefs are allowed to pay their respects to the shrine of the saint who come in thousands every week to pray. The complex of the dargah is an ideal example of love and devotion built in the perfect combination of red stone and white marble. The tomb is adorned with intricate marble lattice screens called ?jalis? and marble arches. Inside the main tomb, the holy shrine is covered with perfumed dark green cloth where the devotees offer their prayers by showering flowers and burning the incense sticks. The mystic Sufi traditional music oozes in the environment with a distinct space for the Hujra-e-Qadeem reserved for the exclusive qawwali (Sufi Islamic devotional music) gatherings. It is a traditional belief among the devotees that tying a holy thread in the ?jails? leads to the fulfillment of any wish and prayer by the saint himself.
Where: Jama Masjid Rd, Chandni Chowk, New Delhi, Delhi 110006
The largest mosque of the country, Jama Masjid lies in the heart of the city amidst the rush and chaos of Central Delhi. The peace and tranquility of the mosque, however, is not perturbed by the chaotic ambience of Chandni Chowk famous for several magnificent Mughal structures surrounding the region. The Jama Masjid is traditionally known as ?Masjid-I Jahan-Numa?, which means ?World Reflecting Mosque?. The mausoleum was the last of Shah Jahan?s impressive collection of architectural contributions to the world, after the likes of the Taj Mahal and the Red Fort. The mosque has the capacity to accommodate twenty-five thousand people in the courtyard which unarguably makes it the largest mosque of India. The complex welcomes thousands of pilgrims every year on the auspicious occasion of Eid to offer special Namaaz, when the non-Islams are not allowed inside the complex. Jama Masjid took a constructional cost of one million rupees at the Mughal era along with 5000 workers and a total period of 6 years to complete. One has to climb 121 steps to reach the entrance welcomed by the massive central dome which is an outstanding piece of Islamic architecture.
Gurudwara Bangla Sahib
Where: Hanuman Road Area, Connaught Place, New Delhi, Delhi 110001
Gurudwara Bangla Sahib is one of the most prominent religious places popular for its association with Guru Har Krishan, the eighth Sikh guru. Built by Sikh General Sardar Bhagel Singh in 1783, the spectacular shrine keeps its doors open 24 hours for the thousands of people that visit the place every day. The Gurudwara Bangla Sahib complex has a main prayer hall, higher secondary school, a hospital, Baba Baghel Singh Museum and a library within its premises, which is additionally equipped with the holy Sarovar enhancing the serene atmosphere. The gurudwara can be sighted from a distance mainly for its white and golden construction which is a perfect example of the magnificence of Sikh architecture. The entire building is carved out of delicate white marble, with its central dome beautifully roofed under solid golden leaves. While intricately projected carvings decorate the front wall, there are several other smaller domes enhancing the overall beauty of the religious monument. The gurudwara flag proudly furls in the Nishan Sahib, the towering flagpole. Within the grounds of the gurudwara, there are several other structures including an art gallery, the communal kitchen, a higher secondary school and even a 'Yatri Niwas' for tired pilgrims to relax and refresh themselves.
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