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25 December 2007

TRAVEL TALES : Christmas Day at the Bahá'í Temple in Delhi

Visitors at the Bahá'í House of Worship, New Delhi, India
Image source: Paul Ancheta

IT'S CHRISTMAS Day, and India is on holiday mode. I thought I should take this precious opportunity to travel to New Delhi, visit the Bahá'í House of Worship, and perform my spiritual duties of worship.

New Delhi is chilly to the bone. It's a fabulous time to be fashionably dressed in layers (and in Delhi, those lovely northerners do know how to dress for winter). At the temple grounds, it seemed that half of the city were here: how encouraging to see hordes of visitors waiting to be admitted into the temple this afternoon! Children, parents, and friends in various attires filled the pathways; an inner entrance had to be used to accommodate the long queues. Later, an Australian Bahá'í youth volunteer told me that 4,000 visitors logged in today.

The late afternoon fog shrouded the temple and made its petals look so surreal. Inside, as I looked up the domed ceiling with its gleaming skylights, I wondered how the architect—Fariborz Sahba—designed a rain-proof (and fog-proof) building without compromising on the natural air conditioning and lighting. I could only marvel at his genius.


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