Bahai News - NEW DELHI
behind the scenes
New Delhi couldn't be more different from the city centre. It's a sort of
lasting memorial to the British colonial past that ruled India until 1947.
Most of the buildings were built in the last 80 years. A conscious effort
has been made to maintain the imperial grandeur of the Moghul era.
New Delhi was confirmed as the capital on December 12, 1911 and it's where
the seat of government has been housed since 1931. One impressive structure
includes the splendid archway known as India Gate. It serves as a memorial
to the soldiers who died in the first World War. The area in the vicinity of
the arch is a meeting point for families and friends after a hectic day in
the city. It's a great place to relax, soak up the ambience and mix with the
very friendly and welcoming locals. Boat trips will cost you less than one
The surburb of Nizamuddin is where the diversity of South Delhi begins.
The village is home to a small Muslim population and is a great way to
really experience the local way of life. All of the people are very
welcoming and are keen to show you their skills. Many offer flowers as
an offering before entering the village shrine. You have to remove your
shoes and should wear covered clothes to respect worshippers. The
narrow maze-like alleyways en route to the shrine provide shelter and
comfort for many of the older generation. Most spend the whole day
relaxing and staying out of the heat of the midday sun.
The beautiful shrine memorializing Hazrat Nizamuddin Dargah, to whom the
village is named after dates back to 1562. He was one of the saints
of a religion known as Sufi, a Muslim religion. There are many
religions that co-exist in Delhi. Religion is considered harmonious
these days and it certainly is an experience to savor. Hinduism is far
and away the largest religion in the country. For a majority of Indians
it permeates every aspect of their life, from common daily chores to
education and politics.
A short journey further south brings you to the Chattapur Temple
Complex. The amazing temples have been built in the last 15 years, with
each one representing a different god or goddess.
The complex is part of an ongoing project to build a purpose built city
where the locals can visit freely to pray or worship. In a country of
over 800 million people where there's thought to be at least 33 million
different gods or goddesses, there is still a long way to go.
For those who thought the Taj Mahal was the most visited building in the
world, think again. It's in New Delhi and it's called the Baha'i house of
worship, or more commonly known as the Lotus Temple. Since its opening for
public worship in 1986 more than 70 million people have visited. Thousands
of people descend here every day of the year. The record is 150,000 people
in one day. The Baha'i faith is practiced by 6 million people world-wide but
this house of worship is open to any religion, race, man, woman, rich or
poor. Its structure is often compared with the opera house in Sydney. But the
reason so many people have visited this temple, apart from its visual beauty,
is the freedom to pray or meditate whatever your religion.
Delhi as a whole has staggering contrasts and if you're willing to explore a
little, then you can find a whole world of different cities.
The hub of New Delhi
Banks, airlines, tourist offices, cyber café, shops, bazaars, markets
& restaurants found here.
Rajpath & India Gate l
Accessible via Janpath and Ashoka Road from Connaught Place
Tel: + 91 11 334 1234
Fax: + 91 11 334 2255
Email - email@example.com
Baha'i House of Worship - Lotus Temple
Off Mathura Road, South Delhi
New Delhi 110 019
Tel: + 91 11 644 4029
Fax: + 91 11 646 4460
Neighbourhood - Between Mathura Road & Lala Lajpat Rai Path
Dargah Hazrat Syed Nizamuddin Aulia
New Delhi 110 013
Tel: + 91 11 435 0337
©Copyright 2001, Cable News Network
Page last updated/revised 050501
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