19th October 2014 -New Delhi, India
From the tombs to the forts and the temples, Delhi has a lot to offer. And I waded through its chaotic belly, waxing sweaty and hot. I am not politically inclined, nor am I one to comment on the ruling folk. But the lotus is blooming in the capital, whether you like it or not.
A word of advice if you are in India. If it is a sunday, go out and see as much as you can. Because everything will be closed on Monday. Monday is the official holiday for all touristy places.
This was especially true in Delhi, so I went out today from the morning, trying to pack as much as sightseeing into my agenda today. First, I went to the Akshardham temple complex. One of the biggest private temple complexes in India, the Akshardham has a little bit of controversy over its ostentatious and elaborate disney-world like setup. Entry is free into the temple, but unfortunately, you can’t carry your camera – not even mobile phone – with you. So, I finished a quick 30 minute walk through the many hindu sculptures and walked out quickly. Anywhere I can’t click, doesn’t fall into my list of favourite places.
From Akshardham, I went to a different kind of temple. The lotus temple is actually called the Bahai house of worship, but gets its common name from the unique shape of the building. Built by the Iranian architect Fariburz Sahba, the building is an amazing mix of 27 petal-shaped structures. Bahai is an interesting religion. Bahai worship places are open to people of all religions, and people can pray inside the temple in their own languages, to their own gods.
Photography was not allowed inside the prayer complex. Now, that I can live with.
Note: The reference to politics in the poem, is alluding the fact that lotus is also the election symbol of the BJP party, which is currently heading the government of India.