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Sustainable Wanderlust
Preserve unique cultures and special places
PHOTO: A shepherd leads his sheep up a remote mountain valley in the Ladakh Himalayas

Bahaii Temple

What faith is completely open its acceptance of other faiths, dynamic in its nature, scientific in its technique and devoid of religious ceremonies, sacrifices and deity worship?

Here’s a clue – the number nine is of the greatest significance that is represented in the architecture of its temples.

One such remarkable temple lies in a country where Hinduism casts a long shadow and religious divisions and caste inequality are the hallmarks of its society.

It is called the Lotus temple after its shape – the building is shaped in the form of marble petals arranged in groups of three to create a structure with nine faces. Nine ponds encircle the temple. It is an oasis of beauty and openness in a city that has almost no room to breathe.

But more importantly, this temple is a silent place of worship. You will hear no chanting, bells or voices. And you will be surrounded by people of different religions, nationalities, castes and beliefs.

It belongs to the Baha’i faith – one that is comprised of perhaps six million members worldwide. Politely, the volunteers guide the masses that visit the temple every day, and for once there is peace upon entering the temple. Outside the temple you can sense the awe and respect from the people wandering around and taking pictures.

It is one of the wonders of the world that should be on your shortlist of a 1000 places to experience.

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