Lotus Temple – Delhi

The-Lotus-Temple-header

Today I decided to take myself off to the Lotus Temple. I had seen it on the map and it’s not far away. It had to be done at some point. Having not been able to eat last night, due to the surgery I again ordered in. Scrambled eggs have never tasted so good. I had to pass on the tea though because I’m not allowed anything hot at the moment. I even had to wait, salivating, for the eggs to cool.

For those of you that have looked at the map, the temple is left out of the door of the hotel, up to the end of the block. Turn right for the length of the park I was in the other day, with the squirrels. Left again and keep going. I thought I could approach it through the park. I couldn’t. So I ended up walking right round the temple before I found the gate.

Nehru Place

Nehru Place
Nehru Place buildings
Young Delhi lads
Young Delhi lads
I was taking a couple of pictures of some of the massive buildings near Nehru Place (the IT hub of Delhi and a shopping centre), when these three young lads decided to try and talk to me. They were more interested in the cost of the camera than me 🙂 I asked them if I could take their picture and the tall fellow on the left was not keen but his buddies persuaded him. He doesn’t look to happy about it. Figuring that this may have developed into a “security” issue, I headed off into the park.

Astha Kunj Park

Cool path under the trees
Eventually I circumnavigated the park, sweating profusely, to the entrance to the temple. Security in Delhi is tight! Everywhere has metal detectors and security men and the Lotus Temple was no different. I was searched and informed that I could use my DSLR camera but not the video camera and that no photos were to be taken inside. Fair enough – those are the rules. Unlucky my DSLR is that old, all the new ones are able to shoot video too, who would have known?

The Lotus Temple – Bahá’í House of Worship

Lotus Temple Delhi
Lotus Temple – Bahá’í House of Worship
The Lotus Temple is a Bahá’í house of worship. It’s called the Lotus Temple for obvious reasons. Building was completed in 1986 and CNN claimed in a report that it’s the most visited building in the world, apparently even more visitors than the famous Taj Mahal. According to the Indian government over 100 million people have visited since its inauguration. I heard spanish spoken for the first time here by a group of three people more or less my age.

The architect of the Lotus Temple

It was designed by the Iranian architect Fariborz Sahba and uses 500k watts of electricity annually of which 120kw is generated by solar panels. It’s the first temple in Delhi to use solar power. The temple has also won numerous awards for its design, and not surprisingly.

Bahá’í houses of worship

Bahá’í houses of worship are open to any and all creeds, irrespective of gender or other distinctions. There are certain restrictions. You can sing in there but you can’t play instruments. No fundraising is allowed. You can read from any scripture but the reading of non-scripture is forbidden. There is no set pattern of worship but rituals are not allowed. The Bahá’í scriptures say that there must not be any statues, pulpits or images displayed and that all their temples have to have 9 sides. The building is made of 27 marble covered, free standing petals, arranged in 3s making the obligatory 9 sides. It was a shame I couldn’t take photos inside as the space was huge, clean and fairly awe inspiring. The removal of shoes is necessary to enter and I could have taken a bag to carry them but opted for my day-pack. I have to say that it was a great relief to have the shoes and socks off and the floor was cool and welcoming.


A day in Delhi dehydrated

Indian palm squirrel

Lazy Delhi day

I was lazy again this morning and ordered in the breakfast. I hadn’t slept too well, got to sleep after 02:30 and woke at nine-ish. To try and clear the cobwebs I figured I’d walk in one of the many Delhi parks opposite. On the map it looks like a big park with a road going through or over it. It isn’t, it’s two parks. The nearest is well kept and the second is running amok. You can see it on the map opposite the hotel marker.

indian palm squirrelThe trees are full of Indian palm squirrels. They aren’t too worried about people and you can get quite close to them as you can see from the photo. Their bodies are about 18cm long and their tails are the same. They are sacred to Lord Rama. You can read the wikipedia entry I’ve linked but in a nutshell the light coloured markings on its back are from where Lord Rama stroked him.

The park workers around this part of Delhi seem to predominantly be older women in saris. They sit on the ground weeding and sweeping. The men seem to do the cutting of bushes and moving water lines around.

Delhi is humid in the monsoon season

It’s fiercely humid, we’re in the monsoon season here. One of the most humid countries I’ve experienced. The only others that match it were Brazil and Malaysia. And I thought it was bad in Fuengirola. I’m sweating like mad just breathing and I’m having to change twice a day to get rid of the soaked clothing. At least the clothes dry quickly.

flowering treeHaving walked around the two parks for about an hour I knew I needed to get some water in me to compensate for the sweat loss. I could feel myself getting dehydrated. My tongue was stuck to the roof of my mouth. So I wandered off to the market square that I mentioned in the Imran post. On the way I passed a small shrine set up to Ganesh. The poor God’s trunk was broken off and an urge came on me to get some clay and fix it. I thought he was rather beautiful in his decrepitude.

Shrine to Ganesh
A sorry God Ganesh

The guy at the water stall is beginning to know me. I bought 3 litres, a one and a two, and did the one litre bottle without stopping. I really needed it. As I had another dental appointment booked for 15:00 I came back to the hotel, showered and processed these photos. I had met a tuk-tuk driver with good english on the way to the market and he’d promised to collect me at 14:15 to take me up to the clinic. I wanted to get some grub in me before I went in.

the hot pot
The Hot Pot for great curries
mango drink
Mango drink that’s laced with sugar but yummy
Rajy turned up about 15 minutes early and waited outside for me. I’m probably going to take a spin with him on Sunday to see some of the sights of Delhi, but that’s to be confirmed. He dropped me at the HOT POT, the street vendor I ate at one of the first days. I chose the egg curry. Nearly defeated me again and blew my head off at the same time. Having about 35 minutes to wait I bought a mango drink (600ml again, laced with sugar as I subsequently found out) and sat in the park in the shade of the trees cooling down and drinking it. Have to admit it did taste good and knocked the spots of a coke.

Today’s lunch – 70¢

Curried eggs.

curried eggs
Today’s lunch

One of the many Delhi parks

Delhi parkDelhi park

The dentist laughs

The dentist laughed. The turmeric (curcuma) in the curry had stained the temporary crowns bright yellow. She’s replaced them. It feels weird to have teeth again.

So tomorrow is the big day – bone grafts and the implant pins. Apparently, from the scans and imaging I’ve had done, they can see that my bone has deteriorated and that there is very little space to put the implants without damaging the sinuses. Hence the bone grafts to build up the height. I don’t know what they are going to use, I’m assuming it’s a generic bone material.

I’ve been told to have a big lunch because I suppose I won’t be able to eat for a while. Ice cream I think is on the menu for tomorrow.