Haridwar, Badrinath & Kedarnath
At hardwar is situated the sacred kund, Hari-ki-charan, or the foot of Vihnu. It is considered a priveledge to have a dip in its water. On its wall can be seen the footprint of Vishnu.
At a distance of about 290 kilometers from Hardware, at a height of more than 3000 meters, is situated the famous temple of Badrinath. It is surrounded by mountains which rise to a height of 7000 meters. On one side stand the grand Narayan Parvat wrapped up in silver hued snow; on the other side flows the Alakananda. The deity of Badrinarayan, is a manifestation of Vishnu. The beautiful image is seen in a meditative mood with a variety of jewels covering his body. A canopy of gold is suspended over his head.
The Vishwanath Temple in Varanasi
One of the holiest place for the hindus is Kashi, The temple of Vishweshwara is niether high nor very big but is one of the most sacred places in Indian culture. Varanasi is also known as Kashi and Varanasi is derived from the two lines of Ganga, varun and asi flowing through this city. The city has more than 1500 temples, incluing Buddhist shrines. The chief deity of the city is Vishweshwara another name for Shiva. His abode is the famous Vishwanath Temple. The present temple of Visweswar was built by Ahalyabai the celebrated queen of Indore. Ranjit Singh the lion of Punjab contributed to the gold that covers the crown.
Buddha, Shamkara, Ramanuja, Kabir, Nanak, Tulsidas and Sri Chaitanya Dev visited this holy place.
Since its inauguration to public worship in December 1986, the Bahá'í House of Worship in New Delhi, India has drawn to its portals more than 50 million visitors, making it the most visited edifice in the world, its numbers surpassing those of the visitors to the Eiffel Tower and even the Taj Mahal. The maximum number of visitors the Temple has received in a single day has been 150,000. They have come regardless of the scorching summer heat of Delhi which rises above 40°C during the months of June to September, and have braced the chill and cold rains that Delhi experiences during winter. These visitors have admired the beautiful lotus form of the Temple, and have been fascinated by the teachings of the Bahá'í Faith impressed by its tenets of the oneness of God, oneness of religions and oneness of mankind. This "House of Worship of the Indian subcontinent" joins six other Bahá'í temples around the world. Each of these Houses of Worship, while sharing some basic design concepts, has its own distinct cultural identity embodying the principle of unity in diversity. The lotus, the national flower of India, is a recurring symbol in the religious architecture of the Indian subcontinent. This ancient symbol has been given a modern and contemporary form in the structure of the Bahá'í House of Worship drawing into its sanctum sanctorum people from all races, religious backgrounds and culture from around the globe.
To the people of India the lotus flower signifies purity and peace, a representation of the Manifestation of God. Rising pure and unsullied above stagnant, muddy waters, the Indians have seen this flower as worthy of emulation, teaching them to be detached from material preoccupations. It is because this flower is so revered in Indian mythology and cultures that its translation into the design of a temple has caught the attention of the people at large.
The structure of the House of Worship is composed of three ranks of nine petals; each springing from a podium which elevates the building above the surrounding plain. The first two ranks curve inward, embracing the inner dome; the third layer curves outward to form canopies over the nine entrances. The petals, constructed of reinforced white concrete cast in place, are clad in white marble panels, performed to surface profiles and patterns related to the geometry. The double layered interior dome, modelled on the innermost portion of the lotus, is comprised of 54 ribs with concrete shells between. The central hall is ringed by nine arches that provide the main support for the superstructure. Nine reflecting pools surround the building on the outside, their form suggesting the green leaves of the lotus flower.