Uganda Kampala City Tour and Safari
Opened on 15 January 1962, the Bahá’í Temple on Kikaya Hill 6km from Kampala on Gayaza Road is the only place of worship of its kind in Africa. It is the spiritual home to the African Bahá’í community, adherents to the 2nd most geographically dispersed Faith in the world, founded by the Persian mystic Bahá’u’lláh in the nineteenth century. Born in Tehran in 1817, Bahá’u’lláh (Arabic , meaning the Glory of God) was the privileged son of a wealthy government minister; he declined to follow his father into the ministerial service, instead devoting his life to philanthropy.
IN 1844, Bahá’u’lláh abandoned his Islamic roots to join the Bábi religion, whose enormous popularity led to the execution of its founder and several other leading figures by the religious establishment, a fate escaped by Bahá’u’lláh only because of the high social status of his family. Bahá’u’lláh was nevertheless imprisoned, with his feet in stocks and a 50kg metal chain around his neck, in Tehran’s notoriously unsanitary and gloomy Black Pit. It was whilst imprisoned that Bahá’u’lláh received the vision that led to the foundation of the Bahá’í Faith. Upon his release, Bahá’u’lláh dedicated the remaining 40 years of his life to writing the books and letters that collectively outlined the Bahá’í framework for the spiritual, moral, economic, political and philosophical reconstruction of human society.
The Bahá’í Faith teaches that heaven and hell are not places, but states of being defined by the presence or absence of spirituality. It is an inclusive faith, informed by all other religions – Hindu, Christian, Jewish, Zoroastrian, Buddhist and Islamic holy texts are displayed in the temple – which it regards as stepping stones to a broader, less doctrinal spiritual and meditative awareness. It is also admirably egalitarian: it regards all humankind to be of equal worth, and any member of the congregation is free to lead prayers and meditations. Although not a rigid or punitive religion, purity of body and mind are seen to be conducive to spirituality, therefore the consumption of alcohol and intoxicating drugs are forbidden in the Bahá’í writings, and not allowed on the temple grounds. As a sign of respect for the sacred nature of this property, loud music, removing flowers and other inappropriate behaviour are also discouraged.
The Bahá’í Temple in Kampala, visible for miles around and open to all, is set in neatly manicured gardens extending over some 30ha atop Kikaya Hill. The Lower part of the building consists of a white nonagon roughly 15m in diameter, with “nine great doorways which beckon men and women of every race and clime, of every faith and conviction, of every condition...” This is topped by an immense green dome, made with glazed mosaic Italian tiles, and a turret that towers 40m above the ground. The interior, which can seat up to 800 people, is illuminated by ambient light filtered through coloured glass windows, and decorated with lush Persian carpets. Otherwise, it is plainly decorated; in order to discourage any worship of statues or images. A solitary line of Arabic text repeated on the wall at regular intervals approximately translates to the familiar Christian text “Glory of Glories”.
Bali Villas: Chillout Bali provides luxury villa accommodation in some of the most beautiful surroundings in Bali. Our high level of service and friendly approach will make your Bali holiday a memorable one