What is a Baha'i House of Worship?
The Mashriqu'l-Adhkar is the designation of a place of worship, or temple, of the Baha'i Faith. The Mashriqu'l-Adhkar is a term that means literally, 'Dawning-place of the praise of God.'
The Mashriqu'l-Adhkar is a channel releasing spiritual powers for social regeneration because it fills a different function than that assumed by the sectarian church. Its essential purpose is to provide a community meeting place for all who are seeking to worship God, and achieves this purpose by interposing no man-made veils between the worshiper and the Supreme. Thus, the Mashriqu'l-Adhkar is freely open to the peoples of all Faiths on equal terms, who now realize the universality of Baha'u'llah in revealing the oneness of all the Prophets. Moreover, since the Baha'i Faith has no professional clergy, the worshiper entering the Temple hears no sermon and takes part in no ritual the emotional effect of which is to establish a separate group consciousness.
The Baha'i House of Worship is the central edifice of what will eventually be a group of buildings dedicated to the social, humanitarian, educational, scientific, as well as the spiritual aspects of Baha'i community life. Situated on the crest of Kikaya Hill, approximately 7km on Gayaza road, the foundation stone for the Baha'i Temple in Ugadnda was laid on January 26, 1958 by Hand of the Cause Amatu'l Baha Ruhiyyih Khanum. People of all faiths are welcome to use this Temple for prayer and meditation everyday from 8:30am - 5:30pm and special services are held on Sundays at 10:30am.By early 1957, the land (about 22 acres on the slopes of Kikaya Hill) had been purchased and innumerable preparations for the actual work of construction were made. Initial building sketches were submitted to the protectorate agent for approval, and permission was received to proceed with the foundation.In October 1958, the structure could already be seen from many parts of Kampala.The superstructure and dome of the Temple as well as the lantern were well advanced by September 1959.The diameter of the dome at its base is 44 feet. The diameter of the interior floor is 84 feet with a circumference of 265 feet, providing 5,550 square feet of floor space.The whole building from ground level to the tip of the spire on the lantern is 124 feet.