Tuesday, December 13, 2011

BAPS Mandir, Lilburn, GA

A Mandir is a Hindu place of worship – a haven for spirituality and a place of paramount peace.    The Mandir of BAPS Shri Swaminarayan in Lilburn is part of a center that supports Hindu culture values through social and spiritual activities.  http://atlanta.baps.org/  It was inaugurated in August of 2007.    The compound is located at the corner of Rockbridge Road and Lawrenceville Highway and also contains classrooms, meeting space, and a public cafeteria.  Additional constriction is under way at this time.

Most Americans would call the Mandir a temple.  It is constructed primarily of 3 types of stone: Turkish red Limestone, Italian Marble, and Indian pink Sandstone. 

More than 34,000 individual pieces were carved by hand in India, shipped to the USA and assembled in Lilburn like a giant 3-D puzzle.  Its exterior features include broad lawns, a large reflecting pool, wide stairs, pavilions, domes, tall shikhars (towers or pinnacles), corner kiosks, and a perimeter balustrade.  Most stone pieces are decorated with intricately carved flora, fauna, geometric designs and holy figures depicting the ideals of traditional Hindu civilization. The Mandir is colorfully lit at sundown.

If you plan a visit, be sure to allow time to tour the interior.  Hindu etiquette requires covered shoulders and legs (Yes, I was given a shawl/skirt to cover my knees this summer).  I would like to show the interiors, but photography is not allowed inside the Mandir.

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