Wednesday, 30 January 2008

Golden Temple, Vellore

Yesterday, I went with my parents to the Golden Temple. No, not the one in Amritsar, it's down south in the state of Tamil Nadu, in Vellore, to be precise, which is also home to the prestigious VIT (Vellore Institute of Technology).

This temple at Sripuram, Vellore, dedicated to Goddess Narayani, I must say (note that I'm not a 'devout' Hindu), is a beautiful sight, with the ENTIRE temple being coated with pure gold, majestically standing in the middle of a pool of clear water. What's interesting about the pool is that people see it as a wishing-well and have thrown coins into it, which looks through the clear water. The bottom of the shallow pool is now carpeted with coins, and that adds a thing of beauty into the pool. Even the small staircase-fountain pools haven't been spared where people have thrown not coins, but bangles into it. Lol. I also saw an ATM card thrown into it. Anyhow, everything about the main temple is a sight to see. The only things that failed to impress me were the engravings, carvings and sculptures, probably because of my recent visit to Orissa where I saw breathtaking sculptures and architecture.
Another thing I must mention is that it's not that easy to reach the temple from its entrance. You'll have to walk almost about a mile before you reach the main temple after walking round the temple on a star-shaped pathway. On either sides of the pathway, messages of 'Amma' (the 31-year old 'Godman' who conceived and designed the temple) and quotes from the Vedas are displayed.

From what I've read about it, the Rs.300crore temple, situated in the middle of a 100 acres land, took 6 full years to complete and has been made with 1.5 tons of pure gold. While over 800 artisans from Tirupati and Madurai have worked day and night to realize the dream of the 'Godman', devotees of this foundation from around the world made huge contributions to the construction of the temple.

'Amma's' thoughts about the concept behind the golden temple:
"A mother administers sugar-coated pill to the child to heal. It's a physical
ailment. Likewise, I am offering this golden temple to people to impart
wisdom. This golden temple is just a tool to attract the world's attention."

"Some may ask why a golden temple for the mankind and why not a hospital? But in
Sripuram, we bring about a change in people through messages like the nobleness
of human birth and the need to serve the humanity. This will motivate them to
built lakhs of hospitals across the globe," he said.

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