Quiet! And remove your shoes!


This morning I visited a mandir.

If you’re not up on your Hindi, mandir is from man and dir, meaning mind and still. Hence, a mandir is a place to still your mind, to become at peace. Among other things.

As I understand it, this is the largest Hindu temple outside of India—right in Atlanta’s ’burbs! (It even made the NYTimes when construction was just about finished in 2007….)

The buildings are somewhat color-coded. The place of reverence (above) is off-white. The community building next door (think large hotel ballroom, with shoe storage rooms off the exterior hallways near the bathrooms) is brownish-pink. The stones were carved elsewhere, brought here, and assembled.

The highest room in the temple has a fascinating ornate carved ceiling, with careful lighting. The support pillars are similarly carved. The exterior walls have niches for swami statues and Hindu deities (devas). Overall, I found it rather sterile and cold. Emotionally cool and chilly underfoot, too!

The formal name of this place is BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir Atlanta, or something like that. I’m not sure exactly what the BAPS part stands for, but I think it’s Bochasanwasi Shri Akshar Purushottam Swaminarayan Sanstha. Their founding swami treked about India barefoot, starting when he was eleven (if I have it right). I think they’re on about the fourth successor swami, and he’s pretty elderly at this point.

We were almost the only visitors on this rainy morning.

And here’s the restaurant where we lunched afterward. Mmm!

That is plenty of links….

One comment

  1. Robert & Mary Jo says:

    Reminds us of our excellent yoga class this morning!