A new Hindu temple, built by the BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Sanstha, will be opened on August 26 in Atlanta, the capital of US State of Georgia.
Pramukh Swami Maharaj, the spiritual leader of BAPS, will inaugurate the temple by performing murti pratishtha. The temple follows similar ones consecrated in Houston, Chicago, and most recently, Toronto.
The pillars of the majestic white structure are intricately hand-carved and each has a story to tell taken from ancient Hindu scriptures.
As a regular volunteer for over two years, engineer Manish Patel explains that "the Mandir, apart from being a socio-spiritual haven, brings true Indian architecture and culture to life on American grounds. This has truly been a community effort."
It is built according to guidelines dictated in the ancient Shilp-Shastras and there is an inside and outside parikrama, areas in which visitors can circumbulate around the images. It has a tapered ceiling.
The structure is built with three types of stones. The exterior is made of Turkish Limra limestone. Italian Carrara marble is used on the main floor and pink Indian Sandstone makes up the foundation. These stones were hand-carved and shipped from India to be assembled.
The craftsmen have worked for the last 17 months to put the pieces together. Besides them, hundreds of volunteers from across the southeast have been involved at every level.
Adjacent to the temple will be a family activity centre with a prayer hall, administrative offices and classrooms for youth activities, music and Gujarati classes.