The stone for the BAPS Temple in Atlanta, Georgia was shipped piece by piece from India, where craftsmen had sculptured it into more than 500 designs including rosettes, leaves, feathers and lacy geometric patterns. The thousands of sections, ranging from five ounces to five tons, each with its own bar code, have been assembled like a giant jigsaw puzzle based on instructions for religious buildings written into scripture thousands of years old.
The water feature at BAPS Temple in Atlanta, Georgia is decorated with a row of elephant sculptures.
In India the elephant is a symbol for power, dignity, intelligence and peace. Elephants in Hinduism and the Indian Culture are a symbol of intellectual strength, and sturdy earthy mental strength. Elephants, in general, symbolize the qualities of wisdom, strength, courage, longevity, patience, honor, and stature.
A peacock sculpture welcomes visitors to the BAPS Temple in Atlanta, Georgia. Peacocks symbolize grace, pride, and beauty. They are a sign of joy for all who see them. Peacocks are often used in Indian mythology and folk stories.
Open to one and all, the BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir, in Atlanta, Georgia) was inaugurated in August of 2007 after only 17 months of construction time utilizing 1.3 million volunteer hours. The Mandir is comprised of three types of stone (Turkish 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 like a giant 3-D puzzle.
A small temple carefully built around a tree on the Faculty of Commerce campus of M. S. University in Vadodara, Gujarat, India
The sun sets at Kayavarohan Shiv Temple in Gujarat creating striking silhouettes
Numerous people visit the Kayavarohan Shiv temple in Gujarat, either for attending religious festivals, pilgrimage, prayers, tourism or field trips. A group of school children posing at the temple.
Located in Vadodara district of Gujarat, Kayavarohan Shiv temple is one of the sixty-eight ‘teerthas’ (Pilgrimage) of Lord Shiva in Lakulisha avatar. Lakulish is considered to be the 28th birth of Shiva. The temple is also called Kasi of Gujarat. The temple is built in Indian tradition with walls and pillars depicting intricate carvings of nature. The walls display various forms and asanas of Yoga.
Not only is the Ambaji temple in Gujarat impressive, but the gates around the temple are also eye-catching
Ambaji is an important temple town in Gujarat with millions of devotees visiting the temple every year. This is the principal shrine of a goddess who has been worshiped since the pre-Vedic period. She is often referred to as Arasuri Amba.
Made of white marble with gold cones, the rays of the setting sun accentuate the golden hue on the temple spires.
A Hindu temple is a symbolic house, seat and body of divinity. It is a structure designed to bring human beings and gods together, using symbolism to express the ideas and beliefs of Hinduism.
While there are numerous large, famous temples in India, I am presenting some images of small temples in Gujarat. Here is a twin temple in Bharuch.
Ruins of old temples in Poshina, Gujarat ….
Even while tending to rural farms in India, people find a place to pray at mini temples ….
Jagadamba temple located in a small cave half-way through the steps leading to the Golconda Fort is the oldest temple in Hyderabad, India. It is interesting to see a temple in the vicinity of a mosque indicating the secular nature of the rulers of Golconda Fort.
Buddhist temples are, together with Shinto shrines, considered to be among the most numerous, famous, and important religious buildings in Japan.
The architecture and features of Shinto shrines and Buddhist temples have melted together over the centuries. There are several construction styles, most of which show (Buddhist) influences from the Asian mainland.
Images circa 1985.
Kinkakuji (Golden Pavilion) is a Zen temple in northern Kyoto, Japan whose top two floors are completely covered in gold leaf. Formally known as Rokuonji, the temple was the retirement villa of the shogun Ashikaga Yoshimitsu, and according to his will became a Zen temple of the Rinzai sect after his death in 1408. Image circa 1985.
Threatening rain-clouds over the BAPS Temple in Atlanta
Colorful flowers create a contrasting foreground to the white marble BAPS temple and clouds in Atlanta
A final look at the lighted up Shiva temple in Kayavarohan as we move on ,,,,
Sculpted images at the Kayavarohan temple are lighted up in a surreal glow