After our visit to Baha’i temple, our next stop was Swami Narayan Temple (BAPS). We came to know, (through Kurup uncle), that they have constructed a multi mi(bi)llion – dollar temple for Swami Narayan – Swami Narayan Sampraday of Gujarat. Kurup uncle and we thought we would go together to this temple. But we included it on our tour anyway.
We had earlier visited another Swami Narayan temple in Medinah, Illinois (where our favorite Hari OM Mandir is located). The statues were very beautiful in that temple and it was very quiet and peaceful. That itself, we thought, is very rich, with its beautiful wooden carvings and the scultptings. And when they said another Swami Narayan temple has come up (and that too close to the old one), we wondered why another one is being constructed. I did not have any idea, then, of how rich our immigrant Indians are.
We were awe-struck at the grandeur of the new temple – italian marble, rosewood carvings, briliant chandliers, marbeled pillars with intricate sculpted designs and so on. It was very calm, serene and beautiful and many people visited that temple as a tourist attraction. There was a pond in the front and a well maintained garden with paved ways. The security also was tight there. By the time we went, it was evening and they had just closed the altar doors to be re-opened for evening’s prayer in a half an hour time. So, we took a stroll around the temple and in the garden and took some wonerful photos. I was walking around the temple and was so reminded of our BITS Saraswati temple in Pilani. I love that temple. No sooner was I about to touch the outside of the temple, trying to show something to Hari than a security personnel came running speaking loudly, “Madam, you cannot walk there.” I was a bit confused as I did not understand from far what he was trying to say, but when I made out my mistake, I simply stepped aside and went to another part of the garden.