January 9, 2011

Vellore Golden Temple

Golden temple - The term 'Golden Temple' in India so far referred only the Sikh Golden Temple at Amritsar in Punjab. However, in the past 4-5 years, there is another temple in South India, which has also been referred as the golden temple.

The golden temple of Sri Narayani at Sripuram near Vellore town, located at a distance of around 150 kms from Chennai, the gateway to South India, has become very popular Hindu temple in the recent years. This temple is a private temple built by a trust run by a person who claim himself as 'Narayani' or 'Shakti Amma'. There are thousands of devotees who believe him as their God or Guru.

The golden temple of Sri Narayani at Sripuram is the temple for the Goddess Maha Lakshmi. The sanctum has the beautiful idol of Lakshi aka Narayani in the sitting posture. The idol is too beautiful, always decorated, and looks bright and attractive. The entire sanctum, the pillars surrounding the sanctum, the roof and the tower are all made of gold plates. It is roughly estimated to be 1500 kgs of gold. The entire temple structure, which is spread across 20 acres is built in such a way that all devotees need to pass through the outer pathway which is in the shape of a star. The inner pathway is in the shape of a circle.

The glittering temple looks beautiful in deed. When you pass through the outer pathway, you can find a lot of sculptures of Hindu Gods and Goddesses in the lawn. The temple is maintained neatly and there are facilities for water and toilet across the 1-1.5 km distance of outer pathway. For old and the physically challenged, there is wheel chair facility. You can get dharma darshan (free of cost) for which whether there is crowd or not, you may have to wait in a gated hall for hours. If you don't want to wait for hours to get darshan, you need to pay 100 INR per person which will allow you enter directly into the outer pathway. All facilities are there in this temple, but for a price.

If you are a traveler interested to see all sorts of places, you can visit this place for once. If you are a true devotee and want to visit this temple only for the spiritual purpose, you better avoid this temple, as the objective of this temple seems to be making money and not spreading spirituality.

Happy travelling.

Fast Facts:
Site Name: The Golden Temple of Sri Narayani
Site Type: Hindu Temple
Location: Sripuram village near Vellore, around 150 kms from Chennai city, Tamil Nadu state, India 
Highlights: One of the two golden temples of India; temple made of 1500 kgs of gold
Nearest Railway Station: Chennai - well connected from the cities/towns all over India
Nearest Airport: Chennai has both national and international airports
How to reach: Easily reachable by road from Chennai
Hotel: Many budget and luxury hotels are available in Vellore; Otherwise there are many options including star hotels available in Chennai which is hardly 150 kms from Vellore
Restaurants: Few good restaurants are there in Vellore including the famous vegetarian restaurant of Saravana Bhavan



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