Golden Temple of Sripuram
We reached the Golden temple at around 5pm in the evening. My experience here was contrary to what I had thought. Maybe I was more surprised than them to visit this place, which seemed like a Fort Knox converted to a temple – 100% GOLD. A Mahalakshmi temple called ‘Sripuram’ is made of more than a tonne of pure gold. The temple was built in 7 years from 2000 to 2007 by a 30 something Godman who calls himself Narayani Amma. Devotees hail the temple as ‘one of the wonders of the world’ and say that it is the only temple covered fully with gold.
More than 400 gold and coppersmiths are said to have worked for seven years to craft the Rs 6,000 million gold temple located on 55,000 sq ft of land on a 100-acre salubrious environment. As per records, the temple has more gold than the Golden Temple of Amritsar. The temple is surrounded by a huge landscaped garden with Idols of Gods and Goddesses. I was taken aback by the cleanliness within the premises which proved the old saying “Cleanliness is next to Godliness” just right. The entry to the temple is well planned right from taking off the footwear to the entry into the sanctum sanctorum and back again. Mobiles and Cameras are strictly not allowed and the tight security ring ensures this discipline is followed
Its advisable to visit the temple at dusk so that you can enjoy the beauty of the lighted golden temple. Messages by ‘Amma’ have been laid out along the path to the temple alongside messages from the Gita, Bible and Quran. “When one enters the Sripuram, their focus is just on the magnificent temple. But when they leave, they cannot do so without taking some messages and gaining some wisdom,”
My guests from UK were impressed and could not take their eyes off the magnificent golden temple. They asked me if all temples in India were like this. Although the older temples in India have rich historical and cultural significance, little thought has been given to cleanliness or orderliness. This certainly was a very unique experience not just for them but to me as well. On the way back from the temple they enjoyed the village fair and got a taste of real India once again.
Golden Temple of Sripuram at Vellore (before and after dusk)