BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir

01 June 2015

One of the most exciting aspects of travel is the chance to see the man-made beauty the world has to offer. Natural beauty is one thing, the world is a beautiful and fascinating place. Man-made beauty is another. Seeing the capacity of human imagination is a wonderful thing. However, I've always held the belief most of this beauty lies in the outside world. Never did I imagine stumbling across something so magnificent in my own backyard.

Picture this: a temple that consist of 33,000 pieces of hand-carved Italian marble and Turkish limestone. Surely this building would be in India. Maybe Pakistan. 

What about in Houston, Texas? More specifically, Sugar Land, Texas. 
Yep, that's right. This insanely beautiful Hindu temple is located in the Houston suburb of Sugar Land.  If you are fairly new here, Sugar Land happens to be by home town (you can read all about it here). After moving back stateside, I scoured the internet for things to do in this extremely ordinary American suburb. What could I possibly discover in this town that I hadn't already seen? When I came across BAPS Shri Swaminarayan on Pinterest I was in disbelief. Surely there was a mistake. There is no way a building of this magnetite could be located in my home town. I had never even heard about it. So I pulled it up on Google Maps and headed out there, just to see for myself.
A short ten minute drive from my house and I was pulling into the parking lot. It was fairly early, not even 9:30 in the morning, and the place was deserted. I had never visited a Hindu temple before and was nervous purely because I did not want to show any sign of disrespect. I wore a maxi dress just to be sure. 

Unfortunately the building was under construction the day of my visit so I couldn't go inside (photos inside are strictly forbidden anyway), so I spent the morning wondering the temple's vast grounds. The detail of this structure was like nothing I had ever seen before. I was blown away. 

I plan to visit the temple in the future once the inside reopens. I have so many questions and would love to learn more about this culture that is so different than my own. It's funny, one of the most interesting places I have ever visited sits just a few minutes away from where I grew up.

Happy Monday!

1 comment:

  1. This is hilarious that it's in TEXAS?!?! Isn't it crazy how many cultures are represented in America?! What an awesome find!


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