Wednesday, May 22, 2013

The voice of an old intelligence which in another age and climate had pondered and thus disposed of the same questions which exercise us.

HDR photo of BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir - Houston at sunset- in Stafford, Texas

This beautiful place is conveniently located just down the road from my home. I wanted to photograph it for some time but I thought they didn't allow photography on the premises. Turns out they're fine with it out side of the temple its self. 

This is the BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir, a mandir, or Hindu temple, in Stafford, Texas. It was the first traditional mandir of stone and marble to be constructed in the United States.

The mandir was created entirely according to ancient Hindu architectural manuscripts known as the Shilpa Shastras, but also meets all modern regulations. Opened on July 25, 2004, by Pramukh Swami Maharaj, the present spiritual guru of Bochasanwasi Shri Akshar Purushottam Swaminarayan Sanstha (BAPS), it was constructed in 16 months starting from the day its first stone was laid.

The 25,620 sq ft mandir is constructed entirely of marble from Italy and limestone from Turkey. There is no iron or steel anywhere in the structure. The stone that makes up the temple was shipped to India where it was hand-carved with traditional Vedic deities and motifs. Approximately 33,000 individually marked pieces were then shipped to Houston and assembled like a giant three-dimensional jigsaw.

The mandir was created by BAPS, an international Hindu organisation belonging to the Swaminarayan faith of Hinduism.

Title quote from The Journals and Miscellaneous Notebooks of Ralph Waldo Emerson, vol. x, p. 360, on the Bhagavat Geeta