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Swaminarayan Mandir in Atlanta, United States

The new BAPS Swaminarayan Temple at Lilburn in Atlanta, United States, is one of the largest traditional Hindu Vedic stone temples outside India. The Swaminarayan temple is located at the intersection of Rockbridge Road and Lawrenceville Highway in Lilburn. The city of Lilburn is part of Atlanta metropolitan area and is in Gwinnett County, Georgia. The opening ceremony of the Swaminarayan Mandir in Atlanta was on August 26, 2007.

The Mandir is located on 30 acres of land and the estimated cost is $19 million. The temple will serve around 1000 devotees in the Atlanta Metropolitan area and around 7000 devotees in the region during festivals.

An amazing fact is that no steel or metals have been used in the construction.
The Swaminarayan Mandir houses the idols of Shri Akshar Purushottam Maharaj, Shri Ghanshyam Maharaj, Shri Harikrishna Maharaj and Shri Radha-Krishna Dev, Brahma Swarup Bhagatji Maharaj, Brahma Swarup Shastriji Maharaj, Brahma Swarup Yogiji Maharaj, Pragat Brahmswarup Pramukh Swami Maharaj, Shri Sita Ram and Shri Hanumanji, Shri Shiv Parvati and Shri Ganeshji.

Some details of BAPS Swaminarayan Temple at Lilburn, Atlanta
  • It is one among the top ten largest traditional Hindu Vedic stone temples outside India.
  • The largest temple of the BAPS Swaminarayan sect in United States.
  • The temple is located on 30 acres of land.
  • The total area of the mandir is 22442 sq. ft
  • The exterior of the Mandir is made of Turkish Limra limestone.
  • The main floor is made of Italian Carrara marble.
  • The ground floor and basement is made of Indian Sandstone.
  • Smallest stone 15 gm to largest stone of 5.2 tones.
  • Total stone material is 8430 tones.
  • Total 40,000 stone pieces.
  • Total stone structure 85,000 cu. Ft
  • The length of the Mandir is 213 feet
  • The width of the Mandir is 122 feet
  • The height from the ground is 78 feet
  • The width of main dome is 23’ 3”
  • The Mandir has tapered ceiling.
  • Inside and outside ‘parikrama’ for devotees to circumambulate around deities.
  • Number of Shikhara (pinnacles) is 5.
  • 4 Small Pinnacles (Samaram)
  • Number of small domes is 6 and one large dome.
  • Number of Torans (arches) is 129.
  • Number of Zarukhas (balconies) is 4
  • Number of Sinhasans (throne) is 9.
  • Number of windows is 14.
  • Number of Pillars is 151.
  • 75 ceilings with 39 different designs
  • Apart from this the Mandir has numerous windows and pillars, which are intricately carved, and also marble steps.
  • Central heating and cooling.
  • Under floor heating with Gel tubing.
  • Fiber optic lighting.
  • Estimated cost of the Swaminarayan temple is $19 million.

Other Interesting Facts
  • The pillars of the temple are intricately hand-carved and each pillar depicts a famous incident from Hindu scriptures.
  • The construction of the Mandir is based on ‘Shilpa Shastras’ – ancient Hindu text dealing in building and sculpture techniques.
  • Some stones like marble and limestone were imported from the respective countries to India.
  • The stones were hand-carved in India and later imported to United States.
  • Intricate geometric patterns, rosettes, feathers, leaves and other designs which number to more than 500 were hand-carved in India.
  • Each section of the temple weighing from 50 grams to five tons after carving in India had a bar code.
  • Each section thus imported was then assembled in Lilburn – just like playing the jigsaw puzzle.

Volunteer Work by Swaminarayan Devotees
The backbone of any project is the volunteers who apart from financially helping the project contribute many hours of dedicated work. The dedicated work of the volunteers has helped in keeping down the cost of the Mandir.
Many of the Swaminarayan devotees have helped in polishing stones and in other non-technical works including cooking for the construction workers. The volunteers have also planted more than 40,000 plants for the landscaping.
It is estimated that there are more than 900 regular members in Atlanta Swaminarayan sect. During festival days nearly 6000 devotees used to gather at the old BAPS Swaminarayan temple in Clarkston, GA., which is a converted skating rink.
With the arrival of the new temple, devotees in the region will have a family activity center with a prayer hall, which is part of the Mandir. The Mandir complex will also have administrative offices and classrooms for music, discussions and youth activities.

The Reflecting Pool at the Swaminarayan Mandir Atlanta
Another unique feature of the temple is the reflecting pool. It is a focal point of the main entryway that will stretch to the steps of the temple. The pool will reflect the magnificence of temple architecture, people, and sky and the melding of each in the water. The bottom of the pool is lined with black granite to maximize reflectivity of the water.
The area surrounding the pool will provide a place for contemplation and quiet meditation. The sidewalls of the pool are capped in white limestone. Waterfalls at the either end of the pool cascade down white stone-clad steps. Bronze elephants are installed at the main waterfall. This part of the Mandir is done with the help of Lilburn city council.

Details as found on BAPS website, newspapers and Lilburn city council website.