|From BAPS Shri Swa...|
Just this Wednesday, there was an open house at the Shri Swaminarayan Mandir (Temple) in Lilburn, Georgia. A good friend of the Baboon recieved an invitation and invited me along. It is an impressive structure and will serve as a defining monument in Gwinnett for what they claim will be 1000 years. It is located on the corner of Rockbridge and Lawrenceville Highway, behind the Walgreen's and across the street from the Publix.
The builders of the Mandir are Hindus, specifically BAPS Swaminarayans. They were asked what the tenets of the faith were and they basically said there was no simple answer but stressed service to the community. The pointed us to their website here and their charitable arm website here.
The seemed like nice folks, but there will certainly be a bit of a cultural learning curve for both sides. The public grand opening is scheduled for September 2007, after two weeks of private functions scheduled for the last two weeks of August. The head of the group,Pramukh Swami Maharaj is scheduled to arrive soon after opening for a visit. The main building, the mandir, is a place of prayer and cultural learning. And, according to the speaker, would only hold 200 to 300 people at one time. They are building a family center and auditorium in the second phase behind (to the North) of the Mandir, and that will be of a more modern style.
The Mandir will be the tallest building in Lilburn at a peak of 75 feet, and will be one of the more impressive structures in the state. You can view an artist's rendering of what it will look like here. I like what the AJC article implied. Cobb's got their BIG CHICKEN, Gwinnett now has impressive Taj Mahal looking Mandir. Guess what? We win.