Palace Still Attracts


by Damodar

During the 1970’s, most of the residents of New Vrindavan were engaged directly or indirectly in the construction of the Palace of Gold. In the years following its opening in 1979, many people continued to be engaged in its operation and maintenance. As the Palace began to draw much good publicity and the community provided an ample advertising budget, the number of annual visitors peaked one year in the early 1980’s at 150,000.

The invincible time factor, along with a shift in priorities and some flawed decisions, have taken their toll on our beloved Palace. Its level of maintenance has diminished as well as the number of visitors. For quite a few years now, the average total of guests to the Palace in a year is about 15,000, just ten percent of the biggest year.

Still, virtually everyone who comes to the Palace loves it, and feels their trip is time well spent. Quite a few neighbors from the local area come again and again, bringing friends and family. At the same time, it is obvious from the notes that are left in our suggestion box, that people are well aware that the Palace would surely be so much better with more attention and care.

As of now, there is a small crew engaged in preserving the structure of the Palace and surrounding areas, restoring the deterioration and preventing any possible calamities. There is a splendid group of ladies who are dedicated to making the flowers and plants look breathtakingly awesome year in and year out. The tour guides get many choice opportunities to speak the glories of the vaisnava tradition. And occasionally, some volunteers show up to do some service and get enlivened.

Everyone should feel free at all times to take darshan (during regular hours)and stroll the beautiful grounds. And by all means, may we never lose appreciation that through many changes, toils, and snares, this monument, which has been a beacon of light to many, still shines.

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