Hare Krishna Appalachia – The Palace of Gold

From Bubblews

Submitted by FreebieJunkieWV on May 10th, 2013 – Category: Cool

When one thinks of West Virginia, the images that come to mind are beautiful rolling hills.

Long, winding country roads, farms and forests.

Usually not elaborate, intricate, golden Hindu temples, but this state’s got one, and it is a beauty.

Originally dreamt up during the heyday of the late 60s, a group of devotees living in a small, run down farm without electricity or running water — none of whom had any background or experience in construction — were charged with turning this somewhat abandoned, extremely remote location into a shrine over seven years.

And they did it. I’m not sure exactly how, but they did it.

It takes forever to get there, and it’s a ride through the hills not for the faint of heart. Your GPS won’t work around these parts, but if you google the directions you’ll be fine. As you come around the bend, you’re treated to a site out of a dream. You can see for miles, and not hear one sound other than the buzzing of bees and the call of birds. While it’s lovely year round, the best time to visit is in summer when the rose garden is in bloom and the swans are drifting across the lotus ponds.

The temples and grounds are beautiful, and the guided tour lasts just under an hour at a reasonable cost of $8.00 for adults and $6.00 for children. There is a wonderful little gift shop there, and probably one of the best Indian restaurants hands down on site. For those who aren’t fans of Indian food, they also serve pizza and fries.

Some people are afraid to visit, thinking they’ll try to convert them, but nothing could be further from the truth. They just want people to come visit and enjoy the beauty of what they created.

You need to visit the website to see their images and videos, because they are not to be believed. The official site of the temple is at www.palaceofgold.com/ and the official site of the community is wwww.newvrindaban.com/

Recent reviews of the site on places such as Yelp and TripAdvisor mention that the temple is sorely in need of repairs. We won’t be visiting there again until later this summer, so I’m not sure the current condition. What people sometimes can’t appreciate is how harsh the elements are here, even in the summer. Rain and wind can take a brutal toll, and the community is entirely dependent on donations for upkeep of the temple. I’m used to many buildings around here needing some elements-related repair work (our home included!), but I can understand how visitors to the state may view normal weather wear as neglect.

The temple is always open to the public, and they have many fun festivals and events year round. The most popular, and colorful, of all, The Festival of Colors, I’ll cover in a later post.

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