The luxury market expands in India.New “consumer luxury” culture is emerging in India.Luxury (lux in Latin) means all that glitters and shines eternalizing our deepest desires.Be it in jewelry, house designs, apartments, costumes, cosmetics, electronic goods, malls, five star hotels, eateries, kitchen gadgets, and health fitness and so on. The list is endless.
The latest addition or addiction to the luxury mania of Indian consumer market is Hindu temples built in style to speak for themselves reflecting what is called democratization of luxury worship contradicting what I was taught in my school days that the temple is designed to dissolve the boundaries between man and the divine.
Temple construction in India is not only very unique but also ubiquitous.It is believed that it must have started nearly 2000 years ago. Research studies on Indian temple architecture confirm that the oldest temples that were built of brick and wood no longer exist. Stone later became the preferred material. But now is it GOLD when the price of the yellow metal hit a new time high almost everyday?
When I visited the Hindu Sripuram golden temple on 13th of October,2010 at ‘Sripuram’ located in Thirumalaikkodi, a tiny hamlet about seven km from Vellore in Tamil Nadu the Southern state in India I quizzed to myself that even temples can be branded and a brand value can be attached to it. Thank god one cannot attach brand value to the God Almighty.It was indeed a unique experience to me.
The degree of entry point level security to the temple has been so tight and I have never experienced anywhere in the world. Strictly no to your cell phones and cameras. On entry into the temple one could hear the chanting of the prayer word “ OM Namo Narayani”for every one’s prosperity.
Sripuram temple is devoted to Hindu Goddess Sri Lakshmi Narayani.The deity represent,the power of wealth in Hindu mythology. Does it sound slightly materialistic?
I don’t know. May be one can find answer to it in the shinning shadows of the gold used over there? It is indeed a maidas touch of gold everywhere. (Sripuram Temple Multiple Views.gif – Wikimedia Commons)
The, temple was consecrated by Sri Sakthi Amma, head of the Sri Narayani Peedam. Daily the temple authorities feed free lunch to all those wanted to participate, a difficult and appreciable task indeed.
A one-and-a-half tons of gold has gone into the design of the Sri Lakshmi Narayani Temple, which has been built at a guesstimated cost of Rs.300 crore.
I heard from the temple authorities that about twelve layers of gold foils have been pasted on copper sheets embossed with the designs of Gods and fixed on the walls. The total land area is about a sprawling hundred acres and the visitors have to pass through a star shaped pathway where one can notice signs of messages from Vedas. (Golden temple – South Indian temple – AMMA – Sripuram – Vellore)
When I boarded the bus back from the Sripuram temple with ordinary impression I fondly recollected a saying of Ted Lange-“I seek a deeper truth, but I don’t think I have to go to a building designated for worship to find it.”
I am sure about one thing that God enters by a private door into each individual and not necessarily through the golden plates of a temple wall.
For a tourist interested in temple architecture using metals it may be of worth a visit.