There are a those moments in life, when you are very confused as to how you got where you are. When visiting BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir Atlanta I was in total disbelief. When I envision visiting somewhere this stunning, I always assumed I will have to travel far and spend a ton of money. There is nothing more magical than exploring and pushing yourself outside of your comfort zone. BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir Atlanta to me is one of Atlanta’s hidden treasures. My friend, Odera and I took a trip to BAPS this past weekend. This was one of the most beautiful architectural structures I have ever seen in my life. I have lived in Georgia and around the Atlanta area for a long time. Although, thanks to Odera this was my first time ever hearing of BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir. I truly think it is one of the hidden treasures of Atlanta. Not a lot of people know about this place. It was amazing to see and appreciate a part of Hindu culture. I can't get over how beautiful this temple looked! 

Quick History About BAPS:
BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir was inaugurated in August of 2007 after only 17 months of construction time utilizing 1.3 Million volunteer hours. The Mandir is comprised of 3 types of stone (Turkish Limestone, Italian marble, and Indian pink sandstone). More than 34,000 individual pieces were carved by hand in India, shipped to the USA and assembled in Lilburn like a giant 3-D puzzle.àsource 

Visiting Hours: Monday - Sunday (everyday), times may vary, for more info àhere 

Admission Cost: Free 
*that’s right I was just has shocked as you. It is completely free to enter. When you go, you will drive up to the gate and give the attendant your first and last name then he or she will let you in.

Dress Code: There is no strict dress code although I will advice dressing a little more modestly. I did see other tourists and non-Hindi wearing shorts and tank tops although out of respect I wanted to dress in relation to what the temple-goers were wearing. Women mostly wore long shirts, saris, scarfs, loose trousers and tunics. While men wore long tunics and loose trousers.

Random Tip: If you are going during the spring or summer bring a face towel or paper towels because if you are anything like me, you will be sweating buckets.

My Experience: Everyone was very friendly and most people would say hello or smile when you walk past them. It was also very easy to take pictures because of how huge the Mandir is. Although, there are some restricted places that photography and filming is not allowed but you can still look and appreciate. I am definitely going to visit again as well as bring along my family and friends.

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