In the late 1970s, a group of Hindu friends were lamenting the lack of a Hindu temple in Atlanta. Over the next ten years, they gathered supporters, land, and funds, to build one of the world’s largest Hindu temples, and the largest Hindu temple outside of India. Incorporated by the State of Georgia in 1984, the Hindu Temple of Atlanta moved to its current home in 1990.
The architecture of Hindu temples is said to mirror the body: the sanctuary is the head and the lower limbs are the outer gate. The Atlanta Temple was built entirely by hand from Turkish limestone, Italian marble and Indian pink sandstone and after the original masonry was finished, sculptors from India came to engrave the facade by hand. The sculpting took nearly three years and was completed in 1996.
Built in the South Indian style, the Atlanta Temple incorporates four shrines for Venkateswara, Sridevi, Bhudevi and Durga, as well as sanctuaries for each. The Temple occupies a 29 acre park and has and 19 domes and two 72 foot tall spires climbing into the sky. One spire is dedicated to Venkateswara and the other to Shiva.
The temple is free to enter, and the church and its members have said they do not mind having tourists there look around. The detail of the outside architecture is magnificent, but is even more detailed and ornate on the inside so one should be sure to go in. A vision of beautiful Hindu architecture in the middle of the American South.