The words “Golden Temple” remind us of the magnificent Golden Temple of Amritsar, in the northern part of India. Sri Harmandir Sahib’s gurudwara is the holiest place of the Sikh community. However, the southern India’s Sri Lakshmi Narayani temple holds the crown of world’s largest Golden Temple.
The temple is dedicated to Shri Lakshmi, the Goddess of wealth and prosperity. Shri Lakshmi’s temple is based at the small hills of the Thirumalaikodi, which is around 8km from Vellore in Tamil Nadu.
In 2001, the spiritual leader Sri Sakthi Amma initiated the construction of the Golden Temple which was completed in 2007. The spectacular temple is based on the 100-acres of land that is encompassed by the astutely architectured star-path (Sri Chakra). This 1.8km path is believed to absorb energy from Mother Nature that brings peace and health to the devotees who walk along it. The magnificent Golden Temple is at the center of the star-path.
Sri Lakshmi Narayani temple is adorned with 1500 kgs of Gold which is double that of the Amritsar’s Golden Temple. The traditional Vedic architecture of the temple showcases significant details from the Vedas, the knowledge texts of the ancient India. The exceptional style of architecture sets the Sri Lakshmi Narayani apart from other holy places.
The artisans who built the temple work have created a masterpiece. The intricate craftsmanship has aptly embellished the gold bars into the foils. They have manually designed and mounted these foils on the copper. The garbhagriha (sanctum sanctorum) and Artha Mandapam, the space between garbhagriha and the temple exterior are encapsulated in gold. The shine of the temple’s golden dome is visible from distance.
The beauty and opulence of Goddess Lakshmi is beautifully represented in this temple that showcases the divine aura of the deity. In the recent past, Sri Lakshmi Narayani temple has emerged as a significant place of worship of the ‘Goddess of Gold’ visited by devotees from India as well as abroad.