Sripuram Golden Mahalaxmi Temple
Sripuram Golden Mahalakshmi Temple installed and maintained by Sri Narayani Peedam is situated 6 km away from the District Headquarters - Vellore in Tamilnadu.
More than 400 gold and coppersmiths from the Tirupathi Thirumala Devasthanam are said to have worked for six years to craft the Rs. 600-crore golden temple located on 55,000 sq ft of land on a 100-acre salubrious stretch in Malaikodi, about 6 km from Vellore in north Tamil Nadu. According to official sources, the gold bars were purchased through RBI in "a transparent manner"
First the coppersmiths set to work creating a copper base on the temple structure with engravings and etchings before the gold, beaten into nine layers of foils, was draped around it. The sanctum sanctorum will hold the deity of Mahalakshmi made of stone granite, but covered with gold protection layers. (Kavacham - adornments).
"The Sripuram or Spiritual Park is Amma's dedication to the world and mankind," said P Murali, a trustee of the Peetam, adding that the temple has more gold than the Golden Temple of Amritsar.
Messages by 'Amma' have been laid out along the path to the temple with messages from the Gita, Bible and Quran. "When one enters the Sripuram, their focus is just on the magnificent temple. But when they leave, they cannot do so without taking some messages and gaining some wisdom," according to a booklet detailing the 'services' rendered by the Peetam. "In this quagmire of materialism, Sripuram rises as an inspiration to man to find the divinity within him," adds a Narayani Peedam brochure.
The arrangements were being made to hire personnel to throw a security cover around the temple. "But the gold sheets have been laid out in such a manner that it would cost more to rip it off than purchase the gold," said a top Vellore district official.
There is ample car parking space available @ Rs.20/- per vehicle. Here, the security measures are more stringent as alike Sri Balaji Temple of Tirupathi. Long queue makes one exhaust soon, more so during the summer days. It is recommended to take drinking water bottles & towels to fight the thirst and sweat!
Please do not carry your Mobile phones and cameras which are strictly prohibited inside the temple premises. Separate counters are there to deposit your cell phones, cameras as also your foot-wear. It is highly recommended not to take it with you to the temple at the first place, as it is not going to help you in any way as you have to deposit the same at the counters before entering the complex.
As is in Tirupathi, here too the queue control system exist. A special structures erected to control and regularize the moving crowd is put up that extends up to 3 kms stretch from the temple! From here, you are allowed to move inside the star shaped ( Sri Chakra) corridor of the temple, only after proper security check by the security personnel both men & women; there you will have to undergo strict security checks viz. scanning, frisking and all the sort of personal/belongings etc. Senior citizens are accompanied by the escorts from the temple are allowed to join in the main queue directly, but no family members are allowed to accompany them. Free wheel chair for physically challenged persons and elderly persons are also available and they are directly taken to the temple by the volunteers of Sri Narayani Peedam. No family members allowed to escort or accompany them, as the Golden Temple authorities arranged to give a very good care for them.
The worst part on the visitors are throwing coins in the pond surrounding the main Sannidhi. There are scores of persons throwing even currency notes which is against any norms and also against the National currency policies. In an utter disregards, even the authorities seems not taken any steps to check this menace. It is not only unethical to trhow the currency notes into the pond, but also it is against the national currency regulations & rules. Now the Narayani Peedam's administrators must take some steps to prevent this single issue at the first place. Oh, even some of the visitors throwing their visiting cards alongwith coins! The coins thrown inside the pond must be of lakhs of rupees and it too might add to the coin shortage issues in general!
By the time you reach the Sanctum Sanctorum, oh, by now you have walked almost 3 kms distance from the entrance. You are allowed to take Darshan only from a distance of about 100 meters. Beyond this point, one has to pay INR. 250/- per head. If one prefers to perform Abhishekam or Archana they need to book well in advance, say at least two months.
At the exit point, the volunteers of the Ashram would hand you prasadam viz. Kum-kum and Sweet rice or pongal. Though the entire system is most organized, one would feel exhausted - that too after you're told to view the Darshan only from a specific distance. But it is more worthy to pay a visit. The landscape, beautiful scenery, tranquil atmosphere, greenish lawns and fine architecture all combined makes one feel worth of the visit.
For those who wish to stay overnight or a couple of days, hotel accommodation can be arranged through the administrators, Sri Narayani Peedam - who maintains a hotel, hospital, Orphans home etc. The photographs, images and photos that I obtained from my sources are displayed below for the readers to enjoy a virtual tour to Sripuram Narayani Peedam Amma's Golden Sri Mahalaxmi Temple near Vellore. Senior citizens are accompanied by the escorts from the temple are allowed to join in the main queue directly, but no family members are allowed to accompany.
How to reach Sripuram Golden Mahalakshmi Temple
By Road: Sripuram Golden Mahalakshmi Temple temple is located at Thirumalaikodi; Katpadi is the nearest Railway station in the Chennai-Bangalore route of Southern Railway. It takes about 3 and half hours drive from Chennai, in the Chennai - Bangalore road. It is in the National Highways NH46 that connects Chennai - Bangalore (Bangaluru) and in NH4 from Ranipet to Bangalore. From Katpadi, one can reach by state owned bus to Sripuram which takes about 15 minutes drive or less. Or, one can reach Thirumalaikodi by bus from Vellore to Anicut / Odugathur route. The State run buses ply via Thirumalaikodi in this route. From Tirupati (Tirupathi) to Katpadi, there are shuttle train services available upto Katpadi or Jolarpettai (Jolarpet Passenger) or one can travel by train from Tirupathi (Tirupati) by Kanyakumari Express from Tirupati to Katpadi which takes less than 3 hours journey. Direct bus services available from all major points to Vellore from Chennai, Chittoor, Bangalore, Kanchipuram, Kanyakumari, Tirupathi & Thiruvannamalai - all being major Temple towns and picnic spots. Vellore is well connected by road with all the southern states viz. Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala & Pondicherry.
Sripuram Devastanam - Sri Laxmi Narayani Golden Temple, Andhra Pradesh