For constructing this temple, marble from Italy and limestone from Turkey were shipped to India where more than 3000 craftsmen from Rajasthan carved these into wonderful pieces in 22 months.
BAPS (the abbreviated form of Bochasanwasi Sri Akshar Purushottam Swaminarayan Sanstha) Swami Narayan Mandir is located in a suburban area of Chicago called Bartlett in Illinois state. The temple remains open for visitors from 9 a.m till 7.30 p.m through out the year. Visitors can have Murti Darshan from 9 to 10.15 in the morning and again from 4 to 6 in the evenings. It's aarti time from 11.15 to 12 noon and again at 7 p.m it's time for sandhya aarti.
During the visiting hours one can visit the Stone Mandir, Wooden Haveli and Understanding Hindu Dharma Exhibition. There is a dress code for visiting the mandir and visitors are supposed to strictly follow it. They need not wear sleeveless tops and shorts that are shorter than knee length. However, for the convenience of the visitors, wraps for tying around the waist are provided in the Haveli.
Photography and taking videos is strictly prohibited inside the mandir, however visitors can take snaps outside the main mandir. There is a spacious free parking lot inside the temple. After parking the car, visitors hang around and spend lots of time in the serene surroundings with beautiful fountains, garden and shrubs cut in the shapes of elephants, rabbits etc. It's so pleasant being here to see mostly Indians moving around. You will be completely lost in a different world and forget yourself as you get immersed in nature. It's really beautiful and awesome.
The finesse of the minute carvings by the highly skilled workmen of India, on the wood and on the marble is worth appreciation. The beauty of the marble and the fine carvings on it are doubled when the lights are on inside the temple and this is really worth watching.
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