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Lilburn is home to sacred ground | News

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Lilburn is home to sacred ground

LILBURN, Ga. -- You'd never guess how far a seven minute drive from Lilburn's Main Street will take you.

You'll be transported to scared ground: the BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir, a Hindu place of worship built with stunning detail.

PHOTOS | Lilburn's Mandir

"The design is based on ancient scriptures," Mandir spokesman Jigar Patel said.

The building has no steel beams. In fact, there is no metal anywhere. The temple is supported with a lock and key system and assembled like a jigsaw puzzle that snaps together.

It's a puzzle that happens to be carved from Turkish limestone, Italian marble and Indian pink limestone. More than 11,000 tons of it was shipped to Lilburn before the temple's inauguration in 2007.

"We chose this location because of its close proximity to all of the major thoroughfares as well as its close proximity to Gwinnett County, which is such a great diverse county," Patel said.

If you think the exterior is impressive, wait until you get a look inside. But you'll have to do it yourself: there is absolutely no photography or videography allowed inside. Instead, you can take a tour and experience the peace of the Mandir in the moment.

"One of the highlights of the year is the festival of lights," Patel said.

During the festival, the temple's pristine white walls illuminate in vivid colors as fireworks explode overhead. It's a Hindu New Year celebration held in the fall, from a piece of India nestled quietly away in north Georgia.

The Mandir is open daily from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., and everyone is welcome to take a tour.

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