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“Awesome architecture”

BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir
Chennai (Madras), India
Level Contributor
8 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Awesome architecture”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 21, 2014

The architecture in this temple is very awesome. We reached the temple in the afternoon hence had to wait for long to see God. The Indian food was really good. It is a must visit for Indians travelling to USA.

Visited July 2014
Helpful?
2 Thank JayaMS2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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71 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
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    4
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Mumbai (Bombay), India
Level Contributor
88 reviews
30 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
“Humbling experience”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 31, 2014

For Indians visiting Chicago, this is a MUST stop.
The architecture is good, carvings are beautiful and fill one with awe.
Food is also good and those starved of Indian food will love it here.
The prayer halls fill one with serenity and peaceful feelings

Visited July 2014
Helpful?
2 Thank sudhirdnaik
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chicago, Illinois, United States
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“Very rude staff, joking photo policy”
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 14, 2014

They have very rude staff, and their photography policy is a joke. I and my girlfriend visited this place today. She likes Indian culture so I brought her to see the mandir. When we were walking around, I tried to take some photos for her as our hobby. Then there was a very rude man stopped me to taking photos. I explained that upon their policy on the website, outdoor photography should be allowed but he did not recognize that at all.

Some reason their staff used to stop me was like "no professional camera". I was using a nikon camera released 6 years before. It is a DSLR but it only delivers picture size smaller than many smart phones today. So it is impossible for me to do commercial. I explained to the staff "we are couples" "we just shoot for fun" and even I can promise not to publish the photos at all. But no one answers me.

Moreover, what I must state is even if I was doing commercial, they have no right to stop me because that was not prohibited in their policy. If they do want to protect the place from being used by commercial photography, they should write that in their policy, not relying on those Rude Guys!

I also find racism opinion in their staff's words because he mentioned a reason to stop us was “she’s wearing saree". He even said “yes others can wearing saree but she cannot, you must leave in 5 minutes”. Yes, my girlfriend is not Indian, but she has the right to wear saree and that right is protected by the law. Why don't he stop those Indian girls wearing saree from taking photos? I do respect the dressing code at many places for culture and religious reason, like those of Islam temple. But I cannot find any words in their policy about "only Indian girls can wear saree" or "If a non-Indian girl is wearing saree, no photography using DLSR is allowed". If their staff do have some opinion like this, PLEASE write that in the policy, and I will never ever visiting this place at all.

Visited July 2014
Helpful?
5 Thank SomeoneZzz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bartlett, Illinois
Level Contributor
8 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
“Gorgeous shrine and "museum"”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 1, 2014

When with my mom to see the gardens, fountains, and the Mandir. The guide was lovely and kind. I wore a skirt but it was above my knees so they gave me a robe to cover. Pants are ok, shirtst must cover your shoulders. Shoes are not allowed in the mandir so bring socks or be prepared to go barefoot. The temple is astounding. Once inside you are silent to view the statues and read a little about their names and history. The carvings are spectacular. What a special place.

Visited October 2013
Helpful?
4 Thank MAA1976
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Issaquah, Washington
Level Contributor
67 reviews
33 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
“A must-see hidden gem!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 29, 2014

Taj-Mahal without traveling to India? The BAPS Mandir in Bartlett is every bit as comparable. It is an architectural marvel and artistic beauty!
Do not wear shorts, or be prepared to wear a skirt-cover up (provided) when you arrive. Put your shoes in the little cubby holes at the entrance.
The internal sights in the temple are spectacular with amazing carving and imagery everywhere. The god statues are treated living beings so depending on what time you are there, they could be napping, being bathed, food offerings, etc.
Ask one of the kind members to tell you about the construction of the temple. It is connected with a lego-like interlocking of the stone, no mortar. The marble was quarried in Italy and sought for qualities to withstand a Chicago winter. The marble was shipped block by block to India where it was hand carved, then shipped block by block to Bartlett for assembly. The grounds are also photo worthy with elephant topiaries and reflecting pools. Even at night, the temple is lit with spectacular colored lights that vary.
This is a hidden gem and an absolute must see.
The welcoming building is the original temple prior to the marble addition. It also has gorgeous carved wood also worth a look.
This attraction is free, but I recommend offering a donation, especially if you tap into the kind employees to learn about the Mandir.

Visited June 2014
Helpful?
2 Thank Claudia C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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