West Virginia January 22, 2016
Most People Don’t Know This Incredible Palace Is Hiding In West Virginia
Did you know that West Virginia is home to a top religious attraction in the United States? Prabhupada’s Palace of Gold in New Vrindaban near Moundsville was built in the 1970s by devotees of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness as a residence for their founder and leader, Srila Prabhuapada, who actually died before it was completed.
Here’s a little more about this incredible place:
New Vrindaban is an intentional community 1,204 acres and building complexes, homes, apartment buildings, and businesses, including the palace. The community was founded in 1968 and named for the Indian city of Vrindavan.
Srila Prabhuapada, called His Divine Grace by devotees, passed away in November 1977, before the palace was completed in 1979.
The palace has many sculptures, extensive woodwork, marble and semi-precious stones, carved teakwood, stained glass and cut crystal. Its builders also used a lot of gold leaf throughout the building.
More than 9 pounds of gold leaf was used on the palace.
The palace is one of West Virginia's most popular tourist attractions. According to its website, it draws more than 50,000 visitors each year.
The palace reportedly cost $600,000 in materials to build. Labor didn't cost anything but time, though. Devotees did the work themselves. They were often untrained and learned on the job.
The palace opened in 1979 to rave reviews from the press. For instance, The Courier-Journal of Kentucky wrote: "It's hard to believe that Prabhupada's Palace is in West Virginia. In fact, it's hard to believe it's on this planet."
There are four peacock windows that display 1,500 pieces of hand-crafted stained glass. Real peacocks also roam the grounds. The birds are traditionally associated with royalty and Lord Krishna, who wears a peacock feather in His hair.
The community of New Vrindaban is vegetarian and believes eating meat creates bad karma. Alcoholic beverages and illegal substances are prohibited in the community's holy sites.
The palace has 31 stained glass windows as well as crystal chandeliers and mirrored ceilings. It has 52 kinds of marble and onyx from Europe, Asia and Africa.
The palace has a rose garden that's been called one of the 100 top award-winning rose gardens in the country. The garden has three blooms throughout the summer.
As of mid-2011 there was a five-year, 4.27 million-dollar effort to restore the Palace.
The rose garden contains 150 varieties of roses.
The palace grounds also has a lotus pond on a hilltop. One reviewer wrote: "This place is apt for person who needs peace. Very calm and serene place located on a hill just make you forget the whole world. "
All information came from the palace’s website and Wikipedia. For more information about the palace, check out its
website or this page.