Most People Don't Know The Magnificent Palace Of Gold Is Hiding In West Virginia
Most people would not assume that there is any sort of palace in West Virginia, let alone one of religious significance. Did you know that The Mountain State 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 Prabhupada, who actually died before it was completed. It’s one of the best roadside attractions to visit in West Virginia.
Here’s a little more about this incredible place:
New Vrindaban is an intentional community of 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.
This Marshall County community is truly unlike any other. Under 400 people live in it, but its culture is unlike anywhere else in West Virginia.
Srila Prabhuapada, called His Divine Grace by devotees, passed away in November 1977, before the palace was completed in 1979.
Prabhupada's Palace of Gold 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.
Srila Prabhupada, as A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada was known to followers of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON), intended to live in this magnificent place. However, as he passed before its completion, it took on a new life. Following his passing, it became a memorial shrine.
More than 9 pounds of gold leaf was used on the palace.
The palace of gold is one of West Virginia's most popular tourist attractions. According to its website, it draws more than 50,000 visitors each year.
As part of the Hare Krishna movement, the founders behind this magnificent place aimed to teach Hindu scriptures in the English-speaking world. These thousands of visitors have a unique opportunity to learn about Hinduism in an area that's notably less diverse than densely populated American cities.
This gold palace in W.V. 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."
Rainbow hues paint the halls of this magnificently crafted palace. Beauty abounds throughout its reaches, all of it lovingly shaped amidst a landscape coveted for its clean country air.
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.
Don't be nervous about vegetarian cuisine... it's actually quite delicious, and you'll feel better after a filling meal without meat weighing you down. Just try dining at the town's famous eatery,
Govinda's Vegetarian Restaurant
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.
No matter the season, this landscape is lovely. The location was chosen for its natural beauty, and majesty truly abounds inside and out of the palace campus.
The rose garden contains 150 varieties of roses, so now is your chance to stop and smell the... well, you get it.
In 2011, there was a five-year, 4.27 million-dollar effort to restore the Palace.
The effect of this, as you can see, is a stunning, flawlessly manicured palace that's truly a gem.
The palace grounds also have 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. "
This unique palace in West Virginia is unlike anything else in The Mountain State. Visitors are enchanted time and time again by its milieu… have you ever visited this site? Tell us about your experience in the comments. If you haven’t visited yet, what are you waiting for? Book a local
Vrbo and spend some time exploring this corner of the state.
Can’t get enough of our amazing state? Visit these
unique landmarks in West Virginia for Instagram-worthy views and take a look at this video for another fun adventure:
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More to Explore
Palace In West Virginia
What are the best man-made attractions in West Virginia?
The Palace of Gold is, without a doubt, one of the finest man-made landmarks in The Mountain State. Some others to explore include:
Are there any castles in West Virginia?
Exploring a magnificent place like the Palace of Gold will doubtlessly have you dreaming of royal extravagance. You will find this same sort of loveliness in the following castles:
What are the most beautiful churches in West Virginia?
Speaking of castellated architecture, there are many magnificent churches in The Mountain State. You'll find endless beauty at places like:
3759 McCreary's Ridge Road, Moundsville, WV 26041, USA