10 May 2006 ... and therabouts ...
Shaibal's Graduation was over - it was time to head back for our own ... but we were in the vicinity of the famous Pittsburg Temple ... well we were about 7 hours away but still ... after having come so far - we had to visit this famous temple. From what I am told this was one of the first temples (if not the first) in the US ... built back in the 70's - wow! - what a time that must have been - most Indians in the area back then would have been the "truly" intelligent kinds ... not the have-degree-will-goto-us types
There were these B/W picture of a groups of people (bell-bottoms and all!) at the temple site (back the 70's) ... and I wondered how many of those would have been the IIT/IIM/PhD types (Not that IIT'ians and IIM'ites are demi-gods or something but at least back then they represented the intellectual cream of the country ... IMO)
While the temple itself is very pretty, both D and I found the Venkateshwara idol extremely pleasing ... maybe we were travelling "off-season" but the temple was empty ... and very very peaceful. Felt very nice to see the tall idol ... very soothing ... like how temples are supposed to be - brought back memories of countless hours with Sarat, Brij and Gujju sitting at the "balcony" of the sector 10 Venkateshwara temple ... before it was completed and became super famous! serene times those ...
we moved on!
Pittsburg City - very pretty indeed - would love to go back someday and explore all the things that the city has to offer ... this shot was taken from a museum of sorts on top of the hill ... there was this trolley/cable car thingie (u can see it in the bottom of the pic) for better viewing as well ... next time maybe
Next stop was Palace Of Gold - to experience a fraction of the beauty of this place (and better pictures), you can take the virtual tour here.
Now this place was prolly built at the peak of the ISKCON org and you can see the amazing display of beauty and extravagance(?) - This palace is etched in gold, and rare stones and all the stained-glass work has been done by the devotees of Shri Prabhupada.
The drive to the palace is exquisite - in that it is remniscent of roads in India - winding, steep, narrow, rugged and at times single-laned roads! And the fact that the palace is on top of a hill compounds the driving and viewing pleasure. A must drive!
A big thanks to Arvind & Preethu for telling us about this wonderful place. This place even has an ashram/guest-house of sorts ... would love to stay there for a couple of days.
And altho we had planned to stop over @DC for a couple of days, we drove back home instead - lest we miss our own graduation :)