September 9, 2009

Viet Namese Buddhist Temple, Houston

Ashoka Chakra right at the entrance of the temple

Last weekend we had been to Houston to participate in the wonderful Krishna Janmashtami celebrations organized by the Hindus of Greater Houston. The day after the event we hung around in Houston to visit couple of friends and take in the Hindu sights of the city. We have seen everything there is to see in this city last year the museum of modern art, Downtown Aquarium, zoo, water wall, NASA space center, George Ranch and others. That is why this time we decided to take in only the spiritual sights of Hindus. It seems like there are millions of churches in every city in the US so I don't bother with them unless they are really spectacular or historically relevant.

Anyway coming back to our exploration we had planned on visiting the Swami Narayan temple. Unfortunately for us we found the wrong address on google and landed up in the wrong place. This was a misfortune in disguise because right next door to the address we found was this magnificent Viet Namese Buddhist temple. This shrine with its towering milky white statue of Buddha, artificial lakes, rolling grassy lawns and gardens, held me spellbound even as I enjoyed myself capturing photographs of the location.

I was heartened to see the Ashoka Pillar right at the entrance of the temple and also the Dharma Ghanta (Bell of Justice) installed in a tower adjacent to the sanctum. This is one temple which is resplendent of the glory of Eastern religions and non-violent philosophy. I wish some of our Hindu temples would be as imposing. The temple was choc-a-bloc with pious Viet Namese listening to a discourse.

Sanctum of the temple

The Dharma Ghanta inside its tower

I will be posting more pictures of this wonderful shrine, once I get them sorted out. And then there are several pictures of last week's trip to Katrina-devastated and government neglected New Orleans. Do keep visiting the blog and check out the updates. Last and most important do leave your comments and feedback.

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