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Adventures in dating at the Palace of Gold

June 29, 2011
By Dina Z. Colada
I have traveled all over the United States and have been on dates with men from almost every state. But I have never had such an amazing date as the one at the Palace of Gold. I normally don't drive on a date, unless I've never met the chap, then I drive myself to meet them. But on this special day, I made an exception. This is weird. I drove, I bought my date dinner, and even took him shopping.

We ended up heading north through Pennsylvania and heading west toward Wheeling. We bypassed all the goodies in Wheeling and headed to Moundsville to — guess where? The Palace of Gold of course! I don't think there's much else there. But it was well worth the drive. I'm a pretty spiritual pop tart, so it was a great place for me to spend a day out.

I could feel the excitement building as I was heading down a winding country road and came upon the sign peeking out from behind the trees that read Prabhupada’s Palace of Gold Krishna Temple: 4 miles. Oh goodie, only four miles to go. We headed down a cracked asphalt road that led to a fortress-type wall with cast iron flowers in the windows.

We strolled down the gravelly pathway toward the shimmering gold palace. If there was a palace competition, I believe it would come in first place, and not because it's in West Virginia. It's embellished with real gold, five pounds of it, I hear. Even the doors to the bathroom were stunning, elaborately carved wood.

I did some trick photography while I was there. I got a shot of my date holding one of the golden turrets in the palm of his hand. Too cool. Giant green lion statues greeted us at the palace entrance. There were also decorative peacocks that were beautiful, but they were not as stunning as the real peacocks roaming the grounds. There were paintings in the palace that would rival the ceilings in the Sistine Chapel. And the intricate stained glass surrounding the entire palace was some of the best I've ever seen. Some of the panels had over 1,500 pieces of glass and crystal.

Devotees to Krishna built this amazing palace for Prabhupada, the man who brought the Krishna movement to the West.

After our tour, we roamed the spectacular rose garden that was fragrant and in full bloom. The clouds were rolling by the lily pond and meticulously landscaped grounds as we headed to the restaurant. We shared the Vegetarian Thali lunch, it was hot and spicy, so we had it with fresh squeezed carrot juice. Mmm Mmm Mmm.

We headed to the temple and saw Hare Krishna followers in orange saris wearing wooden bead necklaces. As we entered there were devotees sitting on the floor of the temple, and it looked like they were ready to sing the mantra: Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare. Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare. George Harrison of the Beatles, the Broadway play Hair, Stevie Wonder, Husker du, the The Thievery Corporation and many other musicians have made this mantra famous.

I think the 20-foot tall elephant statue was spraying water into the clouds to give the earth some rain, after we visited the temple. On our way to the car, I was overlooking a pond. That had a 40-foot statue of beautiful blue Krishna and his female counterpart, Rama. Hmm, I've never gone out with a guy that was 40-feet tall or blue. If you know anyone like that, please drop me a line: dinazcolada@gmail.com or sign up for my email list at dinazcolada.com.
 
 

 

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