A progress report from Sridham Mayapur, West Bengal, India.
IT'S SAID THAT IN CALCUTTA there are two kinds of people those who've visited Sridham Mayapur and those who plan to. For here, sixty-five miles north, stands the beautiful and extensive campus of ISKCON, the International Society for Krishna Consciousness.
Sridham Mayapur is the birthplace of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, the incarnation of Lord Krsna five hundred years ago who first got the Hare Krsna movement started. And here ISKCON devotees are building a shrine to the spiritual master who spread the movement to the world His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada.
Building the shrine has taken more than a decade, and still the work is not yet finished. But construction is done, and what's left is mainly decorating and artwork.
Here's the work now in progress:
The main inner chamber. The work here is three quarters done. It's mostly marble work. Carving marble goes slowly.
Interior mosaics. Six mosaics on the inside of the dome will show scenes of Srila Prabhupada in action. Two mosaics are yet to be done. Also still to do: six demigods showering flowers from the sky. The mosaic work may take another six months.
Main floor. The marble floor goes in last. It has to wait until after the mosaics and the chamber.
Terra-cotta reliefs. Glazed panels will depict the nine methods of bhakti, devotional service. The modeling work is done. Now the panels themselves need to be finished.
Fountains. One down, two to go.
Lighting. The fixtures have been designed. Production has commenced.
Museum. Dioramas will show scenes of Srila Prabhupada's devotional service. Only detailed work is still left to do.