Exotic Hindu Temple On Malibu Beach – Out along the Malibu Beach is a cluster of ornate, domed towers, looking incongruously exotic in the Southern California landscape.
The 10 towers make up the Lord Venkateswara Temple in Malibu, one of the largest Hindu temples in the Western Hemisphere.
For many of the 25,000 Hindu families in Southern California, the temple is a place for prayer and meditation, ritual and celebration.
It is here to educate the children and help them learn the traditions. Many children born here have never been to India.
Inside the towers – called sanctums – stand ornately clothed idols. The idols, made of granite and marble, are different manifestations of the one God that Hindus worship.
The temple is built for the main deity, Lord Venkateswara, whose likeness occupies the largest sanctum. Visitors burn incense in the sanctums and bring flowers and fruit to all of the deities, which are dressed in colorful saris and draped with necklaces.
The temple, located on a 4.5-acre site surrounded by the Santa Monica Mountains, also contains a large cultural hall for weddings and other celebrations.
Once a month, the temple’s four priests lead a festival in honor of one of the idols. On March 24, they will celebrate the birthday of Rama, the model of human perfection and embodiment of all virtues.
The priests will read from scriptures, sing hymns and carry small, metallic statues of Rama in a procession.
In addition, each Sunday since the war in the Persian Gulf began, the temple has offered a prayer service, so that the war should end peacefully and our soldier brothers and sisters should come home safely.
Artisans from India were brought in to craft the intricate details – including dragons and lotus blossoms – on walls, domes and the entrance tower.
The temple is open to people of all faiths who want to participate in festivals held throughout the year.