Palace of Gold put on national Historic Register

NEW VRINDABAN — A religious temple in Marshall County has been added to the National Register of Historic Places.

Prabhupada’s Palace of Gold near Limestone, which was dedicated in September 1979, was founded in 1968 by A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. He also was the founder of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness, more commonly known as the Hare Krishna movement.

Devotees last on Sept. 27, celebrated the listing in the historic register.

“For the past number of years, we’ve been trying to get the palace a status as a historic building in West Virginia,” Sue Bauer said, eliciting cheers from the devotees in attendance. “It’s a federal thing, not just a state thing, backing that this is a historic building!”

As the Krishnas observed 40 years in Marshall County, their joy was twofold as a several-year undertaking to have the Palace of Gold recognized on the registry was approved earlier this month.

The plaque recognizing the palace as a historic location — commissioned prior to its approval, as noted by devotees — was unveiled at a small ceremony with a few dozen devotees in attendance who gathered from across the country.

The structure was erected by devotees without blueprints. Building materials include marble, teak, silver and gold. The palace features long walkways illuminated by stained glass windows, ornate exterior decoration and elaborate gardens on its grounds.

Following the brief ceremony, the Krishnas carried a murti, a lifelike statue of the Prabhupada, around the temple several times in celebration.

Lila Hanson, a former teacher and Krishna devotee, said she was overjoyed with the recognition the Palace of Gold received.

“It’s about time, because I feel that our spiritual master brought a lot of elevated consciousness, of a lot of things, in the western world,” Hanson said. “Vegetarianism is really increasing here in the West, and I feel it’s because of our spiritual master. And the palace, it brings so many people to West Virginia, it brings people to Marshall County.”

The Palace of Gold is a tourist destination and holds several events throughout the year. One of the most notable is the annual Festival of Colors, which was held Sept. 14.