Saturday, June 5, 2010

Hindu temple in London

London has a new spiritual landmark. A sprawling Shree Sanatan Hindu Mandir, the new Hindu temple at Wembley, finally opened on Monday following 14 years of construction. The temple is believed to have cost more than 16 million pounds (about Rs 109 crore).

The magnificent temple has been built using the ancient temple architecture methods associated with Hinduism.

A majority of the portions of temple are hand-carved in limestone. The hand carving was done at the small Gujarat town of Sola. The hand-carved pieces were transported and pieced together at Wembley.

A magnificent landmark

The temple houses 41 hand-carved Hindu deities, all made in pure marble.

Shee Sanatan Hindu Mandir houses deities of Lord Shiva, Sita Ram, Srinathji, Radha Krishna, Ambaji, Ganesha, Hanuman, Mahadevi or Durga and Tirupati Balaji.

The temple covers 2.4 acres (9.7 square metres) on the Ealing Road and, at its highest point, is 66 feet (20m) tall.

Its bright sand-coloured walls stand out in stark contrast to the modest surroundings.

The opening ceremony of the temple began with the pran pratishtha ritual to infuse the spirit of the Almighty into the pratimas (statues).

'A place of worship for Hindus, other faiths'

Ajay Jobanputra, governor of Shri Vallabh Nidhi UK, the charity that raised the funds to build the temple, told the BBC that he hoped the temple would provide a place of worship for all Hindus, and those of other faiths.

"Famous spiritual leaders and forms of Gods from other religions are also featured in the carvings, such as Mother Teresa, Sri Guru Nanak Dev Ji, Meerabai, Lord Swaminarayan and many more," he said.

"The message being promoted is of Vasudev Kutumbakaum, a Hindu term to describe the world as one big family," he added.

The authorities and priests feel that the temple would add to the charm of the area, and is expected to draw huge crowds, both from UK and other European countries.

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