Built at cost of 16 million pounds, it was opened after 14 years of construction
2nd June 2010: For believers of Hindu philosophy and religion, it’s getting better in London. A new Hindu temple spread over 2.4 acres with highest point at 66 feet tall, has been opened in the northwest London area of Wembley after 14 years of construction.
Built at a cost of 16 million pounds, it includes images and statues, including those of Mother Teresa and Guru Nanak.
The temple, Shree Sanatan Hindu Mandir, has most of its component pieces hand carved in limestone and flown over from Gujarat for being pieced together in the UK. The bright sand-coloured walls stand out in stark contrast to the unassuming surroundings.
The temple has been built using the ancient art of ‘shilpa-shastra’ and was thrown open to the public after a ceremony was performed by the priests.In fact, `Pran Prathistha’ ceremony was held to "infuse the spirit of God into the statues" as part of the temple opening. It was followed by a VIP opening with donors, sponsors and local dignitaries in attendance.
Ajay Jobanputra, governor of Shri Vallabh Nidhi UK, the charity organisation which raised the funds to build the temple expressed hope it will provide a place of worship for all Hindus and welcome those of other faiths.
Famous spiritual leaders and forms of gods from other religions are featured in the carvings such as Mother Teresa, Sri Guru Nanak Dev Ji, Meerabai, Lord Swaminarayan and many more, he said, adding it was all about showcasing the importance of respect, love and compassion for all religions.
Every morning, a prayer session will be held at the new temple in line with Hindu tradition.
Besides this, the temple will organise and host special events festivals like Diwali and Navratri. Other annual religious functions will also be organised to celebrate the birth of Hindu saints and gods like Jalaram Jayanti (Saint Jalarambapa) and Janmasthami (Lord Krishna).
Jobanputra is expecting crowds from across London and visitors from much further afield.
He says they are estimating around 400 to 500 local people will visit them during the weekdays and double the number on the weekends. They are also expecting visitors from other parts of the UK and Europe. The temple has already received visit requests from Spain, Portugal and Switzerland.