I got surprised after receiving an email from one of my friends living in London stating that a new Sanatan Hindu Mandir has been constructed in London. It’s really a great achievement for the Hindus around the world.
The Shree Sanatan Hindu Mandir was constructed at a cost of £16 million i.e. 113,60,00000 crore in Indian currency. It took 14 years to construct the temple in the locality of Wimbley, situated in West London. The technology used in the construction of this temple is similar to that of the world famous Vishnu Temple of Angkor Wat in Cambodia. The Vishnu Temple of Angkor Wat was built by King Suryavarman II in the early 12th century as his state temple in the capital city of Khmer empire which Cambodia is now part of. The temple is an of epitome of high classical style of Khmer architecture.
No doubt that the Sanatan Hindu Mandir has been built by great people who must have been working very hard and we cannot take their achievement for granted. The Mandir has been built by using ancient technology based on Hindu sculptures and made of shilpa shastras technique. The Mandir covers an area of 2.4 acres and it is 66ft (20m) tall. Its bright sand-coloured walls stand out in stark contrast to the unassuming surroundings. The Mandir is also known as Wembley’s newest looming landmark.
Most of the Mandir parts have been hand carved in limestone in a small town called Sola, located in Gujarat. About 41 statues of deities made-up of marble were made in India especially for the Mandir.
Famous spiritual leaders and forms of Gods from other religions such as Mother Teresa, Gurunanak Devji, Meerabai, Lord Swaminarayan and many more have been featured in the carvings of the temple. Featuring of other Gods have made the Mandir run into controversies and many have questioned the carving of the image of Mother Teresa on one of its columns, but Dr Raj Pandit Sharma of the Hindu Council UK as well as the chief priest of the Mandir said, “It represents the inclusive nature of the Hindu religion.”
The opening ceremony known “Pran Prathistha” was celebrated on May 31, 2010 to “infuse the spirit of God into the statues. The opening ceremony was attended by a large number of distinguished devotees. It is our faith that the Mandir will offer a place of worship for all the Hindus, said Dr Raj.
Dr Raj Pandit Sharma said that the new Mandir not only stand out as a structure but it also fits well with the eclectic local community. He also said, “I think it will add to the charm of the area”.
He further said that all Hindu festivals will be celebrated in the Mandir. It is expected that around 400-500 devotees will visit the Mandir during the week days and double that on weekends.