A new syncretic Hindu temple built at a cost of 16 million pounds with images and statues, including those of Mother Teresa and Guru Nanak, has been opened in the northwest London area of Wembley.
The Shree Sanatan Hindu Mandir was constructed over 14 years, and most of the temple’s component pieces have been hand carved in limestone in Gujarat before being flown over and pieced together in the UK.
Built using the ancient art of ‘shilpa—shastra’, the temple covers 2.4 acres and, at its highest point, is 66 feet tall.
It was opened after a ceremony performed by priests yesterday.
Ajay Jobanputra, Governor of Shri Vallabh Nidhi UK (SVNUK), the charity organisation which raised the funds to build the Shree Sanatan Hindu Mandir, hopes the temple 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.
“It’s about showcasing the importance of respect, love and compassion for all religions, making the temple dynamic and universal“.
Mr. Jobanputa added: “The message being promoted is of Vasudev Kutumbakaum, a Hindu term to describe the world as one big family.”
The chief priest at the Shree Sanatan Hindu Mandir is Dr. Raj Pandit Sharma.