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BAPS Delhi Temple To Be One of the Largest Religious Structures In the World

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  • John-Brian Paprock
    Hindu Press International October 4, 2005From: Hindu Press International October 4, 2005 BAPS Delhi Temple To Be One of the Largest Religious Structures In the
    Message 1 of 2 , Oct 12 6:52 AM
      Hindu Press International October 4, 2005
      From: Hindu Press International  
      October 4, 2005
       

      BAPS Delhi Temple To Be One of the Largest Religious Structures In the World

      www.timesonline.co.uk

      DELHI, INDIA, October 2, 2005: It is being trumpeted as one of the biggest religious stone structures in the world and has a legion of famous backers. Supporters of the multi-million-pound Akshardham Hindu temple complex in India say they expect to play host to dignitaries including former presidents Nelson Mandela and Bill Clinton at the opening next month. The temple, on the outskirts of Delhi by the banks of the sacred River Yamuna, has risen almost unnoticed in the West, despite the involvement of many Asian volunteers from Britain, some of them on gap years before university. This is partly intentional. "There has been a great deal of secrecy because the people behind it want it to be seen in all its glory when it is finally unveiled," said a source involved in the building work.

      The opening ceremony in the first week of November coincides with Diwali, the Hindu festival of light. This weekend 7,000 builders, stonemasons and polishers were working round the clock to complete the complex, which covers 30 acres. Devotees claim that it has been built to withstand earthquakes and will last at least 1,000 years. Saffron-robed monks supervised proceedings from 4x4 cars as volunteers tended lawns the size of football pitches. Although the raw materials for the temple are estimated to have cost more than US$88 million, it is difficult to place a true price on the project because much of the labor has been carried out by volunteers.

      At the heart of the site is a palace-like monument built from at least 12,000 tons of pink sandstone and white marble from Rajasthan. Topped with a series of domes, it is 129 ft high, 275 ft wide and 315 ft long. Almost every square inch of the exterior has been decorated with carvings of Hindu deities and Indian flora and fauna, including elephants. "It's hugely impressive and a commanding structure," said one observer. "But the monument will not actually be used for any religious ceremonies. " These will take place in a much smaller, but equally elaborate, marble temple.

      The complex also boasts at least two exhibition halls, including a Disney-inspired boat ride that will take worshippers on a visual journey through India's cultural heritage. The second hall will depict Indian moral values in a sound and light show. One source said that visitors will be able to experience a trip through portrayals of "heaven and hell." Other features include an IMAX cinema, a canteen capable of feeding 5,000 people in one sitting, a research centre for "social harmony" and meditation gardens dotted with fountains and bronze sculptures.

      Pramukh Swami Maharaj, the 83-year-old spiritual leader of the Swaminarayan sect - which has about 1 million followers across the globe - is believed to have overseen every detail of the temple complex. Ten years ago he presided over the opening of the sect's temple in Neasden, northwest London, which at the time was the large st Hindu structure outside India. Visitors to the Neasden temple - which reportedly cost $5.2 million to build - have included Tony Blair, Sir Richard Branson and the Prince of Wales.

    • Daniel N. Washburn
      Here are some photos of the Temple: http://www.indhistory.com/hindu-temple/hindu-temple-akshardham-temple.html It looks like a beautiful shrine. The
      Message 2 of 2 , Oct 13 2:50 AM
        Here are some photos of the Temple:

        http://www.indhistory.com/hindu-temple/hindu-temple-akshardham-temple.html

        It looks like a beautiful shrine.

        The Akshardham temple was the scene of a Muslim terrorist attack in
        Sept. 2002. 29 people were killed and 74 injured:

        http://www.hinduonnet.com/thehindu/2002/09/26/stories/2002092606280100.htm

        Dan

        John-Brian Paprock wrote:

        > From: Hindu Press International
        > October 4, 2005
        >
        >
        >
        > BAPS Delhi Temple To Be One of the Largest Religious Structures
        > In the World
        >
        > www.timesonline.co.uk
        > <http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,2087-1807169,00.html>
        >
        > DELHI, INDIA, October 2, 2005: It is being trumpeted as one of the
        > biggest religious stone structures in the world and has a legion of
        > famous backers. Supporters of the multi-million-pound Akshardham Hindu
        > temple complex in India say they expect to play host to dignitaries
        > including former presidents Nelson Mandela and Bill Clinton at the
        > opening next month. The temple, on the outskirts of Delhi by the banks
        > of the sacred River Yamuna, has risen almost unnoticed in the West,
        > despite the involvement of many Asian volunteers from Britain, some of
        > them on gap years before university. This is partly intentional.
        > "There has been a great deal of secrecy because the people behind it
        > want it to be seen in all its glory when it is finally unveiled," said
        > a source involved in the building work.
        >
        > The opening ceremony in the first week of November coincides with
        > Diwali, the Hindu festival of light. This weekend 7,000 builders,
        > stonemasons and polishers were working round the clock to complete the
        > complex, which covers 30 acres. Devotees claim that it has been built
        > to withstand earthquakes and will last at least 1,000 years.
        > Saffron-robed monks supervised proceedings from 4x4 cars as volunteers
        > tended lawns the size of football pitches. Although the raw materials
        > for the temple are estimated to have cost more than US$88 million, it
        > is difficult to place a true price on the project because much of the
        > labor has been carried out by volunteers.
        >
        > At the heart of the site is a palace-like monument built from at least
        > 12,000 tons of pink sandstone and white marble from Rajasthan. Topped
        > with a series of domes, it is 129 ft high, 275 ft wide and 315 ft
        > long. Almost every square inch of the exterior has been decorated with
        > carvings of Hindu deities and Indian flora and fauna, including
        > elephants. "It's hugely impressive and a commanding structure," said
        > one observer. "But the monument will not actually be used for any
        > religious ceremonies. " These will take place in a much smaller, but
        > equally elaborate, marble temple.
        >
        > The complex also boasts at least two exhibition halls, including a
        > Disney-inspired boat ride that will take worshippers on a visual
        > journey through India's cultural heritage. The second hall will depict
        > Indian moral values in a sound and light show. One source said that
        > visitors will be able to experience a trip through portrayals of
        > "heaven and hell." Other features include an IMAX cinema, a canteen
        > capable of feeding 5,000 people in one sitting, a research centre for
        > "social harmony" and meditation gardens dotted with fountains and
        > bronze sculptures.
        >
        > Pramukh Swami Maharaj, the 83-year-old spiritual leader of the
        > Swaminarayan sect - which has about 1 million followers across the
        > globe - is believed to have overseen every detail of the temple
        > complex. Ten years ago he presided over the opening of the sect's
        > temple in Neasden, northwest London, which at the time was the large
        > st Hindu structure outside India. Visitors to the Neasden temple -
        > which reportedly cost $5.2 million to build - have included Tony
        > Blair, Sir Richard Branson and the Prince of Wales.
        >
        > * HPI on the web <http://www.HinduismToday.com/hpi/>
        >
        >
        >
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