Mayapur in Bengal is soon to be the proud owner of what will possibly be the world’s largest temple, commissioned by the International Society of Krishna Consciousness.
ISKCON members are hopeful that US President Barrack Obama, Queen Elizabeth II and President Pranab Mukherjee will grace the inauguration of Chandrodaya Mandir — a $75 million project, which is to be completed on the group’s 50th anniversary in 2016.
At a press meet in the city on Monday, ISKCON authorities expressed their desire to create the world’s largest Hindu temple.
Construction of the 700,000 square foot temple began in 2010. ISKCON founder Srila Prabhupada expressed his desire to help finance the project to his disciple Alfred B Ford, great grandson of Henry Ford, founder of Ford Motor Company. “
I hope this temple will be a gateway for pilgrims across the world. This will be the place where Hare Krishna devotees will get together and be liberated from the hassles of the material world,” said Ford, who attended the press meet with his Bengali wife Sharmila Bhattacharya.
ISKCON authorities are now looking for donations to complete the temple, which will be 340 feet high with a 75 foot domed Vedic planetarium on top and a capacity to hold 275 visitors.
The temple will also have a large free space where more than 10,000 pilgrims can be accommodated for the traditional religious dance of this community.
“Ford paid for the 450,000 square foot of the temple and for the rest 250,000 square foot we are questing donations from everyone in the world,” said Anand Poddar, chairman of this project. Each square foot of the temple costs R7,000.
“We are going to ask for donations from entrepreneurs, servicemen and even those economically backward can also help us according to their capacity,” Poddar said.
The project was planned five years ago. “That time, the size of the temple was six times its present proportion. We needed more land then than we need now. However, the Left Front government didn’t allow us such a huge amount of land. Therefore, we had to rebuild our plan and thankfully, we are going to turn Srila Prabhupada’s dream into a reality,” Poddar added.
ISKCON authorities are in talks with the state tourism department as they are planning to develop a city around the temple in Mayapur.