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New gurdwara for Sikhs in Bedford

The 4-million-pound worth gurudwara is part of a 2.5-acre complex with community centre and kitchens that can cater to 500 people.

world Updated: Apr 10, 2007 14:41 IST

Sikhs in Bedford can worship at a spanking new gurdwara - the first to be built in the traditional Sikh style in Britain.

The 4-million-pound gurdwara was the only project to be awarded any money by the Millennium Commission - an independent body established in 1993 to distribute lottery money for buildings, environmental projects and community schemes.

The granite and marble used for the gurdwara were brought from western India along with 20 stonemasons who worked for a year and a half to craft the building.

The gurdwara is part of a 2.5-acre complex, complete with community centre and kitchens that can cater for up to 500 people for celebrations, the Bedford Today reported.

"We are incredibly proud of this beautiful and unique gurdwara. We aim to give people in the West and young Sikhs an experience of Sikh cultural heritage and, hopefully, it will encourage people to visit India and see more," said gurdwara general secretary Amrik Singh Jamu.

Bedford has in recent times seen a significant rise in immigration from South Asia.

In the coming months, priceless Sikh artefacts, including swords and 500-year-old furniture normally kept at London's Victoria and Albert Museum, will be on display at the gurdwara.

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