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Hindu temple coming up in north England

A team of four marble masons from India has arrived to build a temple in Middlesbrough.

india Updated: Jan 20, 2006 18:25 IST
Indo-Asian News Service
Indo-Asian News Service

In the latest example of exquisitely carved Hindu temples in Britain, a team of four marble masons from India has arrived to build a temple in Middlesbrough in north England.

There are several Hindu temples in towns across Britain - many of them featuring idols and stonework brought from India or executed here by experts brought in from India.

The most popular of such temples is the Swaminarayana temple in Neasden, London, and the Jain temple in Leicester.

For the temple under construction in Middlesbrough, blocks of marble have been imported from the same quarries from where marble was used during the construction of the Taj Mahal - the Chosira mines in Rajasthan.

The team of four marble masons led by Shokat Ali Rander Munnabhai is currently working on the 150,000 pounds temple inside the Hindu Cultural Centre in North Ormesby.

The entire marble shipment arrived in 76 boxes in October.

"It took us two days just to unload it all. About 15 masons worked for six months to carve the marble by hand and it is a very intricate design," Hindu Cultural Centre's president Krishan Nath told reporters.

"The whole plan for the temple started two years ago and prior to this, our temple was made of wood. We thought we would make the temple like the traditional ones in India that are marble.

"The priest and I appealed to the congregation to buy one square metre of marble each that costs 120 pounds. One family bought one metre, then another would buy two metres and then someone else would buy three metres. It just went from there," he said.

"Once this (the temple) is finished, it will last for 100 years," Nath said.

The four masons will stay until Feb 20.

First Published: Jan 20, 2006 18:25 IST