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PIO, NRIs in South Africa make replica of famed Tirupati temple

The Transvaal Andhra Sabha saw a 27-year-old dream reach fruition when the foundation-laying ceremony of its temple took place in Lenasia recently.

india Updated: Jan 06, 2004 22:12 IST

A replica of the famed Tirupati temple in Andhra Pradesh is coming up in a South African Indian township.

The Transvaal Andhra Sabha saw a 27-year-old dream reach fruition when the foundation-laying ceremony of its temple took place in Lenasia, south of here.

Founded in 1976, the members of the small but dedicated community organisation from the South African provinces of Gauteng, Mpumalanga, North-West and Limpopo Provinces have been working diligently and tirelessly to raise funds for the temple.

"We had always intended to have a Shri Venkateswara temple, which is a replica of the famed Tirupati temple in India on a smaller scale," said Narend Naidoo, a former chairman of the Sabha.

Roy Naidoo, who has been taking care of the temple project, said an Indian architect put together the plans.

"We took those plans, modified them a bit for local conditions and are looking forward to having a temple similar to the famous one in Tirupati, which is reputed to collect the most religious funds from visitors in the world after the Vatican."

But finding the funding for the Lenasia South temple may not be that easy. "Yes, it is very difficult to raise funds for the project which we estimate will cost about a million rands," Naidoo conceded.

"If we got all the funds, we could complete the project in 12 months, but unfortunately we will have to look at funding as it comes through so that we can try to complete it in between two and five years."

There will be the main Venkateswara temple as well as a smaller Hanuman temple to complement it.

Discussions have already been initiated with representatives in India for the 11 deities that are to be installed in the temples.

First Published: Jan 05, 2004 00:00 IST