Saturday, August 28, 2010

Hindu temples outside India

Hindu Temple--Mauritius

This is a Hindu Temple, the site of a popular annual pilgrimage in Mauritius.

Shri Swaminarayan Mandir - Hindu Temple - Neasden - London

Photo: Shri Swaminarayan Mandir, Hindu Temple, Neasden, London

The Shri Swaminarayan Mandir is the focal point of the temple complex, designed according to the Stapatya-Shastra, a Vedic text that develops Hindu architecture to metaphorically represent the different attributes of God. It is constructed mostly from Indian marble, Italian marble and Bulgarian limestone. The marbles and stones were shipped to India where they were sculpted by over 1,500 skilled craftsmen of temple architecture. They were then shipped back to London where the temple was assembled. The Mandir facility contains no iron or steel, a unique feature for a modern building construction in the U.K. Temple is specially noted for its profusely carved cantilevered dome, believed to be the only one in Britain that does not use steel or lead. The Mandir was inaugurated on 20 August 1995 by Pramukh Swami Maharaj, the spiritual leader of BAPS, the organization behind the temple.

The Mandir serves as a centre of worship. Directly beneath each of the seven pinnacles seen from the outside is a shrine. Each of these seven shrines houses murtis (idols) within golden altars. Each idol is treated like the incarnation of Godhead and therefore each deity is bathed, clothed, fed, and attended to each day by the sadhus (monks) who live in the temple complex.

Beneath the Mandir, there is the permanent exhibition named 'Understanding Hinduism'. Spread over 3000 square feet, the exhibition deals with the origin, beliefs, glory and contribution of Hindu seers and scholars in the fields of mathematics, astronomy, medicine, education and religion. The messages and information are presented through visual effects, paintings, tableaux, traditional art and craft, and 3-D dioramas.

Text extracted from The Shri Swaminarayan Mandir sources.

Hindu Temple at Penang

Photo above: Hindu Temple at Penang, Malaysia

Hindu Temple - Benalmadena

Hindu Temple, Benalmadena, Spain

Hindu Temple, Benalmádena, Costa del Sol, Málaga, Andalusia, South of Spain, Address: Avda. de Gandhi, s/n 29639 Benalmádena (Málaga), Spain.

The temple, located at the Parque de la Paloma (Park of the Dove), has a total area of 1,993 square meters and is single story with five domes. It is a new Hindu temple built probably just before 2006. The deities in the temple are: Laxmi Narayan in the center, Radha and Krishna, Sita, Rama, Laksman and Hanuman, Durga and some others. It is a temple built by ISKCON.

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