Priests bless Hindu temple in Berlin

4th November 2007, Comments 0 comments

4 November 2007, Berlin (dpa) - Two Hindu priests in colourful robes led rituals Sunday to prepare the ground for a Hindu temple in Berlin, set to be the second largest in Europe when it is completed in 2009. The sacrifices at a ritual hearth were to ensure there was no evil influence at the site, in the corner of a city park. About 100 faithful attended the ceremony, which follows years of fund-raising for the project. Avnish Kumar Lugani, chairman of the Sri Ganesha Hindu Temple Committee, helped turn th

4 November 2007

Berlin (dpa) - Two Hindu priests in colourful robes led rituals Sunday to prepare the ground for a Hindu temple in Berlin, set to be the second largest in Europe when it is completed in 2009.

The sacrifices at a ritual hearth were to ensure there was no evil influence at the site, in the corner of a city park. About 100 faithful attended the ceremony, which follows years of fund-raising for the project.

Avnish Kumar Lugani, chairman of the Sri Ganesha Hindu Temple Committee, helped turn the first sod and said the temple would be a sacred place where smoking, alcohol, drugs and meat-eating would be strictly prohibited.

The land was provided rent-free till 2080 by the local authority and Heinz Buschkowsky, mayor of the city district, said in his speech that the temple would underline the cultural diversity of the area.

The site, in a corner of the 84-hectare Hasenheide park, is located in Neukoelln, a working-class suburb with a large immigrant population and widespread unemployment. Public officials hope it will help reduce racial tension.

The Sri Ganesha Hindu Temple, with space for 300 worshippers, will only be outclassed in Europe by the Shri Venkateswara which opened near Birmingham, England in August last year.

There is only one other Hindu temple in Germany currently.

The temple committee was the driving force behind efforts to provide a suitable place of worship for Berlin's 6,000 Hindus. The site will be dedicated to the elephant-headed deity Ganesha.

The commanding feature of the new temple will be a 17-metre tower at the entrance decorated with sculptures and other ornament. Indian stonemasons are to carve it.

The Berlin building, costing 850,000 euros (1.12 million dollars), will be financed almost exclusively by donations, according to the temple trustees.

In addition to daily prayers and religious services, the temple will also be used for weddings and birthday celebrations. Yoga and meditation courses will also be offered.

DPA

Subject: German news

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