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US' most expensive gurudwara opens
August 31, 2004 18:12 IST
It was a dream come true for many. Naturally, emotions spilled into the open as an imposing Sikh gurudwara, said to be the most expensive in the United States, was opened in San Jose amid chants from the Guru Granth Sahib.
The gurudwara, spread across an area of 40 acres and costing around $10million, was opened on Sunday and thousands of devotees in festive mood gathered for the day-long event, transforming the city into a riot of colours.
Scores of devotees and some 7,000 guests converged to witness the opening of the Sikh temple, a culmination of many years of dedicated effort, which began in the early 1990s, a media report said.
"This is bringing back memories for me, when the whole street shuts down, just like in India," Amrit Singh Sachdev, a computer engineer said, was quoted as saying by the San Jose-based Mercury News.
Plans for building the gurudwara had sparked controversy as neighbours and residents of the town feared there would be traffic and noise problems and criticised the magnitude of the project, which was scaled back to meet some of their concerns.
But none of the past acrimony was witnessed on Sunday as the event passed off swiftly with more than 200 volunteers controlling the crowd and ensuring smooth parking.Annual donations to the San Jose gurudwara total about $1 million and in the next four to five years, the community hopes to raise another $10 million to build a 74,000 square feet prayer hall, a Sunday school and a museum.
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