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UK: Hindu temple wins Pride of Place Award

March 06, 2008 14:46 IST

The Bochasanwasi Shri Akshar Purushottam Swaminarayan Sanstha Shri Swaminarayan Mandir, the first traditional Hindu temple to be constructed in Europe, has won the Pride of Place Award in a national online poll. The poll was held in December last year.

United Kingdom Communities Minister Parmjit Dhanda presented the award to the magnificent BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir, also known as the Neasden Temple, on Thursday.

Head Priest Sadhu Yogvivek Swami formally welcomed the Minister at the Haveli Foyer and gave him a tour around the Mandir. Dhanda then took part in the temple's abhishek ceremony. .

The building is an extraordinary architectural gem, constructed by skilled craftsmen from 2,000 tons of Italian marble and 3,000 tons of Bulgarian limestone.

This was reflected in the votes as 2,344 local residents chose it as the place that makes them feel most proud of London. The high number of people going online to register their pride also meant it scooped more votes than any other local place across the UK.

"I congratulate the Neasden Temple on winning the national Pride of Place Award and I am honoured to receive an invitation to tour the Mandir and take part in the ancient traditions. I have heard from many people about what a fantastically inspiring building the temple is, so it is not hard to understand why it generates such pride within the local community," said Parmjit Dhanda.

Nine local authorities across London took part in the Pride of Place poll by inviting visitors to click and vote for one of the ten locally nominated top spots on their websites.  In all, 36,800 people went online to vote for their favourite place in this first national council-led poll.