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This article was first published 16 years ago  » News » Hindu temple wins UK Pride of Place online poll

Hindu temple wins UK Pride of Place online poll

By H S Rao in London
December 05, 2007 10:12 IST
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The Bochsanawasi Aksar Purushottam Shri Swaminarayan Mandir in Neasden area London, which attracts visitors from all over the world, has won the 'UK Pride of Place' award in an online poll, the results of which were declared on Wednesday.

The temple, the first traditional Hindu mandir constructed in Europe, not only took the most votes in London, but came out on top in the national poll, with 2,344 people going online to register their pride.

The Pride of Place poll is part of the British government's 'Connect to your Council' campaign, which aims to encourage citizens to access their local authority services online -- anytime, anywhere.

In the London vote, Firepower -- the visitor attraction at the Royal Artillery Museum in Greenwich -- and the Horniman Museum at Forest Hill in Lewisham, came second and third respectively after the temple in Neasden in the borough of Brent.

A spokesman for the Board of Trustees of the mandir said: "We are delighted that the BAPS mandir has won the UK Pride ofPlace Award."

Nine local authorities across London took part in the Pride of Place poll by inviting visitors to click and vote for one of 10 locally nominated top spots on their Web sites.

In all, 36,800 people went online to vote for their favourite place in this first national council-led poll.

The Neasden temple is considered an architectural gem, constructed by skilled Indian craftsmen from 2,000 tonnes of Italian marble and 3,000 tonnes of Bulgarian limestone.

"When his Holiness Pramukh Swami Maharaj, the spiritual leader who inspired the mandir, consecrated it in August 1995, he envisaged it as not only a place of worship for Hindus, but as a place of learning, spirituality and peace for all people. This award is a tribute to all the residents of this wonderful borough," the temple spokesman said.

Paul Lorber, leader of Brent Council, said: "The Swaminarayan temple is an amazing Brent landmark that fully deserves the recognition of topping the Pride of Place poll. It has been described as the 'eighth wonder of the world' and attracts visitors from all over the world.

It is a building that the whole borough can rightly be proud of. In addition to the magnificent building, visitors to the temple also receive a warm welcome from the hundreds of volunteers who devote their time to make the temple a success."

Big guns are the main draw at Firepower -- which came second -- where visitors can experience life in the battlefield, play with interactive exhibits and learn about the science and history of artillery.

Forest Hill, which polled third, is home to the Horniman Museum, where one can discover the cultural and the natural world. Music performances, art, cultural artifacts from across the globe, an aquarium, events and education are all free.

Outside, the award-winning Horniman Gardens provides a green oasis with panoramic city views.

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H S Rao in London
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