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A Hindu Temple for Canberra application pending since 2014

Melbourne, July 13: Hindus worldwide are urging Australian Capital Territory (ACT) Chief Minister Andrew Barr and ACT Land Development Agency (LDA) CEO David Dawes to expedite sale of suitable land for Canberra Hindu Mandir (CHM) to meet the needs of Canberra Hindus.

According to reports, application for land sale for this temple was submitted to LDA in May 2014 and repeated representations had been made since then.

“How much more time does ACT need for finding a suitable site for this temple complex”? Rajan Zed asked and added that the delay was not fair to the hard working Hindu community which had made lot of contributions to the nation and society in Australia.

The site identified for the Temple is situated in Gungahlin in Canberra, which now boasts of Hindus being the fourth largest community.

The number of Hindu practitioners in Gungahlin area has significantly increased with new migrants and first home buyers.

According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, the responses provided for the year 2011 shows that Hinduism is the fourth largest segment in ACT, with Gungahlin having the highest density of Hindu Population.

“We are united in our needs, choices and decisions regarding the size of the land for Gungahlin Temple”, a spokesperson for the proposed Temple said.

Marble and granite murtis of Hindu deities have already been acquired for installation in this proposed site, claimed to be Australia’s biggest when completed, which will include three shrines, a hall and community centre, catering to about 15,000 Canberra Hindus.

It is understood that this temple will be built according to ancient Agama Shastra guidelines in phases over a period of 5 to 6 years once the land is granted. Various murtis of Hindu deities to be installed include Ganesha, Shiva, Durga, Subramanyam, Venketeshwara, Lakshmi, Rama-Sita-Lakshmana, Hanuman, Krishna, etc.

Seeking for signatures for a petition for the land, a spokesperson said that “Now we need the land to realise our dreams… as residents of Gungahlin and surrounding area we (require) 2 hectares of land that will cater for our current as well as future generational needs”.

“This temple will complement the services of the existing temples in Canberra”, he said. The site is supposedly away from residential areas and is expected to cause no inconvenience with large congregation during community events.

Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, in a statement in Nevada today, said that it was highly important to meet the religious and spiritual requirements of fast growing Hindu community in various regions of ACT, who needed an appropriate place for worship, rituals, quiet reflection, festivals, ceremonies, weddings, classes, performances and spiritual exercise.

He urged ACT Government to urgently respond by offering the reportedly requested land parcel of two hectares in Gungahlin-Hall region of ACT.

The CHM group with Krishna Nadimpalli, President and Anitha Kandukuri, Secretary intends to foster inter-religious harmony and engage in charitable and welfare activities from the future Temple premises.

CHM currently organizes monthly bhajans at hired Birralee Scout Hall in Gungahlin, besides weekend bhajans at the homes of devotees.

The CHM is also progressively building an Internet library on Hinduism and has an online “Mandir Shop” with proceeds going to CHM funds for the Temple.

Ramakrishna VenuGopal

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