woensdag 23 februari 2011

Largest Indian temple complex in Europe

Largest Indian temple complex in Europe

Published: 18 February 2011 Modified: 21 February 2011


The largest Indian temple complex in Europe, with three temples, apartments and commercial space, will be built behind the Hollands Spoor train station.

After years of meeting in cold gym rooms and small houses, The Hague's estimated 40,000 Indians can finally look forward to getting mandirs (temples) of their own. Three Indian religious movements will be building three temples on a 4,400 square metre site designated by the Municipality of The Hague between the Waldorpstraat and the 1e Van der Kunstraat in the Laakhaven West neighbourhood of The Hague.

According to the project developer, Mahler Vastgoed Ontwikkeling (MVO), this is a unique project in the world not only because three different Indian religious movements – Arya Samaj, International Society for Krishna Consciousness and Sikh – will soon get places of worship next to each other, but also because they worked together intensively to get this project off the ground.

Out of all the plans submitted, The Hague Municipal Executive decided in favour of the proposal by MVO in cooperation with Arya Samaj Nederland (ASAN), Sri Krishna Dhaam (SKD) and Siri Guru Singh Sbha (SGSS). On the ground floor there will be one large room which all three groups can share. The space can be partitioned off with sliding walls. The first floor will have separate prayer spaces for each of the three groups, accommodating 400 to 600 people.

The plans also call for building 90 apartments in two high-rise towers on either side of the temples and there will be commercial space available. There would be space for yoga and meditation. Construction is slated to begin in 2013 and the complex should be ready by 2014.

According to Deputy Mayor Marnix Norder (Urban Development, Public Housing and Integration), 'This will become the largest Indian temple complex in Continental Europe and a real icon for the city of The Hague.' 

Some 1% of people living in the Netherlands are Indians (originating mainly from Suriname, India and Sri Lanka). Roughly 10% of The Hague's population is Indian, representing the city's largest immigrant group.

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