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Last Updated: Wednesday, 23 August 2006, 14:53 GMT 15:53 UK
'The temple enriches our culture'
A Hindu temple which is the biggest in Europe is being officially opened during a five-day religious festival in the West Midlands. BBC News' Caroline Gall went to find out what it will mean to British Hindus.

Dr Nookaraju and his wife Jayakumar
Dr Nookaraju and his wife Jayakumar travel to the temple
Dr Nookaraju and his wife Jayakumar regularly travel nearly 90 miles to visit and pray at the 6.5m temple in the Black Country.

The couple, from Gwent, south Wales, said they admire the hard work from the volunteers and hope the unity between the local council and the community will last.

"It's just marvellous and thanks must go to the people who have donated money and the all the work the volunteers have done.

"The devotees have been very generous and it is a beautiful temple.

"We came here when it first opened in 1999 and we usually visit here once a month, it is worth the journey.

Kal Murali, his wife Latha and two children Ashwin and Aron
Kal and Latha Murali hope many people will visit the temple

"Everyone has worked together to make this happen and it is good for the community and links have been built up and I hope they last."

Kal Murali, his wife Latha and two children Ashwin and Aron are from Birmingham and hope that people of all faiths will be compelled to visit the largest temple in Europe.

"There is still work to be done but it is great to have this place, it enriches our culture.

"There will be tributes to other religions like Christianity and Buddhism so everyone can come here and take something from it.

Acharya Icanlyana Sundram
Acharya Icanlyana Sundram says he is proud to work at the temple

"Hinduism is open to everyone, all are welcome and we are proud of that.

"There is a positive and friendly atmosphere here."

Priest Acharya Icanlyana Sundram is from south India but has moved to the UK to help set up the temple.

"The UK is the capital of the Commonwealth and we are very proud to be here - it is good to be able to establish the (Hindu) religion here.

"I feel there are no divisions and people are polite and admire religion and are happy.

"I wear traditional dress and we pray for wealth, health and wisdom. I feel comfortable and am happy to see people."




SEE ALSO
Opening for biggest Hindu temple
23 Aug 06 |  West Midlands
In pictures: Tividale's temple
23 Aug 06 |  In Pictures
Temple rose from small beginnings
23 Aug 06 |  West Midlands

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