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Last Updated: Thursday, 6 March 2008, 15:33 GMT
Temple wins national pride poll
Shree Swaminarayan Temple in Neasden
Carved pieces sent from India were assembled in London
A Hindu temple has been named the landmark of which residents are most proud, in a national poll.

More than 2,300 residents voted for the BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir in Neasden, north London, to win the inaugural Pride of Place award.

It is one of the biggest traditional Hindu temples to be built in Europe.

Firepower Museum in Greenwich and Barking Abbey in Barking also made it to the national top 10 list. More than 36,800 people cast their vote online.

Nine councils from London participated in the poll.

BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir - Brent
Central Park - Peterborough
Bourton on the Water - Gloucestershire
Wayland Wood - Breckland District Council, Norfolk
Firepower Museum - Greenwich
Barking Abbey - Barking & Dagenham
Barley Mow - Warrington
Linton Zoo - South Cambridgeshire
Franklin's Gardens - Northampton
Manchester United Football Club - Trafford Metropolitan Borough

Communities Minister Parmjit Dhanda will present the award to the temple authorities on Thursday.

Mr Dhanda said: "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."

More than 1,500 craftsmen in India carved the 2,820 tonnes of Bulgarian limestone and 2,000 tonnes of Italian Carrara marble used in its construction.

The 26,300 carved pieces were then transported to London where they were assembled over a three-year period.

The temple opened in 1995 and has attracted millions of visitors.

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