TIRUPATI: The temple town has one more landmark - the Lotus Temple of Radha Govindji, the largest temple of ISKCON (International Society of Krishna Conscience) in the country.
The stage is set for its opening. It is located on Hare-Krishna marg near Alipiri. Several hundred gurujis of ISKCON from more than 50 countries have arrived to attend the mega event.
For the past three days homams and other rituals are being performed at the new temple and the final puja for installing the statues of Radha, Krishna and their Ashta Sakhis will be performed at an auspicious muhurtham on Wednesday.
ISKCON leader Jayapathaka Swamy, Ambarisa Dasa (former Alfred Ford, the great grandson of Henry Ford and others will be in attendance. With over two lakhs devotees expected to turn up for the opening of the temple, ISKCON has made elaborate arrangements.
A huge tent was erected in the ground beside the Lotus Temple with carved arches welcoming everyone to take part in the colourful event.
The grandeur of the three-storeyed temple is arresting. According to Revathi Ramana Das, director of the temple, Rs 25 crore was spent on building the temple, largest ISKCON temple in the country.
The architecture of the imposing structure which seems to be sitting on a petal of lotus is the confluence of North and South Indian temple architecture and is a judicious blend of the traditional and the modern. Every inch of the temple is richly decorated and speaks volumes about the untiring efforts of the artists and artisans from all parts of the country.
The main door is of magnificently carved wood and the shapes and motifs on it are amazing. The first floor has an exhibition hall, dioramas of the Lord's different incarnations and several mythological episodes. The second floor has an auditorium and an audio-visual studio and the temple is located on the third floor.
The main temple, which is a grand hall with sculpted pillars will have Radha Govindji and Ashta Sakhis installed on a raised dais and on the left of it will be the seat of Guruji.
There is also a modern guest house adjacent to the temple for ISKCON members. It will have a restaurant serving Satvik food soon.
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