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Neasden Temple: BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir, Neasden

BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir, Neasden

This temple is part of the Bochasanwasi Shri Akshar Purushottam Swaminarayan Sanstha (BAPS) organization and is Europe’s (and by extension Britain’s) first traditional Hindu stone temple (rather than a converted secular buildings). This is the biggest Hindu Temple outside India and consists of 2,828 tonnes of Bulgarian limestone and 2,000 tonnes of Italian marble (which was first shipped to India to be carved by a team of 1,526 sculptors). The entire project took 5 years, construction began in 1992 with the concrete base being poured, the first stone laid in 1993 and construction ended in 1995. The carved stone was shipped to Gujarat, and over 26,300 individually numbered stones pieces which shipped back to London, with the temple assembled like a jigsaw. 17,000 square feet (1,600 m2) of wood was carved; sustainable Burmese Teak, 226 English Oak trees used. All told, the temple cost £12 million to build funded entirely by the Hindu community There are no photos of the interior as this is a living temple and cameras were not allowed. Taken during Open House London 2011

Credit: failing_angel / Flickr