Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Ford to part fund Rs 400 crore Iskcon temple in Bengal

ET: KOLKATA: Alfred Ford, grandson of iconic American industrialist Henry Ford, would partly fund the upcoming Rs 400 croreIskcon temple at Mayapur in West Bengal.

"I have given some seed capital for the huge dream project of Srila Prabhupada, founder of the Iskcon movement, for construction of a temple at the birthplace of Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu," Ford told reporters here today.

He said the project would be ready by 2016 after which there would be an exponential growth in the number of pilgrims and tourists visiting Mayapur.

Presently, the number of visitors to the existing temple at Mayapur is four million, Ford, a disciple of Prabhupada, said.

Once through, the temple would be taller than the Hagia Sophia in Istanbul and the temple's dome diameter and floor space would be bigger than St Paul's Cathedral in London, he added.

Sharmila Bhattacharya Ford, his Bengali wife, said it would be a spectacular sight once the structure, covering an area of 4.25 lakh square feet on 1.5 acres, comes up.

Another disciple, Anand Poddar, said the Queen of England and President of India would be invited to inaugurate the temple, which would be built with pure stainless steel.

Deccan Herald: The International Society of Krishna Consciousness (Iskcon) Monday said the world's largest Vedic temple 'Chandrodaya Mandir', which is under construction at West Bengal's Mayapur, would be inaugurated in 2016.

The 340-foot-high temple, being constructed at a cost of about $75 million or about Rs.37.5 crore at the birthplace of 16th century saint and social reformer Chaitanya Mahaprabhu in Nadia district, will be a centre of Vedic knowledge, culture and science, Iskcon officials said.

Construction work for the temple, dedicated to the worship of Lord   Krishna, started in 2010.

Alfred Brush Ford, scion of US automobile pioneer Henry Ford, who has shouldered the responsibility of financing the first phase of the construction, told reporters here that the Chandrodaya temple would be a world class of attraction, bringing visitors from around the globe.

Ford, who is also the chairman of the temple, said: "This historic project does not belong to any community or an individual but to the entire human race."
ISKON officials said the temple spread across 425,000 square feet will also boast a state of the art 75-feet tall domed planetarium theatre, the largest in India.

"The temple will be built at a total cost of $75 million, in which about $35 million has already been donated by Ford. The construction work will be completed by 2016," an Iskcon official said.

"We will invite the US president along with the Indian president to inaugurate the huge temple," he added.

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