The Hindu: Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu would lay foundation stone for the first Golden Temple in the State by the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON) on Vijayadasami Day (October 22).
Preliminary works like construction of sheds and rearing of cows at the Cow Protection Centre (Gosala) began a few months ago at Lord Krishna’s temple close to Kondaveedu Fort of Guntur district with a budget of Rs. 200 crore in 80 acres of land given by the State Endowments Department.
A rare deity of young Krishna, locally called as Venna Mudda Gopaludu (butter Krishna deity), was found during the excavations at the Kondaveedu fort belonging to the 13th century during 1998 it inspired ISKCON to construct a golden butter Krishna temple at Kondaveedu.
It was sculpted during the period of Sri Krishnadevaraya and this golden temple is going to revive the religious cultural heritage of Kondaveedu.
The top of the temple and sanctum sanctorum would be gold-coated with 24 carrot gold and Rs.100 crores will be spent exclusively on temple complex and rest of the Rs.100 crores on other structures.
“We have appealed to the State government to allot 150 acres near Kondaveedu Fort, but there was a single piece of land of 80 acres without any legal complications, where the ISKCON started works,” said Saint Satya Gopinath Das, Project Director of Kondaveedu Golden Temple Project and president of ISKCON, South India.
The surroundings of the temple will host pavilions for different attractions from Mahabharata and Ramayana. The temple complex will also house an international school, a medical centre, a religious theme park, a museum with the history of Kondaveedu, a Vedic school and a cow protection centre.
Major tourist attraction
“This is expected to be a major tourist attraction near the proposed new capital,” said Saint Gopinath Das. He further added that Amritsar, Punjab, is famous for Golden Temple and later Sripuram Golden Temple of goddess Lakshmi was constructed in Vellore. Andhra Pradesh and Telangana did not have golden temples till now though they boast of rich culture and tradition.
He said that the project would be completed in three phases and ISKCON planned to promote spiritual heritage, hence started Iskcon-Kondaveedu Spiritual Heritage Revival Project (IKSHR).
It will create a comprehensive spiritual tourist attraction zone in 80 acres of land, he added.
ISKCON is planning to construct the temple near Kondaveedu Fort in Guntur district