The largest Hindu temple in Europe has opened in the West Midlands with priests performing a number of rituals to sanctify the £6.5m Shri Venkateswara (Balaji) Temple of the UK in Tividale. The temple’s design is based on one of the holiest sites in the Hindu world, the Tirupati-Tirumala Temple in India.
Scores of sculptors and artisans from India have worked on the intricate carvings that cover the walls, ceilings, pillars and roof of the temple. Priests have also flown in from the sub-continent to perform ancient rituals in Sanskrit to call on the gods to enter the temple.
The culmination of the event will be the installation of a 12ft deity of Krishna. The temple is built on the site of a former tip and has been funded by donations from devotees and with a grant from Millennium Commission.