Foundation Stone Laid in Leicester for Europe’s Largest Gurdwara
The gurdwara is being built on a 2.8-acre site opposite the Keyham Lane Police Station in Hamilton, Leicester.
The first stones have been laid in Leicester as the foundation step to build Europe’s largest gurdwara. The stone-laying ceremony took place during a three-day event last weekend. The construction of this Sikh temple in the United Kingdom is going to cost £4.2 million.
The celebrations for the laying of the foundation stone took place from Sept.14 to Sept.16, and included community activities such as Akhand path, satsang, children’s activities, and langar (free meals). On Sept.16, the stones were laid in the presence of over 1,000 people, including local dignitaries and devotees.
The gurdwara is being built on a site with 2.8-acre expansion, which is situated opposite the Keyham Lane Police Station in Hamilton, Leicester. The gurdwara is expected to be opened in October 2019 for worshippers.
“It’s been excellent and the weather has held out for us, which was great. We’ve had four big marquees on the site and we’ve had a lot of things going on,” trust member John Matharu said, according to Leicestershire Live.
“Then on Sunday morning we had the first five stones being laid by hand and there were dignitaries who came over from Birmingham to bless them. Over the course of Sunday we had in excess of 1,200 people. We’ve been serving breakfast, lunch and dinner to people for free, which is a basis of the Sikh religion,” Matharu added.
“Eventually it will be the biggest Sikh gurdwara in the whole of Europe,” he said.
The gurdwara is being built by the trustees of the Ramgarhia Board Leicester (RBL). To crowdfund an amount of £10,000 for construction, the Ramgarhia Sikh Gurudwara Leicester-Guru Ramdas Darbar has also called for support on the social media.
The new gurdwara will be a three-floor building, consisting of a large langar hall, a “Diwan” hall, a library, classrooms, an IT suite and a bridal suite, the publication had reported earlier. It will have parking space for 118 cars and cycle racks.
For the last 50 years, the members of the Sikh community have been conducting prayers in a building situated at Meynell Road, Spinney Hills. The growing numbers of devotees and a need for a modern base led to this project of construction of a new gurdwara.