World’s Largest Dome Comes Up at Peace Monument in Pune
The marble dome at the World Peace Prayer Hall at Maharashtra Institute of Technology in Pune is 160 ft in diameter and 263 ft high, and features 54 bronze statues of global political and spiritual leaders.
The world’s largest dome and peace center was inaugurated by Indian Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu on Oct. 2 at the Maharashtra Institute of Technology in Pune to commemorate the birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi.
The marble dome is 160 ft in diameter and 263 ft high, making it larger in area than the St. Peter’s Basilica in Vatican City (which is 136 ft. in diameter and 448 ft. in height). It has been built atop the World Peace Prayer Hall and Library at the 62,500 sq. ft. peace center at the Vishwarajbaug campus of the institute. The peace center is supported by 24 massive columns, each 63 feet tall.
It also features 54 bronze statues of various personalities who called for world peace, including Gautam Buddha, Jesus Christ, Mahavir, Moses, Guru Nanak, Mahatma Gandhi. Also showcased are intellectual figures like Confucius, Adi Shankaracharya, Aristotle, Aryabhatta, Socrates, Plato, Galileo and Copernicus; philosopher-saints like Dnyaneshwara, Tukaram, Abdullah Shah Qadri (famous as Baba Bulleh Shah), Francis D’Assissi, Peter, Mother Teresa and Kabir; and scientists like Albert Einstien, Thomas Alva Edison, C.V. Raman, Jagadish Chandra Bose and Marie S. Curie.
The dome is built together with a prayer hall called Sant Dnyaneshwara World Peace Prayer Hall, which will be dedicated towards establishing unity between spirituality and science.
The dome, which took 13 years to be built, is the brainchild of Dr. Vishwanath Karad, founder-president and director general of the World Peace Center, MIT-Pune and MIT World Peace University.
“The top of the dome here comprises another world first — a temple of Goddess Saraswati, symbolizing knowledge — and embodying the underlying spirit behind this entire monument, which is accessible by a massive stairway,” Karad told IANS.
At its inauguration, Naidu said the structure is a “monumental addition to the thoughts propagated by the great saints of Maharashtra.”
Saying that Indian ethos comprises “mutual respect and peaceful coexistence,” Naidu added: “I pray that this dome, which symbolizes harmony and peace is able to inspire a sense of unity and humanity in every single person who enters its premises.”