Angkor Vat replica to come up in Bihar

March 29th, 2012 - 4:37 pm ICT by IANS  

Patna, March 29 (IANS) A bigger version of the famous 12th century Angkor Vat temple in Cambodia is set to come up in Bihar’s Vaishali district. And with some help from corporate houses and rich Indians abroad, it aims to be the world’s largest Hindu temple.

The proposed temple will be named “Virat Angkor Wat Ram Mandir”. It will house the idols of Radha-Krishna, Shiva-Parvati, Ganesh, Surya, Vishnu and the Dashavataram, the 10 incarnations of Vishnu.

It will take up to five years to build and another five years will go into the finishing touches.

Acharya Kishore Kunal, a retired police officer and the man behind the mega project, said it was initially decided that the temple would be built with public donations.

“But now our plan has changed with likely financial help from business houses and rich men.”

Piyush Sompura, an Ahmedabad-based temple architect, has been roped in to design it.

“We have decided to approach big names in the corporate sector in India and known businessmen of Indian origin settled abroad for financial assistance to build the world’s largest Hindu temple,” Sompura told IANS.

“All big corporate houses and Indian origin businessmen abroad will be happy to be associated with this project,” predicted Sompura, who has a personal rapport with many corporate houses in India and Indian origin businessmen in South Africa, the US, Britain, France, Germany and Russia.

Sompura said it was a matter of pride for him to be associated with this project.

“I will not only assist in the architectural design, I will also work to garner financial assistance from across the country and abroad,” said Sompura, who belongs to the famous Sompura house, known as experts on temple architecture for centuries.

Sompura said he will go for quality material from across the world for the temple.

“This project is meant for centuries to come, generations will feel proud of it. So there will be no compromise on quality,” he said.

Early this month, the ‘bhumi-pujan’ or foundation laying ceremony of the temple was conducted.

To be built at a cost of Rs.100 crore, it would be a recreation of the iconic Angkor Wat temple complex in Cambodia.

“It will follow the architectural design of the Angkor Wat temples but it will not be the exact replica because our measurements vary from theirs,” Kunal said.

The five-storey, 360-ft long, 360-feet wide, 270-ft tall temple will be one of the tallest structures in the world, he said.

“Land worth Rs.30 crore has been acquired,” said Kunal, secretary of the cash-rich Mahavir Mandir Trust, which is building the temple.

Kunal said Sompura would visit the Angkor Wat temple complex in Cambodia in a fortnight before finalising the plan.

On the site for the shrine, Kunal said the place had mythological significance as it was said that Ram, Lakshman and Vishvamitra once set foot there and were welcomed by King Sumati of the Vaishali kingdom.

The Angkor Wat temple was built in Cambodia in the 12th century during the rule of the Cambodian king Suryavarman (1141-1152 AD). It is a listed Unesco-world heritage site.

(Imran Khan can be contacted at imran.k@ians.in)

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