Bhubaneswar/Bath (UK): The dream for a Jagannath Temple to be built in the United Kingdom is all set to come true.
The upcoming temple, named ‘Shree Jagannatha Temple UK’, would be the first and one of its kind in entire Europe, informed Susmita Rajhansha, a founder member of Bath Hindu Community and Shree Jagannatha Temple UK. She is also the organising secretary of Odisha Society, United Kingdom.
“Besides the Odia community here, various other communities are a part of this project. It is a cross-cultural project. We are also in touch with the Jagannath Temple unit in the US,” said Susmita.
She further informed that they have enlisted a few suitable sites. About 10-12 acre of land within commutable distance from London is being scouted for the purpose. She clarified, “It is often misunderstood by people that Iskcon Temple in London is Jagannath Temple. But in reality, there isn’t a Jagannath Temple in the entire United Kingdom.”
Susmita, who hails from Bhubaneswar, also added, “People across the globe have been supporting this project. We (the Sevaks) belong to different communities originating from India, however, here in the UK, we are followers of the Jagannath culture. The vision to build this temple would be to pass the rich culture and heritage of our roots in India to our future generations here. This temple would serve as a hub for enhancing spiritual, cultural, social and physical growth based on the Sanatan Dharma principles of duty towards our family and society.”
The community also virtually celebrated ‘Shree Krishna Utsav’ to mark Janmashthami on August 9 and it was joined by many eminent personalities from across the globe, including Puri Shankaracharya Swami Nischalananda Saraswati of Govardhan Mutt. “We were blessed by the Shankaracharya on this pious occasion and he extended his advice and guidance for establishing the temple in the UK,” said Susmita.
The Bath Hindu Community has also been organising Rath Yatra celebrations in the city for over a decade. However, with the onslaught of the pandemic this year, they celebrated the ‘Global Virtual Netra Utsav’ on June 20 to mark Rath Yatra 2020 in the city. The event was also a COVID-19 fundraising event and was joined by devotees of Lord Jagannath from over 30 countries, who extended their support for establishing ‘Shree Jagannatha Temple UK’, including Governor of Odisha Ganeshi Lal, Union Minister and Balasore MP Pratap Sarangi, Gajapati Maharaja Dibyasingha Deb and founder of Global Jagannath Fraternity, UAE, Dr Chandrasekhar Khuntia.