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$14 mn temple to be built in Trinidad and Tobago

Port-of-Spain, July 9:

An Indian born seer has announced the construction of a $14 million temple at Trinidad and Tobago's Freeport city.

The construction work will commence on Divali, which will be celebrated Nov 5.

"The Laksmi Narayan Mandir will reflect the ancient Vedic tradition dating back to between 5,000 and 10,000 years. It will be patterned along the Vashti Shastri tradition reminiscient of the spirituality, moral and ethical values of that period," said Jyoti Shacharya Sri Sri Gajendra Kumar.

Kumar said that the temple will serve as a link between India and Trinidad and Tobago as "India is in all of us regardless of time and space".

"And to represent this force, there will be two specially-carved domes, testimonials of the rich and cultural and religious partnerhips and linkages between our two countries.

"While the temple will be named the Lakshmi Narayan..., there will be murtis (idols) or images of Lord Hanuman, Lord Rama, Lord Krishna, Lord Ganesh, and goddesses Saraswati, Parvati, Radha, Durga, among several others."

The seer has come from a lineage of Hindu religious leaders spanning over 200 years in India. His father, Jyoti Shacharya Sri Sri Chandrashekar Harayan Kumar, was a noted Hindu thinker in India's Madhya Pradesh state.

He was born in Uttar Pradesh state. Some 145,000 Indians came from Uttar Pradesh and Bihar between 1845 and 1917 to work on the sugar and cocoa plantations in the country.