The Hindu Shankarar Sri Kamadchi Ampal Temple in Hamm (North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany) has completed 13 years.
Claimed to be the “largest Dravida Hindu Temple built in mainland Europe”, it was inaugurated on July seven, 2002.
During its annual festival and chariot procession, attended by estimated 25,000 devotees from around the world, its presiding deity “Sri Kamadchi Ampal” “blesses the city of Hamm and its residents”. There are estimated over 5,000 Hindus in North Rhine-Westphalia.
This Temple, with 17-meters high gopuram, claims to have followed the style of Kamakshi Temple in Kanchipuram, India. Various sculptors, masons and builders were brought from India for its construction, which reportedly cost about two million Euros. Besides the granite statue of the presiding deity, it also displays over 200 figures of Hindu deities, reports suggest.
It has undertaken a project to add an adjacent Hindu Cultural Heritage Center; which is planned to include an auditorium, state-of-the-art library, museum, classrooms for various cultural-fine arts-music-language-etc. courses like yoga, Tamil, Sanskrit, Hinduism, Carnatic music, Bharathanatyam, percussion instruments, Hindu arts and handicrafts and vegetarian cooking. The plot of land for this Center has reportedly been acquired.
Meanwhile, Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, in a statement in Nevada (USA) today, commended efforts of Temple leaders and area community for their reported efforts towards enlightening the interested about Hinduism and its message of peace, love and harmony.
Rajan Zed, who is President of Universal Society of Hinduism, further said that it was important to pass on Hindu spirituality, concepts and traditions to coming generations amidst so many distractions in the consumerist society and hoped that this Temple would focus in this direction. Zed stressed that instead of running after materialism; we should focus on inner search and realization of Self and work towards achieving moksh (liberation), which was the goal of Hinduism.
This Temple opens 365 days a year and conducts three daily poojas; besides organizing various festivals throughout the year like Thaipongal, Thaipoosam, Maha Shivarathri, Krishna Jeyanthy, Navarathri , Dheepavali, etc. It also participates in various charitable-social-relief projects and organizes various cultural programs.
All are welcome to visit this Temple but no shoes, no alcohol, no smoking, no meat-fish-eggs and no pets allowed in the Temple premises.
Hinduism, oldest and third largest religion of the world, has about one billion adherents.