Sandwell, England: Ambitious proposals for the 21-acre Balaji Temple complex in Tividale have been submitted to Sandwell Council.
These set out a scheme to construct a 15-meter tall building, which would house a festival chariot, and build a processional route around the site in Dudley Road East.
The temple has already grown in the past 15 years to become ‘the largest Hindu temple of its kind in Europe’, according to the planning application.
Temple trustee Dr Venkataramana Rao said the scheme would ensure the temple was better equipped to host some of the key Hindu festivals.
Dr Rao told the Express & Star: “The new building will help with the festivals.
“At the moment we can’t keep the chariot anywhere outside because it’s made of wood – that’s why we need to build this new building.
“It’s part and parcel of the Hindu community.
“All the temples in India and also those in London have chariots and places to keep them.
“It is an important part of the worship of Hindu gods, that’s why we have a chariot and need this new building.
“At the moment the route around the temple won’t hold the weight of the chariot.
“We need to make changes to the processional route.
“The chariots are normally pulled by 20 or 30 devotees at one time, so the route needs to be covered in Tarmac.”
Dr Rao said the chariots are created for every festival in the Hindu calendar and at present the temple lacks a place to store them.
(The report was first published at Express and Star)