After 30 Years of Planning, Shri Venkateswara Temple Rises in the West Midlands

August 23, 2006

Source: BBC News

On August 23, 2006 BBC News reported, "More than 30 years ago a group of Hindu worshippers had an ambitious plan to build a giant temple in their part of the West Midlands. Now, after decades of searching for a site, a flirtation with bankruptcy and furious opposition from some locals, the founders say their dreams have come true. They have built the Shri Venkateswara (Balaji) Temple, which is the largest Hindu temple in Europe. And during the next five days more than 10,000 devotees are expected there as ceremonies are carried out to sanctify the building. One of the founders, Dr K Somasundara Rajah, said he remembered the idea from the mid-1970s. He said: 'We used to have the use of another temple but then the congregation got bigger and in 1974 some of our group thought we should get our own temple. We said we should build a replica of the Tarupati Temple in South India.' That temple is one of the most sacred sites in the Hindu world and has a distinctive architecture that has been followed in the West Midlands. The group spent more than two decades trying to get funding and finding a suitable site for the replica. Eventually, in 1987, the then Black Country Development Corporation gave them the 13-acre site in Dudley Road East in Tividale, which had formerly been a tip. Crucially the land came with planning permission in place for a temple."