Shri Venkateswara (Balaji) Temple of UK in Tividale village (England), claimed to be the “largest Hindu temple of its kind in Europe”, is planning to expand.
In an application to Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council, Temple has submitted plans for erecting a Chariot House to store a chariot (usually pulled by few dozen devotees during processions) and constructing a processional route for rath-yatra (chariot festival), which is pending consideration.
According to reports, land for this Balaji Temple, spread in about 30 acre plot, was acquired in 1995. It claims to attract devotees/visitors from all over United Kingdom and is open 365 days a year. Various shrines in the temple are dedicated to Ganesh, Murugan, Venkateswara, Padmavathi, Hanuman, Shiva, Navagraha, Ayyapan and Shirdi Sai Baba.
Meanwhile, distinguished Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, in a statement in Nevada (USA) today, commended Temple leaders and area community for their efforts in Temple expansion.
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 the Temple would help 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.
Seven hills at this Temple site are meant to show respect to seven major world religions, thus promoting peace and harmony; besides reflecting the seven peaks of Tirupati Temple in India, after which it is modeled. It also participates in various interfaith activities, reports suggest.
Balaji School for Culture & Education run by the Temple provides spiritual and cultural foundation for young children and arranges classes regarding Vedas, culture, music and Hindi. Temple also organizes summer and winter youth camps, holds numerous poojas and celebrates various festivals. Besides sanctuary for worship, it also maintains a large Community Hall. Dr. Venkataramana Rao is a Temple Trustee.
This Temple also helps one “find a suitable marriage partner” and “free of charge” through its Matrimonial Service.
Tividale village was created in 1878.