Hare Krishna monks have finally moved into their new home after an explosion that destroyed their former temple six years ago.
Thirty people escaped just before the Iskcon Temple in Leicester exploded on 3 September 2010.
A Leicester family donated a former bank in Granby Street to Iskcon, and renovation work to the Grade II building has now been completed.
The monks are taking residency on the upper floors.
The space also includes a meditation area, kitchen, classrooms and offices.
Temple president Pradyumna Dasa said: “We’re very happy to have reached this milestone in the special year of Iskcon’s 50th anniversary.”Since the gas blast in 2010, this journey has been a miracle to a dream.
“We are indebted to everyone who has supported the development of this project.”
The explosion was caused by a leaking gas cylinder that had been used for cooking.Firefighter Bill Smith said it was “a miracle” no-one was killed.
Man ‘no doubt saved lives’
“The person who disconnected the cylinder realised the danger of the gas leaking. He ran out and got everybody to run over to the other side of the road,” the fire fighter said at the time.
“Within 30 seconds there was a large explosion. He has no doubt saved the lives of many people with his actions.”
The Iskcon community has met at various community centres and halls around the city since the explosion.
The new building on Granby Street was acquired in 2014, and the community has been meeting in the main hall there but without heating or kitchen facilities.