The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Kanchi centre for Sikkim

Kancheepuram, March 9: In its bid to promote cultural awareness in the country’s border areas, the Kanchi Kamakoti Mutt will throw open its new meditation centre in Sikkim to everyone.

Sri Jayendra Saraswathi, the sankaracharya of the Mutt, will inaugurate the centre tomorrow.

The centre, on the way to the international airport coming up at Nandok in Sikkim, stands amid a cluster of temples in the predominantly Buddhist state.

The Shiva Panchayatana Meditation Centre is located near the Himalayas and has shrines for Shiva, Vishnu, Shakti, Ganesha and Aditya. It is built in the typical Dravidian style of temple architecture, with the meditation hall in the front.

According to Sri Sankara Vijayendra Saraswathi, the junior sankaracharya of the Mutt, people irrespective of their religion, caste or creed would be welcome at the centre.

“This is part of our series of projects to promote cultural awareness among the people in our border areas,” Vijayendra Saraswathi told The Telegraph.

Sikkim Governor V. Rama Rao and chief minister Pawan Chamling will be special guests at the inauguration.

The Rs 50-lakh project has been taken up with donations from philanthropists and well-wishers, under the auspices of the Kanchi Kamakoti Seva Samiti in Sikkim.

The project would help promote the border state’s educational, cultural and religious development as the meditation centre would also double as a community centre, Vijayendra Saraswathi said.

According to the junior sankaracharya, the Kanchi Mutt-promoted temple construction in Northeast states as also the new meditation centre are a way of cooperating with the Buddhists there.

The Mutt’s Purva Tirupati Balaji Mandir has come up in Guwahati, a Ganapathi temple in Shillong, and a Shiva temple in Mizoram’s Aizawl that is being cared for by the local Nepalese community.

“We are trying to promote cultural understanding between the Indian states,” Vijayendra Saraswathi said. The temples, he said, “are also aimed at seeking divine protection for the nation”.

The temples were also a way of promoting domestic tourism. “At Puri in Orissa, we have established a new Mutt and we are planning a temple construction in the Andamans,” he said. A “Yatri Nivas” (tourist resthouse) would be built at Dwarka, Gujarat.

The Kanchi Kamakoti Seva Samiti also plans to set up schools and colleges in Sikkim, besides medical centres.

Jayendra Saraswathi, on a four-day tour of the Northeast from March 8, would also visit Guwahati to oversee expansion of the services of the referral eye hospital there.

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