The Telegraph
Tuesday , March 6 , 2012
Since 1st March, 1999
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Help call from Gujarat for temple project

Patna, March 5: Help has started pouring in for the success of the Mahavir Mandir Trust’s project to construct a shrine identical to the Angkor Wat temple of Cambodia. A day after its announcement, Piyush Sompura of the Sompura community of Gujarat, who specialises in temple architecture, has offered his services for the project.

“I got a call from Sompura today and was pleasantly surprised by his offer,” Mahavir Mandir Trust secretary Archarya Kishore Kunal told The Telegraph today.

He added that Sompura had also offered to stay in Patna during the construction of the temple so that he could supervise the project directly.

Asked why he had offered to help, Sompura told The Telegraph over phone from Ahmedabad: “It would be a great honour for me to be a part of this project, as it entails the construction of a shrine identical to the Angkor Wat temple of Cambodia, the largest in the world.”

He said he was planning to visit Bihar in the third week of March so that he could have a detailed discussion with Kunal about the project.

The original Angkor Wat is located at Angkor, Cambodia. It was built in the early 12th century during the reign of king Suryavarman.

Kunal, who performed bhumi puja (land worship) of the temple today at a village near Hajipur, said there would soon be a website to disseminate information about the temple project.

Kunal had earlier planned to construct just the main temple owing to lack of space. But now he has decided to add four more enclosures in the temple complex, like the original.

“We would not have been able to build the enclosures on the 15-acre plot. But now, villagers have agreed to provide land adjacent to the existing plot. This would allow us to construct an identical complex,” Kunal said.

Villagers who have offered to give up their land would be provided plots of similar dimension in the vicinity of the project.

Christened “Virat Angkor Wat Ram Mandir”, the proposed temple would come up near Ismailpur village, 6km east of Hajipur, at an estimated cost of Rs 100 crore.

The place where this temple would come up has been named “Angkor Nagar”.