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Scotland’s largest Gurdwara to open on Sunday
LONDON: Scotland’s largest Gurdwara, designed on the lines of the Golden Temple and built at a cost of about 4 million pounds with contributions from the Sikh community, will open its doors to worshippers in Glasgow on Sunday.
The Glasgow Gurdwara, which has a similar golden dome as the Sikh Holy Shrine in Amritsar, is the result of several years of campaigning and ‘kar seva’ by the local Sikh community.
The Gurdwara at Albert Drive, Pollokshields, is the largest Sikh temple in Scotland, which has a population of about 10,000 Sikhs.
It has been built at a cost of around 4 million pounds to build.
“The construction and opening of this Gurdwara is perhaps the biggest step taken since the initial decision by my forefathers to settle in Scotland,” Glasgow Gurdwara president Surinder Singh told the Scottish ‘Daily Record’ newspaper.
“This will provide Sikhs with a special and sacred place that allows us to practice our faith, come together and learn. The new facility will give us a huge amount of opportunity to share with the wider community the beauty of our faith,” Singh said.
“It’s with great pleasure and pride that we are about to open and we welcome everyone to pay a visit,” he said.
The Gurdwara comprises of a large prayer hall, education centre and food hall, which will provide free ‘langar’ or vegetarian food to thousands every week.
It will be open to all faiths and local Sikh leaders hope it will help break down barriers in the increasingly multi-cultural city of Glasgow.
“I’ve put all my own work to one side to concentrate on getting everything ready for the grand opening. That’s how much it means to us. We are willing to miss out on working and making money to help,” said builder Hardeep Singh Deerhe, who has been helping to put the finishing touches to the building.
The grand opening will start with a procession of thousands of Sikhs and a decorated float from the old temple on Nithsdale Road to the new one.
Festivities in the new Gurdwara will include fireworks, free Indian food and celebrations in the new community space, attended by local politicians and community leaders.