London, Aug 19 (IANS) –The new building will be the largest British Sikh shrine after the massive 17 million pound Sri Guru Singh Sabha Gurdwara which opened in Southall in London earlier this year and is the largest Sikh place of worship outside India.
Made of polished white limestone, the domed three-storey building will accommodate up to 1,400 worshippers and will be one of the city’s largest public buildings in central Glasgow.
Parminder Singh Purba, secretary of the Central Gurdwara Singh Sabha, said the money for the shrine had not yet been raised but he was confident it would arrive.
“We are working on it. God will help us. There are around 10,000 Sikhs in Scotland, most of them in Glasgow, and the new gurdwara will be a community centre and educational resource, and of course a place of worship,” he told the Glasgow Herald.
Purba hopes that work will start next April and take about 18 months to complete.
The ornate block’s main prayer hall will hold up to 942 people, with a second prayer hall holding up to 437. The temple’s main and secondary domes will be made of glass-reinforced plastic, a relative of fibreglass, and, in keeping with Sikh architecture, will be segmented rather than circular.
The Glasgow City Council approved the design for the new shrine by Belfast-based architect Paul Monaghan this week.
A report by planners said: “Without doubt, the proposed building would become dominant in the street scene. However, this is a large Sikh temple and it is to be expected that such a building will be dominant.”
Hanzala Malik, convener of the council’s development and regeneration service and chair of the West of Scotland Racial Equality Council, said: “Glasgow is famed for its outstanding religious buildings, such as its ancient cathedral, central mosque, and ‘Greek’ Thomson churches.
“The temple will be a fitting and flamboyant addition to these buildings. The money would be raised by the Sikh community.”
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