On the 30th August 2010, the 18 year wait came to an end as the Shree Krishna Mandir in West Bromwich opened its doors to the public. This day will always be remembered not only as a momentous day but also a historic day.

The 30th August was the final day of the 9-day opening ceremony of the Mandir. Right from the first day of the ceremony, there was an air of excitement among the West Bromwich community and who could blame them.

As the years ticked by, the Hindu community in West Bromwich had been promised for years that the Mandir would open in one year and then the next and then the following year etc. You probably get the gist of it.

But the long wait for the Mandir opening finally ended this month.

Seeing Labour MP David Miliband open the Mandir was an emotional moment for many people. The weather on the day was fantastic so we could not have asked for a better day.

The Mandir which is the first Panchayatan Mandir in the UK has certainly lived up to its expectations in my opinion and the 18 year wait was well worth it. ‘Panchayatan’ is the worship of the five main gods; Lord Vishnu, Lord Shiva, Shree Shakti, Lord Ganapati and Lord Surya Narayan.

The 8th December 1992 was a tragic day for the local community as the ‘old Mandir’ was destroyed in a fire. The blaze destroyed the fabric of the building which left the structure unsafe. Incredibly the deities of Shree Shree Radha and Krishna survived unharmed.

I was only three at the time but when I heard about this I was really upset as I’m sure most of the community were. I vaguely remember that night after watching the local news and my parents telling me about what had happened.

Seeing the deities of Shree Shree Radha and Krishna in the new Mandir almost left a tear in my eye. They are where they belong and most importantly they are home.

The new ‘Panchayatan’ Mandir reminded me of Akshardam. The architecture in the temple at Akshardam was unbelievable and the same can be said about the Mandir in West Bromwich.

From the architecture to the Murti’s (Statues) to the stones, everything about the new Mandir is phenomenal. When you were in there, it was as if you were in peace and I just felt back at home.

Seeing everyone within my local community made me proud to be part of a hard-working, spirited and determined community.

The amount of work that went into building our new Mandir was fantastic. Everyone who has been involved deserves a lot of praise for giving us a Mandir that is second to none.

From early mornings to late nights, the last couple of weeks have been hectic for many. But with hard work comes rewards and those who have worked tirelessly deserve a lot of credit for what they have done.

Six words to describe the new Shree Krishna Mandir, West Bromwich.

Magnificent

Astonishing

Novelty

Delightful

Ingenious

Refreshing

Being part of the ceremony and helping out in getting the new Mandir ready for its grand opening was a total privilege. Even though the final day of the nine day ceremony was a long one, it was worth it!

The 30th August 2010 brought the local community together and this day will always go down in history as the day the new Mandir opened. It will be a day that will be remembered by many as a historic one.

It will also be remembered as the day that the 18 year wait ended and that everyone involved with the new building can be rightly proud of their efforts.

Jai Shree Krishna!

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