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Tuesday February 10, 2009

Biggest Sivan temple up north

THE latest attraction at the religious enclave in Bayan Baru, Penang, is the RM3mil Sri Visalatchi Sri Vishwanather Temple (Sivan Temple), believed to be the biggest Sivan temple in the northern region.

The cream and white coloured temple, located on a 0.4ha land next to the Charismatic Church of Penang and the Than Hsiang Buddhist Temple, saw its consecration ceremony on Feb 1.

The main temple building was completed after a lapse of eight years due to lack of funds. With the temple’s completion, the enclave, which is a smaller version of the Seberang Jaya religious enclave that boasts eight places of worship, is almost complete except for the Sikh gurdwara.

The state had recently assured the Gurdwara Sahib Bayan Baru Association that it would help the association with its application to the Penang Development Corpora-tion (PDC) for the land to be returned to the association.

Temple committee chairman A.Rajintra Prasat said the temple was the second temple dedicated to Lord Siva in Penang, adding that the first one, which was about 150 years old, was located on Jalan Dato Keramat.

He said the temple was a replica of the Visvanather Temple in Kasi, India.

He also said the temple committee had bought the land from PDC in 1992 for RM250,000.

Piling and structural work cos-ting RM850,000 started in January 2000 and were completed the follo-wing year.

“Due to lack of funds in 2001, work on the temple was halted until the new committee took over in 2006. In 2003, to attract the devotees, the previous committee erected a small altar for Lord Ganesha at the entrance of the temple’s compound,’’ he said.

Rajintra said sculptural work began in August 2006 until the final completion of the temple recently.

He said when the new committee took over, the first few programmes launched to raise funds included a move to get about 300 Hindu families to pledge a RM50 monthly donation to the temple’s building fund for 18 months.

He said MIC had donated RM100,000 while Gerakan donated RM30,000, MCA gave RM10,000 and former Penang municipal councillor N.C. Mahalingam sponsored construction materials.

He said the committee was also looking into raising a further RM2mil to build a four-storey multipurpose hall within the temple compound.

Those who wish to donate can bank in their money into Public Bank account number 3138157822 or send their cheques, payable to Kuil Hindu Bayan Baru Pulau Pinang, to 15, Lorong Mahsuri Dua, Bayan Baru, 11950 Pulau Penang.

For details, call Rajintra at 012-4339766.

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