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Bhumi Puja at Hindu Temple complex, Northwestern Alberta in Canada

Bhumi-Puja (sod-turning) ceremony for “Canadian Hindu Cultural Centre” will be held in Grande Prairie County No. 1 (Alberta, Canada) on June 29 evening.

Grande Prairie Mayor Bill Given has been invited to do ceremonial sod-turning for the proposed 1400 square foot Centre in over nine acres of land to be built by non-profit registered charity “Grande Prairie Hindu Association” (GPHA). Mangal Parikrama and Puja will also be held on the occasion. Costing about $400,000, it is reportedly expected to be ready by November.

According to reports, this new temple complex plans to meet the worship, social and cultural needs of the community and will be Canada’s most northern Hindu temple. Besides Hinduism, it aims to promote India and its dances, culture, philosophy, foods, etc., and hopes to bring instructors from India to teach classical music, yoga, etc. Besides private donations, its management hopes to receive some funding from government also.

Meanwhile, acclaimed Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, in a statement in Nevada (USA) today, applauded efforts of Association leaders and area community to realize this Hindu temple complex.

Rajan Zed, who is President of Universal Society of Hinduism, further said that it was important to pass on Hindu spirituality, concepts and traditions to coming generations amidst so many distractions in the consumerist society and hoped that this temple complex would focus in this direction. Zed stressed that instead of running after materialism; we should focus on inner search and realization of Self and work towards achieving moksh (liberation), which was the goal of Hinduism.

Area Hindus, consisting of few dozen families only, reportedly have to travel to Edmonton, about 450 kilometers, for worshipping at a Hindu temple. Doctors Nikhilesh Roy, S. Karnik and Ram Mudalier are President, Vice President and Secretary-Treasurer respectively of GPHA, which is dedicated to build the Hindu temple and promote Hindu religion and culture.

First County in Alberta, Grande Prairie County No. 1, with an area of about 5,863 square kilometers has only 20,347 population. This area was settled in the early 1900’s. Currently, Leanne Beaupre and Bill Rogan are Reeve and Administrator respectively of the County, whose Vision Statement includes: “focuses on people, their quality of life and diversity of opportunity”.

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