Jagannatha temple: A UK-based charity has welcomed the GBP 25 million pledge offered for the construction of the famed Lord Jagannath Temple in the United Kingdom. The charity is working on a project to build Britain’s first temple dedicated to Lord Jagannatha in London. It received a shot in the arm when an Odisha-origin entrepreneur pledged the amount. It hopes to complete the first phase of construction by the end of next year.
First Jagannath temple in London
Shree Jagannatha Society (SJS) UK, registered with the Charity Commission in England, said that global Indian investor Biswanath Patnaik made the announcement at the first Shree Jagannatha Convention held in London on Sunday.
Patnaik, the founder of FinNest Group of companies, joined the company’s managing director, Arjun Kar, UK-based principal donor of the project.
“Kar announced that Shri Biswanath Patnaik has pledged a sum of GBP 25 million towards the construction of a magnificent temple for Lord Jagannatha in London, which will be facilitated by FinNest Group of Companies, of which he is the Managing Director,” the charity said in a statement.
15 acres of land
For the uninitiated, The FinNest Group is a private equity investment firm that invests worldwide in renewables, electric vehicles (EVs), hydrogen locomotives, innovative technology and fintech. Kar also said that the group has committed GBP 7 million towards the acquisition of nearly 15 acres of land for the proposed temple.
“A suitable land has been identified and is currently in the final stages of purchase, and a pre-planning application has been submitted to the local government council to secure permission for the Mandir’s construction,” the charity said.
In his message to the convention, which earmarked celebration of Akshaya Trithiya, Patnaik urged the devotees to “work together with faith in Lord Jagannatha to make the dream of a Mandir a reality at the earliest”.
Prominent among those who attended the convention included Deputy Indian High Commissioner to the UK Sujit Ghosh and India’s Minister (Culture) Amish Tripathi.