After five years of wait, Shree Sharadamba Hindu Temple complex, built at a whopping cost of 11 million dollars to stand as "a testament to Canada and India's proud traditions of pluralism," was finally opened for the public in Toronto.
The complex which consists of the Sringeri Sharadamba Temple and the Adi Shankara Museum, was consecrated on Sunday in a ritual known as "Kumbhabhishekam." The complex is the first in Canada that is dedicated to Adi Shankaracharya, a saint who lived in India 1,300 years ago and played a great role in uplifting Hinduism.
On the occasion the Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper said, "The complex stands as a testament to Canada and India's proud traditions of pluralism. This place of worship is an important landmark and a fitting tribute to Hindu community's place in Canada's cultural landscape."
Harper felt that Canada is "fortunate" to have a large and dynamic Indian community. "The fabric of Canadian life continues to be immeasurably enriched by Indian contribution. I am certain that this new temple and museum will foster fellowship among Hindu Canadians in the Greater Toronto areas for generations to come."
The prime minister's views were equivocally supported by Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty. "I applaud members of the Sringeri Vidya Bharati Foundation for making this worthwhile project a reality. Thanks to your collective vision and hard work, the temple will serve as a proud symbol of unity and will be instrumental in preserving and promoting Hindu culture and traditions in Ontario," McGuinty said.
He commended the contributions made by the Indo-Canadian community in social, economic and cultural fabric of the province. Over 10,000 devotees joined in the consecration in which priests scaled the Sringeri Temple's new tower, typical of South Indian architecture. Four of the priests poured over its carved facade sacred water from the Ganges and Yamuna and other rivers of India. Ravi Subramanian, Sringeri Vidya Bharati Foundation Trustee Board chairman, said "I think this temple will stand out as something unique that can be seen from some distance. I would hope that anybody who comes to the temple would find it a place where they will feel relaxed. It's like a sanctuary of peace among the bustling heart of Toronto."