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Sikh temple for Gravesend takes shape

This is the first image of how Calford Seaden's massive Sikh temple in Gravesend will look once construction has finished in 2008.

The £9 million Siri Guru Nanak Durbar Gurdwara building, which will be able to house 1,200 worshippers, is being entirely funded by the local Sikh community and work has now started on site.

Although the outer structure has now been completed, the temple still needs to be clad in Indian granite and marble. It is expected that the stonemasons who originally carved the pieces on the subcontinent will come over to Britain to help fix the stones in place.

Inspired by the famous temples of India, the building will include three large Diwan halls and two kitchens as well as space for educational, care and sporting facilities.

Project architect Teja Harbhajan Singh Biring said: 'I'm overjoyed in the sense that I'm a local man, I'm a Sikh and I'm involved in something like this being an architect.

'[It] will be one of the milestones for the South East.'

The multi-disciplinary practice is also working on another three gudwaras around the country, including temples in Hitchin, Belvedere and Bedford.

by Richard Waite

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