Founding of a Place for Tamil Hindu Worship in Enfield Borough In 2001, a group of responsible communal minded, commercially developed culturally involved and professionals who were residing in and around Enfield Borough have together met and agreed to create a religiously based environment for those Tamils who were displaced from their own Homeland, Sri Lanka and migrated and settled in the same area to assist them in releasing their pain, distresses and sufferings they have experienced in Sri Lanka. Vision Their vision was to facilitate the promotion and development of religious and cultural activities believing that it would help to alleviate the pains and distresses of those displaced Tamils through engagement and participation in those activities. Based on this vision they created a number of objectives, one of which was to establish a place for Hindu Worship and to embrace all the displaced Tamils and other communities in and around Enfield. With this vision, they gathered the momentum to co-ordinate and communicate their policies and objectives to others within the community and received overwhelming support from them. “Hindu Tamil Cultural Association” (HTCA) With this support, in 2002, this group of individuals formed an institution with a well-defined constitution, called “Hindu Tamil Cultural Association” to execute their visionary objectives and to implement their missionary tasks. They made a resolution primarily to find a location to establish a place of Hindu worship and a centre for prayers and community activities in celebrating the cultural, traditional and religious functions by linking their native values and virtues belonging to Sri Lankan Tamils. Name of Temple & First Place of Worship They did choose the “Deity of the Shrine” for the place of worship to represent the one from Nainatheevu, a beautiful islet in the Northern part of Sri Lanka, popularly known as “Nagapooshani Ambaal”, a form of Goddess Shakthi in Hindu worship philosophy. This choice of HTCA has brought in a special eternal link with the Chief Priest (Chief Kurukkal) they have selected to conduct the religious and ritual activities who is also from the same islet where the Deity has been chosen from. In the latter part of 2002, they initially started their religious activities by conducting prayers and worshipping with the presentation of a ‘pictorial image’ of the chosen Deity. Firstly these activities were taking place on every Friday at a hired hall in Victoria Road, Edmonton, off Church Street with the creation of the holy environment for the Hindu Tamil community. These religious activities further expanded into major cultural and communal events and functions as per their established objectives and goals. This has progressively enabled and empowered HTCA to bring in the Holy Statue of the chosen Deity, Nagapooshani Ambaal, from Tamil Nadu with the invaluable guidance of the Chief Priest. Due to the exceptional rapid growth in popularity and moral and financial support from the community in and around Enfield Borough, HTCA was driven to find their own property and premises to conduct and continue their organisational activities. In June 2003, they fortunately blessed with an unoccupied derelict building in Church lane, Edmonton which was originally used as a ‘Refrigerating Factory’ to be suitable for this holy purpose. The members jointly contributed and funded the purchase, refurbish and restructure the existing building and making it suitable to be used as a Place of worship, a Temple, with the Shrine of the chosen Deity. Activities and Growth at Temple Gradually the activities in this Temple building were extended to include daily worship and prayer and educational linguistic, artistic and musical development of younger generation of Tamil community which engaged, encouraged and empowered the younger minds and souls in morally and mentally elevated plane of high thoughts and social deeds. The prayers, worshipping and gatherings and the spiritual power generated from the Deity and the associated Temple environment of peace and harmony continued to blossom and attracted people from all over London including other communities with diversified cultural and religious backgrounds. This development and growth was made possible only because of the devotion, tirelessness, full commitment and continuous efforts of the nine Trustees who have given their time, money and life to this Temple. In addition, the spirituality of the Temple was further enhanced by the unique quality and capability of their ‘Chief Priest’ together with his knowledge and involvement in Tamil Language and Culture. A New Traditional Temple The encouragement and enthusiasm created the pressure on and driven HTCA to build a New Hindu Tamil Traditional purposely built Temple for worshippers and devotees by addressing the current environmental, health and safety issues and incorporating sustainability and innovative aspects. In 2011, as the first step, the ‘Founders’ registered HTCA as a Company and also as a ‘Charitable Institution’, appointing them as Directors/Trustees with the Company House and Charity Commission respectively in UK and followed with the following activities.  They have chosen a building project scope with architectural and structural format based on the Anthropological and pre-historical ancient Indian Hindu Temple traditions, Tamil culture and their well rooted values few thousand years ago.  They engaged community based professionals who had the expertise, experience, knowledge, enthusiasm and inspirations towards this Temple project’s planning, design, engineering, construction and management deliverables.  They also setup a funding management structure to administrate the financial support being given by the devotees, worshippers and well-wishers and by community based commercial institutions.  The project team studied and followed the traditional Hindu Temple structures from South India and developed their design and detailing, adopting the concepts used by their ancestors who built a number of outstanding ancient Temples.  The investigations, surveys and assessments were also carried out geotechnically, structurally and architecturally by the project team to establish and develop the building elements for the Temple.  The project team took an innovative approach to create a traditional Temple to represent a bridging of an ancient Temple building tradition with the modern global building concepts and highly developed technology.  The application for planning permission was made to the Enfield Borough Council and with concerted and highly focused continuous effort, the permission was granted after nearly three years of waiting.  In parallel the project team with the support of the Trustees developed a mutual relationship with a specialist granite masonry and exporting contractor, Baba Stones, from a pre-historically ingrained in Tamil Nadu called Vadakadampadi of Mamallapuram, a little village very closer to the region of lost land of “Lemuria”.  Also the project team members visited Vadakadampadi and attended traditional ceremonies and rituals in commencing the granite masonry work for this holy Temple. Work on New Temple The project program commenced on 22nd June 2014 with a very enlightening ceremony called “Conch-Laying Ceremony” for the shrine of the new Temple followed by the construction of “Balasthapanam”, a young Temple within the Temple premises to receive the eternal power and the bliss of the Deity from the existing Temple Shrine. The site works program started with the demolition of the existing building and then followed by the substructure elements including piling, ground beams and underground services installations and moved on to super structure elements, steel work, block works etc. Project Cost and Funding The cost of the entire project was estimated at £2.2m and the Trustees sought funds firstly from the Devotees of ‘Nagapooshani Ambaal’ and then from community based supporters, Professionals and commercial institutions and the response received from them was amazing. The funding thus pledged and/or received has reached almost 65% of the estimated cost of the Temple. To bridge the balance 35%, the Trustees began seeking funding from various other resources including private, commercial and financial institutions such as banks, lottery funds etc. and HSBC Bank’s Croydon Regional Branch, due to their very kind and supportive corporate objectives, came to help HTCA with the continuation of design and construction of this very sophisticated project and rendered a significant sum which has further empowered this Charitable Organisation to progress with its project based journey.

Now, the Temple project is on its final path towards the ‘save and successful completion process’ and moving towards the very special deed of Kumbabishekam, on 04th June 2017. The opening ceremony starts from 01st June 2017.

61-65, Church Lane Edmonton, London N9 9PZ United Kingdom

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  • October 24, 2020 12:13 pm local time

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