MATHURA: The 700-foot-high Chandrodaya Temple, being built in Vrindavan by ISKCON, is unique in many ways. Not only is it going to be the tallest religious structure in the world, people from different religions and faiths are putting their skills, labour and funds into its construction. The temple will be three times the height of the Qutab Minar and will stand on 500 foundation piles, more than the number in Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest building.
For a state which has witnessed heightened communal tension after the demolition of the Babri Masjid, the core construction team of Chandrodaya Temple is contrastingly secular in every sense of the word. Jagminder Singh, a Sikh, leads the principal architect’s team; Misam Imam, a Muslim, heads the structural design team and Chris Meering, a Christian, is in charge of the team handling vertical transport. As for the funds, people of all faiths have been donating for the construction project.
Talking to media, the temple’s vice-president, communication, Bharatarshabha Dasa said once constructed, it will be the tallest religious structure in the world and will cover an area of five acres. He said work on the foundation piles, deeper than the height of India Gate (42m) and almost as deep as the height of Qutab Minar (73m), will continue for the next few months, after which work on the tower will begin.
He said that a team of more than 25 specialist consultants from all over the world are working to make the project a reality. “They belong to different faiths and religions,” he said, adding that ISKCON movement goes beyond castes, creed, religions, nationalities and borders. He said most of these consultants have been previously involved in building high rise buildings.
Villa inside the temple premises.
The structural consultants for this project are Thornton Tomasetti, who have been involved in designing many ‘super-tall’ buildings across the globe — Taipei 101, Petronas Towers, Kohinoor Square and Shanghai Towers.
“The temple will be completed at a cost of Rs 800 crore, of which Rs 50 crore is being spent only on piling foundation. Construction will be state of the art and earthquake-resistant,” Dasa said, adding that the rest of the 70-acre plot will have 400 villas and apartment complexes that will be sold to devotees and donors to raise money for the project.
He said the villas have been priced at Rs 1.3 crore, and 150 of them have already been sold. “Everyone buying them will be listed as donors. Besides known business houses and individuals, retired bureaucrats have also bought some of these houses,” Dasa added.
The temple complex will also house a forest with various kinds of trees. IIT Roorkee, meanwhile, is working on a seismic survey of the area. The biggest earthquake felt by Mathura was on September 1, 1803, which is estimated to have measured 6.8 on the Richter scale. “The temple will be designed to withstand quakes of twice this intensity,” he added.
According to ISKCON officials, the temple will have more than 40 lifts, including six high-speed ones, to ferry people to the viewing gallery atop the tower. The latter will travel at 8 metres per second.
Credits ET Realty