Hindu Temple in Kampala. | NRI | உலக தமிழர் செய்திகள்| NRI updated news | NRI tamil news

Hindu Temple in Kampala.

July 07,2008 


History : For the past three months I have searched in vain for the name of the architect who designed the Hindu Temple in Kampala. Does anyone have information on this or on the history of the Shree Sanatan Dharm Mandal association that runs it?

All I have been able to gather is that it predates the independence of Uganda and that in the early 1960s it was once the best places in Kampala that you could be sure of getting a cheap tasty Indian meal. Don’t send me to the Department of Antiquities. Been there. It is as useless a government department as the ridiculously-named Ministry of Information and National Guidance.

My search for info on the Hindu Temple led me to some fascinating facts gathered by this guy on the architecture of Hindu temples.

The first step construction of a temple is the selection of land. 'The gods always play where groves, rivers, mountains and springs are near, and in towns with pleasure gardens.'

No matter where it is situated, one essential factor for the existence of a temple is water. Water must be present in at least a symbolic representation in the Hindu temple.

The most prominent feature on a Hindu Temple, the spire, is known as ‘shikhara,’ which means mountain peak. It marks the location of the shrine room and rises directly above it. This is an expression of the ancient ideal believing the gods to reside in the mountains.

The Kampala Hindu Temple is of the fifth century Nagara style that is characterized by the beehive shaped tower. The plan is based on a square, but the walls are sometimes broken up so that it gives the impression of being circular. Similar temples of this style are available here.

The absence of information on the Hindu Temple turned out to be a blessing in disguise because it led me to a wealth of details on who built the Bahá’í Temple in Kampala.

His name is Charles Mason Remey. He was the American architect who also designed the Australian Bahá’í House of Worship. Together with the temple on Kikaya Hill in Kampala the two buildings are the mother temples for Australasia and Africa. The Kampala Bahá’í Temple is more than 130 feet high and over 100 meters in diameter at the base. Its foundation goes 10 feet underground to protect it from earthquakes. Its foundation stone was laid in January 1958 and the temple was dedicated on January 13, 1961.

website: ugandaninsomniac.wordpress.com

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