BELGIUM, May 19, 2009: Good news for Balinese Hindus came from Belgium. A new Balinese Hindu temple was completed in Paradisio Parc. This new temple was established in a 135-acre park owned by Eric Domb, a Belgian who has deep affection to Bali. Though the construction has been completed, the inauguration ceremony (pemelapas) has not been conducted yet, so Balinese Hindus can not pray in this temple yet. This temple will be opened for public next year.
This new temple in Belgium is the biggest Balinese Hindu temple outside Indonesia. The first stage of construction started in August 2007 until January 2008, the second stage started in April 2008 until August 2008. 30 artists and 300 containers of building materials, mostly stones, were brought from Bali for the construction of this temple.
Looking at the photos of this new temple, Balinese can easily mistake this temple for Gelap temple in Besakih, also made of black porous stone.
Visitors can discover particular temples in the complex. The Pura Agung Santi Bhuwan shrine is said to evoke harmony, serenity, prosperity and happiness. In the Pura Bunga, the temple of flowers, visitors experience the animist aspects of Balinese Hinduism that emphasizes life in all things. The park also features a 14-acre sanctuary for elephants called "The Kingdom of Ganesha."
This new temple in Belgium will be an oasis for Balinese and followers of Balinese Hindu faith who live in Europe to alleviate homesick for the paradise island of Bali. You can see a video at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-5RwF3pyaaw&feature=related