At a time when reports of communal disharmony are now incidents we see almost daily across the country, a heartwarming gesture of Muslims in Bihar donating land to help build the world's largest Hindu temple has demonstrated that the much needed religious tolerance and brotherhood isn't a rare thing.
According to an Economic Times report, Muslims in Bihar have donated land for the construction of Virat Ramayan Mandir which will have the capacity to accommodate 20,000 people.
"Muslims have not only donated land, they have also provided land at a nominal rate for construction of the world's largest Hindu temple. Without help of Muslims, it would have been difficult realise this dream project," said Acharya Kishore Kunal, secretary of the Patna-based cash-rich Mahavir Mandir Trust that is undertaking the ambitious project, the ET report reads.
Out of the obtained 200 acres of land by Mahavir Mandir Trust, "Hindus and Muslims have donated about 50 acres of land and the remaining has been purchased," he added.
Kunal, a former Indian Police Service officer, said that Muslims have come forward to ensure that the temple comes up soon. The construction of the temple, which will cost over Rs 500 crore, will commence in June at Janki Nagar near Kesaria in East Champaran district.
"It is usual for Hindus to donate land for temple, but it is unusual for Muslims to donate land for the construction of temple," he said, adding that Muslims should be lauded for joining hands with Hindus to donate land for a pious cause.
Kunal said that more than three dozen Muslim families have their land in the middle of the proposed location of the temple and some Muslims families own the land along the main road that connects to the project site.
The ET report also mentions, earlier some Muslims had helped build a Hindu temple dedicated to Durga in Gaya district, another temple was dedicated to Shiva in Begusarai district and in Sitamarhi district.
The proposed Virat Ramayan Mandir will be taller than the world famous 12th century 215 feet high Angkor Wat temple complex in Cambodia. According to Kunal, the complex will comprise 18 temples with high spires and its Shiva temple would have the largest Shivling in the world, another distinction.
He said the temple would have a seating capacity of 20,000 people in the hall facing the main temple having the idols of Ram, Sita, Luv and Kush. According to him, no temple in the world has such a huge seating capacity.
"Some Muslims donated lands and others helped and supported us to purchase their land for the temple. If Muslims had not come forward, the temple project was sure to have got delayed..."