24 September 2005 – The ISKCON – Sri Jagannath Mandir was opened with the welcoming ceremony of Sri Sri Gaura Nitai Deities. The Deities were nicely named Sri Nitai Jagannath Suta by His Grace Sriniketan Prabhu, the temple president of Sri Sri Krsna Balaram Mandir, Bon Accueil. ‘Jagannath Suta’ refers to Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, the son of Sri Jagannath Misra.
31 May 2006 – The welcoming ceremony of the large Deities of Their Lordships Sri Sri Jagannath, Baladev and Subhadra Maharani were carried out at the Centre. How did Lord Jagannath reach Morcellement St André?
7 June 2009 – Welcoming ceremonies of the Utsav (festival) Deities of Their Lordships Sri Sri Jagannath, Baladev and Subhadra Maharani as well as Deity of Garuda Dev were carried out.
Why a Temple?
The Centre at Morcellement St André was opened in 2005 by Madan Gopal Das and his wife Priya Sakhi Dasi at a small building where the Vaish Maha Sabha used to be. The idea was to have a place where the few aspiring devotees would be trained in devotional service. Prior to the opening of the Centre all programs were carried out in different houses. The small size of the building was not an issue as the attendance was not so large at that time. But in the course of time, especially, with the arrival of Sri Sri Jagannath, Baladev and Subhadra Maharani in 2006 there was a growth in the number of congregation members and well-wishers attending programs at the Centre. Visiting senior devotees repeatedly requested that a temple be built for the Lord. With no land and no funds and also because of the ISKCON management structure at that time, the devotees did not feel that it was possible to consider building a temple. It was just a wish, a dream!
Prior to year 2009, there were two ISKCON authorities in Mauritius, namely, the Sri Sri Krsna Balaram Mandir (Bon Accueil) and the Sri Sri Radha Golokananda Mandir (Phoenix). In May 2009, the Governing Body Commission decided to create a third authority, namely, the ISKCON Congregation Preaching Directorate (CPD) with equal powers as the two temples. The members of the CPD were allowed, amongst others, to develop preaching in the different villages. The devotees at Morcellement St André decided to carry out their activities under the shelter of the CPD. There was now a clear strategy on ISKCON centres and new projects.
Towards the end of 2009, the number of devotees and the number of guests at the preaching centre increased further, as was the desire to have a bigger building for Their Lordships. The devotees at the centre started to look for a bigger building on rent but somehow all attempts were unsuccessful. Some of the buildings were already rented or were too expensive while others needed extensive repairs. Simultaneously, the devotees were also looking for land to purchase. A map of Morcellement St André was obtained with names of the owners. It was not an easy task to obtain their contact details. Devotees had to go as far as Curepipe to talk to one of the owners. Finally, after various months of searching, the owner of the current site was contacted. It took various rounds of negotiations with the owner for him to agree to sell one acre of land. The land was classified as agricultural and was in an irrigation zone.
The agreed price was Rs 1,800,000. The devotees did not have any money, not even a bank account. But with determination and depending on the mercy of Lord Jagannath, they decided to raise the required fund.
The following scheme was devised and is still valid: for any large donation, defined in terms of a minimum of Rs. 50,000, the name of the donor will be displayed for a lifetime on the wall of the proposed temple. With this scheme enough funds were raised to effect part payment to the land owner.
The contract for the land was finally signed between the owner, Mr. Cauloo, and the trustees of the ISKCON Property Trust on 20 March 2012. Rs. 1,200,000 was paid to him and there is still an outstanding balance of Rs 600,000.
The Temple Project
Location plan of the land: click here
The Temple complex of Sri Sri Jagannath, Baladev and Subhadra Maharani would consist of the following components:
- Temple and temple hall
- Quarters for brahmachari, brahmacharini and visiting sannyasis
- Administration complex
- Conference hall
- Gift shop
- Prasadam Hall
The large donors as at June 2012 are as follows:
- Ajay Dosieah Rs 50,000
- Amita Gungeea Rs 50,000
- Syam Kishor Das(Morcellement St André) Rs 50,000
- Jaswantsing Ramsing Rs 50,000
- Mr Krishnanand and Mrs Bhimla Guptar Rs 100,000
- Mr Premchand Jugoo Rs 140,000
- Amit Baboolall Rs 150,000
- Vikash Maitaram Rs 150,000
- Rajesh , Mansa, Sivani and Iresh Juggoo Rs 150,000
- Madan Gopal Das and Priya Sakhi Dasi Rs 500,000
The Sri Jagannath Mandir opened a restaurant at Port Louis in September 2011. The profit will be used for funding the temple construction. Other projects are also being envisaged like plantations of vegetables.
Any donation for this most ambitious project is most welcome. You might wish to contact Madan Gopal Das by phone on 7529074 or by e-mail on firstname.lastname@example.org for further details or for giving your donation. Alternatively, you may provide donation by using the following methods: