50,000 visit temple in spare bedroom

A COUPLE have had more than 50,000 visitors to their home - after turning their spare bedroom into a Hindu temple.

A COUPLE have had more than 50,000 visitors to their home - after turning their spare bedroom into a Hindu temple.

Sushila and Dhirajlal Karia regularly welcome coachloads of worshippers who come to pray in their detached home in a quiet residential road in Clacton.

The bedroom has been transformed into a religious shrine, complete with 17 marble statues of gods and goddesses, flown over from India.

They even invited a priest from India who blessed the temple.

Mr Karia said: “When we started there was no temple in Essex so we started pray in our own home.

“To clear the temple, we had to invite a priest from India to inaugurate the ceremony so the gods become alive and worthy of prayer.

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“So we had the temple and people started to know about it and they all started coming to pray.

“We don't keep a record of people who visit but it is in the region of 40,000 and 50,000 in the past 30 years.

“They come in coach loads - one, two or three at the most because we can't accommodate more than that.

“We have people coming from Manchester, Leicester, London and all over England.”

The couple say their temple is even famous as far afield as India and Canada.

This week saw them welcome a coachload of 78 women from the capital who came to worship in their unconventional home.

They ended up queuing up the stairs to get into the sacred spare room.

Mr Karia continued: “People come to pray and make a wish as well and, according to our records, we have had so many people have their wishes come true.”

The temple observes all the Hindu rituals and festivals.

Mrs Karia used to cook food for all visitors is no longer able to because of ill health.

Now guests bring their own cooked treats to offer to the gods and then feast on the food at the five-bedroom home.

The couple said they do not ask for any donations from the guests and are happy to open their home.

Mr Karia said: “They are part of us and we are part of them and we are all part of nature and because of Hindu philosophy, to us everybody is as good as brothers and sisters and their parents.”

They are never short of visitors, after news of their shrine spread by word of mouth, attracting devout Hindus and curious guests from other religions.

Mr Karia added: “If they come once, they start coming again.”

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