Alfred B Ford On Gujarat Tour To Raise Funds For Iskcon Temple
Chairman of the ISKCON project, Temple of the Vedic Planetarium, Alfred B Ford (now known as Ambarisa Das) has made it his mission to build the structure that will have the world's second tallest dome. It will dwarf even the famous Hagia Sofia of Istanbul. The temple will be built at Mayapur, the birthplace of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, in West Bengal.
Alfred is great-grandson of Henry Ford, founder of the Ford Motor Company, and is on the board of Ford Motor Company Fund and several other business and charitable institutions. He was initiated into Vaishnavism by Srila Prabhupada in 1974 at Hawaii.
Alfred Ford started his tour of Gujarat from Saturday and is expected to visit Ahmedabad on February 4 or 5. He is here to raise funds for the project and is holding meetings at ISKCON temples. Kalanath Chaitanya Das, vice-president of ISKCON, Ahmedabad, told TOI that, during his visit to Ahmedabad, Alfred Ford will give a talk on the planned temple at Mayapur before a select audience of around 150 dignitaries. "He will also meet devotees apart from raising funds," Das said. Ford visited Vallabh Vidhyanagar on Saturday and will go to Vadodara and Surat before coming to Ahmedabad next week.
He has donated approximately Rs 250 crore to the temple project that is expected to cost Rs 500 crore to Rs 700 crore. The project's website says that Ford has been involved in numerous ISKCON projects around the world including the Bhaktivedanta Cultural Center in Detroit, the Oxford Center for Hindu Studies at Oxford University, and Srila Prabhupada's Pushpa Samadhi in Sridham Mayapur.
Spread over 350 acres, the Mayapur complex will have the temple with a dome 113 meters high, second in height only to St Peter's Basilica in Vatican City which is 138 metres tall.