Information about this center is no longer updated. This data was last updated on 30 September 2010.Phone: 504-454-3444
With the arrival of the temple's new priest Mr. Bharat Joshi in 2008, the Hindu Temple of Greater New Orleans has maintained an active liturgical schedule. Daily pujas are held each morning at 7:30 a.m. and ceremonies are regularly held on weekends as well. The temple periodically holds worship ceremonies to Satyanarayana and recitations from the Ramayana. Memorial services to deceased ancestors are held regularly. Monthly calendars of events are distributed via email to community members. Mr. Joshi also performs specialized services for families who request them.
The temple had a new altar installed in 2005 and this new addition was damaged shortly thereafter during Hurricane Katrina. The community's efforts to rebuild included restoring the altar and recruiting a new priest.
Activities and ScheduleThe Hindu Temple of Greater New Orleans holds worship ceremonies ("puja") every Sunday at 10 a.m. These ceremonies draw far more Hindus than they did before the arrival of Mr. Joshi. Attendance increases during special festival days. Festivals that fall on weekdays are generally celebrated in the evening hours.
DescriptionThe Hindu Temple of Greater New Orleans is located in a suburban area called Metairie on Transcontinental Boulevard. The main hall on the ground floor has a newly imported altar with separate niches for various deities. The consecrated icons represent Shiva and his consort Parvati, Ganesh, Rama, Sita, the devout simian Hanuman, and Radha and Krishna. Standing about three feet tall, these brightly colored images appear, even to outsiders, most approachable as they evoke the prayers and offerings of the Hindu community. Like most temples, the prayer halls have very little furniture, thereby enhancing the prominence of the altar located against an inner wall of the temple. Devotees often sit before the altar in considerable intimacy as the temple priest performs ceremonies for individual families. Services are held in Sanskrit with worshippers using a printed guide ("A Hindu Pooja and Bhajan Book") to follow along. Worshippers and guests alike receive the tilak, a red dot place on the forehead, and a piece of fruit or sweet which has been offered at the altar ("prasad"). Before the installation of the new altar service were held in the large space on the second floor of the temple.
HistoryThe temple was founded in the 1970's and served as the primary center for members of the Hindu and Jain communities until the mid-1980s. With the construction of the S.V.V.S. temple in nearby Kenner, LA, many South Asians chose to attend services at the new temple. The Hindu Temple of Greater New Orleans has experienced a renewal after the recovery from Hurricane Katrina. In 2003 the community raised over $100,000 for the refurbishing of the temple. This included commissioning a new altar constructed by traditional artisans in India. Funds were used to renovate the living quarters in preparation for the resident priest. Mr. Joshi is fluent in Hindi, English and Gujarati; this best meets the needs of the diverse community. The oversight of these interim operations is conducted by a seven-member oversight committee.