Source: The Ledger
On July 2, 2005 The Ledger reported, "In just six months, the Swaminarayan Hindu Temple has been transformed from a bare, open warehouse to a hall of chandeliers, marble tile and colorful draperies, crowned with an ornate, hand-carved wooden altar. On Sunday, the Temple will be formally consecrated, concluding five days of ceremonies. As many as 1,500 people from the United States, the United Kingdom and India are expected to be present, and the spiritual leader of the Swaminarayan sect, His Holiness Acharya Maharajshree Koshalendraprasadji Maharaj, will preside over the final act of consecration, invoking the spirit of God in the statues of Swaminarayan that will be placed on the altar. The temple is the only Hindu temple in Polk County, and it is the first in Florida and one of seven in the United States for the International Swaminarayan Satsang Organization dedicated to the worship of Swaminarayan, an avatar, or incarnation of God, who lived about 200 years ago in the Gujarat district of Western India, said Dilip Shah, a spokesman for the temple. Most of the Hindus who live in Polk County are first and second-generation Indians from Gujarat, he said."