Hindu Temple Celebrating Completion

June 22, 2009

Author: Jeff Strickler

Source: Star Tribune


Eleven years after the Hindu Society of Minnesota picked out a cornfield near Maple Grove as the spot for its new home, one of the largest Hindu temples in North America celebrates its completion this weekend.

Crowds of up to 1,500 are expected each day of the three-day festival at the Minnesota Hindu Temple, which serves as a cultural and spiritual hub for about 30,000 Hindus in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa, South Dakota, North Dakota and the southern part of Manitoba.

"It's an historic occasion," said Byron Byraiah, a member of the society's board of trustees and manager of the construction project. "This center is very important to the Hindu community. For us, this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity."

After years of dealing with everything from an attack by vandals to construction dust fouling up his computer, temple manager Narender Venkata is going to concentrate on enjoying himself this weekend.

"That all will be forgotten," he said. "This is about joy. Joy, joy, joy."