Hindu Temple Expands On Historic Bowne Street

June 25, 2009

Author: Liz Rhoades

Source: Queens Chronicle


Bowne Street, where religious freedom was first introduced in America over 300 years ago, today is the home for one of the largest and growing Hindu temples in the United States.

The Hindu Temple Society of North America is in the midst of a $5 million expansion on its Ganesh Temple at 45-57 Bowne St. because there’s just not enough space for the 3,000 worshippers who pray there every week. Farther north, is the home of John Bowne who in 1662 although not a Quaker himself, allowed members to meet at his home, against the Dutch governor’s rulings.

Although time and distance separate them, the spirit stoked by Bowne can be found at the Hindu temple. The society offers outreach programs for seniors, children and the general public, including classes in yoga, guitar and dance. Its temple has become a popular tourist attraction, drawing people from around the world, and its canteen, open seven days a week, is a favorite stop for vegetarians.

The outreach program has recently organized the first Hindu Temple Choir in Queens with 50 adults and 30 children and several instrumentalists.

The society will host a five-day rededication program next month that will culminate on July 13 with a ceremony featuring a live elephant.