Nashua Temple Fills Northern N.E. Void

September 15, 2008

Author: Mark Connors

Source: India New England

The Hindu Temple of New Hampshire occupies just 600 square feet in a small industrial condominium adjacent to the Funworld Arcade Center and the La Hacienda del Rio Mexican restaurant on a busy commercial stretch of highway in Nashua. It’s doesn’t look like much, but for a few area Hindu families the newly opened temple represents a big step toward fulfilling even larger dreams.

“It was so important for us to have something local in this area where we could continue to practice our religion in this country,” said Karthi Chandra, a Merrimack, N.H., resident who helped found the temple. “And this is just the beginning.”

Chandra and four other Nashua-area Hindus had long talked about the need for a Hindu temple in the Greater Nashua area. The effort intensified in January when about two dozen area families committed to donating $100 a week to help fund a new temple and the organization officially filed as a nonprofit group with New Hampshire’s secretary of state.

“Even though it’s in a very basic form, it’s still a place where people from the area can go to worship,” Chandra said. “And it’s actually a very quiet and restful space. It fits our needs, there’s ample parking, it’s within our budget and it’s a nice, very quiet space. The ambiance is lovely.”

When the Saraswati Mandiram Hindu temple in Epping, N.H., then the only Hindu temple in all of Northern New England, shut down early this year after being evicted from its facilities, it provided an even greater incentive to bring a temple to Nashua, Chandra said. “Even though it was about an hour away, well, it was one less place for us to go, so that did play a part in it,” she said. “But we thought it was important for us to have a temple here [in Nashua] where the Indian population is based.”