South Lodi Sikh Temple May be Open in Month

December 24, 2006

Author: Ross Farrow

Source: Lodi News-Sentinel

As the new year approaches, Lodi's Sikh temple is scheduled to open soon, so local residents won't have to travel to south Stockton for services and special events.

The Sikhs had hoped to open their Lodi temple, located at the northeast corner of Armstrong Road and West Lane, by now, but the project has been delayed because officials from San Joaquin County and other agencies hadn't completed their inspections and issued the required permits, said Nirmal Samra, a Lodi farmer and vice president of the Lodi temple.

Special events, such as the recent celebration of a 16-year-old boy's birthday, are held in a smaller building at the Lodi site, while the temple is being constructed.

Now that the fire sprinklers have been approved, it will be full speed ahead, said Samra, a 30-year Lodi resident who tends 100 acres of grapes at Davis and Woodbridge roads.

The new temple will measure 6,700 square feet. Worshippers must remove their shoes and cover their head, which are signs of respect for God, said former Lodi resident Avtar Sahota, who moved to Visalia five years ago but still has relatives in Lodi.

Although they wear turbans and many men sport beards, Sikhs are different from the Muslim faith, which is also prevalent in Lodi. Sikhs generally come from India, while the Muslim population from Lodi is predominately from Pakistan.