Washington DC Area Hindu Temple Expands to Accommodate Growing Community

June 8, 2002

Source: The Washington Post


On June 8, 2002 The Washington Post reported that the sanctuary at the Sri Siva Vishnu Temple in Lanham, Maryland honors the two Hindu gods Siva and Vishnu, "risking a spiritual confrontation between rival factions... But the conflict between Shaivites, followers of Siva, and Vaishnavites, followers of Vishnu, never came, said K.N. Siva Subramanian, one of the congregation's organizers a quarter-century ago... Instead, the desire of immigrants to maintain cultural ties '10,000 miles from our ancestral home' overcame religious differences that can be as pronounced as those between Protestantism and Catholicism, Subramanian said. 'Unity in diversity' became a theme that drew hundreds, then thousands, of Indian families to worship weekly after the temple's consecration in 1991... This month, Sri Siva Vishnu will dedicate a third addition to accommodate its growing congregation and an architectural feature that completes its design as a Hindu temple: a multitiered tower called a rajagopuram... Although temples usually don't have memberships, Sri Siva has 11,000 families on its mailing list -- up from 400 in the mid-1970s, Subramanian said... Many of the area's Hindus, estimated at more than 65,000, worship at different temples because of their association with different deities, Venkatramen said. Sri Siva has become the Hindu community's 'cathedral' of sorts, hosting area-wide events and attracting pilgrims from all over the world."