Time of Event:
7:30 a.m. arrive for check-in
8:00 a.m to 9:00 a.m. Yoga (beginners welcome)
9:30 am to 10:30 a.m. Tour of the Hindu Temple of Minnesota
Followed by group luncheon in Maple Grove, restaurant TBD (at your own expense)
Open to the public:
Members $0 no-charge, Guests $18
The largest Hindu temple in North America is not in Los Angeles, New York or Chicago, but just outside Minneapolis.
Specifically, the 43,000-square-foot Hindu Temple of Minnesota built in 2006 sits in Maple Grove, northwest of the Twin Cities. The sight of a $10 million edifice surmounted by a 65-foot-high tower of sculpted gods in the midst of the cornfields, soybean fields and silos.
The location, direction (facing east) and elevation (at the highest point in the vicinity) of the building have been chosen according to Hindu rules. Even the minute of the temple’s final consecration — 12:01 p.m. Sunday — was chosen because it was considered the most auspicious time.
The temple combines marble from Northern India and granite from Southern India. Eight-armed Durga, who is praised for victory over conflict, sits across from the elephant god Ganesha, worshiped for successful beginnings.
The vegetarian cafeteria serves up a mean curry and the sandalwood incense wafting through the temple itself is enough to make you think you’re back in Delhi. Hindus believe in one God with many manifestations. Like about 30,000.
The main deity for this temple is Vishnu the preserver, one of the Hindu trinity of gods; the other two being Brahma the creator and Shiva the destroyer. Multiple other deities had places of honor in 21 shrines — representing different regions of India — scattered about the temple area.
The Hindu Temple of Minnesota was designed to nurture the communities’ highest aspirations, whether those aims are to worship, promote peace, steward the environment, or preserve the spiritual and cultural traditions of the homeland. Built with the help of volunteer architects and engineers, the Hindu Temple of Minnesota connects followers from five Midwest states to Hindu traditions from across India.