FRESNO, Calif. - A large Hindu temple is moving into Fresno. The organization BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha has started construction at the intersection of Maple & Nees. Many parts of the building have come all the way from India.
The details in every part of this new temple are very intricate, and everything has a meaning, and it's going to be extremely large in scale. The temple will cover 24,000 square feet.
Tushar Patel is a volunteer with the local chapter of Bochasanwasi Akshar Purushottam Sanstha (BAPS) Swaminarayan Sanstha. He gave us a tour of the area.
"The pieces were made in India, and shipped to the United States," said Patel.
Patel said there are about 250 members of BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha in Fresno County.
"Over the years, the congregation has grown, and the need for having something larger, something better for our future generations, came into fruition, and hence this new mandir being built here in the Central Valley," Patel stated.
"Mandir" means "temple" in the Hindu Culture. Hinduism a religion that prides itself on peace and non-violence. Patel said the Fresno mandi is going to emulate the look of many seen in India.
Patel explained, "Mandir resembles the body of God, so this structure behind me represents the shoulders of God."
He said once the dust settles, the mandir in Fresno will be more than just a place of prayer. Patel said there will be classrooms, a community kitchen, and a sports area. He said he hopes everyone knows it's a place of inclusion to find peace and serenity.
"I think experiencing peace in this day in age is of utmost importance, and that they get to learn a little bit about Hinduism. They get to learn a little bit about what our fellowship is about," ended Patel.
Temple organizers expect it to open next summer.