Australia’s biggest Hindu temple opens amid rising Indian population

THE Sri Durga Temple built on the western suburb of Melbourne will rise as Australia’s biggest Durga temple. It will finally open on November 30 after five years of construction –with fireworks to culminate seven days of ceremonies.

Located in Rockbank, a rocky district of Melton City, the new building will provide a house of Hindu worship to an ever-growing population of Indians and other Hindu nationalities in Australia’s second largest city.

According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), immigration has been a large contributor to the total Australian population growth for several years and  it has consistently been the main driver since 2005-06, contributing more than 50 per cent of population growth in Australia.

The ABS noted that while the largest migrant groups were people born in the United Kingdom and New Zealand, the next two most common birth places were from the Asian region — China and India, with around 450,000 and 400,000 people respectively.

“Of the top ten countries of birth, the number of Australian residents who were born in India increased the most, almost tripling from just 132,800 people in 2004 to 397,200 people in 2014,” said Denise Carlton of ABS.


Temple opening ceremonies have begun. (Phto: Sri Druga Temple Melbourne)

Rajan Zed, president of the Universal Society of Hinduism based in Nevada, said the temple serves as an important accomplishment to pass on Hindu spirituality, concepts, and traditions to coming generations.

Besides worship services, leaders of the Sri Durga Temple are planning to make the temple a non-profit organisation to undertake charitable activities. Among the projects under consideration is the collection and distribution of clothing, medicine, and food to the less fortunate. Blood donation camps are also being planned. Other programs in the pipeline include organizing events such as discussions, chanting and meditation sessions, free yoga, Hindi classes, pilgrimages, helping India-descent senior citizens and students, and providing support for local schools.

The temple will open daily and will conduct aarti every day and kirtan on Sundays.

For Hindus, Durga, a highly revered Hindu Goddess, is considered the saviour of the world from evil. Hinduism, the oldest and third largest religion of the world, has about one billion adherents and moksh (liberation) is its ultimate goal.

Pre-opening ceremonies, called Pran Pratishtha Program, were held from Nov 24 and will end on Nov 30.

Rockbank, in City of Melton, is about 29 kilometers from the Melbourne CBD.

Hillary Rodham Clinton, Thongsing Thammavong


Source: Asian Correspondent