NORTH CAROLINA, U.S., January 30, 2020 (News Observer): A Triangle-based Hindu group plans to build a temple in a rural area of the “Triangle” region (noted for its three top research universities) of North Carolina. The temple will help preserve Hinduism’s ancient culture and language, while embracing a modern American ideal: It will be huge. The temple will feature the world’s largest statue of Lord Murugan, the principal Deity of Tamil Hindu followers. The likeness of Murugan, the warrior God who fights evil in Tamil Hindu tradition, would soar above the pines on a 130-acre tract of land in Moncure, in eastern Chatham County. The statue itself would be 155 feet tall, mounted on a 35-foot base, with the structure topping out at 190 feet, according to plans. To get an idea of the statue’s scale, compare it to the Statue of Liberty in New York Harbor, which is 151 feet 1 inch tall from the top of the base to the torch, according to the National Park Service.
The new giant statue would be part of a Carolina Murugan Temple complex that would include the temple itself and buildings that would house a library, museum and other functions. Temple organizers also plan to include a soccer field, wedding venue, community garden and a hiking field on the property, which borders the Deep River. Radha Ravi Varma of Cary, chief secretary of the Carolina Murugan Temple, said the temple would serve Hindu people in the Triangle area and beyond who are of Tamil Heritage. But it will be open to the public as well. There are Hindu temples in Cary and Morrisville and others across the state. Their membership has grown with the influx of people from India, where Hinduism is a major religion. The American Immigration Council estimates that in 2015, North Carolina had more than 60,000 residents who came originally from India.