A new temple devoted to Lord Venkateshwara will be constructed at a cost of about USD 3 million in the US’s state of Ohio.
The local temple plans a four-day grand-opening ceremony to enshrine Venkateswara and his consorts u2014 Sridevi, the goddess of wealth and Bhudevi, the goddess of Earth.
It will be “a state of the art temple, spread over at least 20,000 square feet with a capacity to accommodate at least 1,000 worshippers”, said Ganesh Vathyam, a spokesperson of the temple committee.
“It will include an ornate, colourful towering entrance called “gopuram” and a brass or copper covered flagstaff called a “dwajasthambam”, he added.
“The Indian-Americans in the area plan to worship at the temporary spot for about three years as funds are raised to build a large temple on a site of nearly 24 acres in Delaware County,” Vathyam was quoted as saying by Columbus Dispatch.
Plans are to bring sculptors from India to build the temple, and early projections place the cost at about USD 3 million, Vathyam said. A hope is that it will offer south-Indian heritage and culture to tourists from around the US, including people of other religions, Vathyam said.
The temple is the second in Powell, Vathyam said. The Bharatiya Hindu Temple on Hyatts Road opened in 1994.
The new temple’s main god, Venkateswara, is a form of the Hindu god Vishnu, the god of life who preserves and sustains. He is one of the three main Hindu gods. The others are Brahma, the creator, and Shiva, the destroyer.
Ram Chandrasekar, a member of the temple committee, said the temple fulfills the aspirations of local Indians, many of whom are followers of Venkateswara.
Ohio is home to more than 74,000 Asian-Americans of Indian descent, according to a state report based on 2010 and 2013 US Census Bureau data. The state’s Indian community has expanded by 80 per cent since 2000.