MINNESOTA, U.S., June 3, 2015 (MPR News): Recent celebrations mark Minnesota Hindu Milan Mandir’s first year in its permanent home. The mandir, or temple, is a branch of India’s religious, philanthropic, charitable organization Bharat Sevashram Sangha. Satya Balroop downplays her role in building the Minnesota temple. But it wouldn’t exist without her, Minnesota Public Radio News reported. In 1998, Balroop and her husband were living in New York City. As devout Hindus, they consulted their guru about moving to Minnesota, where they had relatives. “He said, ‘Yes, absolutely. Minnesota is God’s land. Go there,'” Balroop recalled. “And that’s when he added an extra line: ‘You must start a temple there,'” she recalled, laughing.
Within months, she and her family were living in Eagan and holding religious services on the first floor of their home. The next step was to transform the detached garage into a temporary temple, a place to worship until they could afford something larger. These days, the accommodations are much improved. Balroop, her family and friends pooled their savings – $165,000 – to purchase a former Lutheran church in Farmington that sat empty for years. On average, 40 families now attend weekly services.
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