Robbinsville – $150M temple to open in 2017

9567112-largeA Hindu temple that will spread over 162 acres and cost $150 million to build is expected to open in town in 2017.

Bochasanwasi Shri Akshar Purushottam Swaminarayan Sanstha (BAPS) Shri Swaminarayan Mandir is currently under construction at 112 N Main Street. “Mandir Mahotsav,” a series of celebrations and ceremonies to inaugurate this intricate hand-carved temple will be held on Aug. 10 in the presence of Sadguru Pujya Mahant Swami, Sadguru Pujya Tyagvallabh Swami and Sadguru Pujya Ishwarcharan Swami, according to Rajan Zed, president of Universal Society of Hinduism.

About 2,000 artisans are working in Rajasthan, India crafting various parts of the temple, which will be assembled by master craftsmen in Robbinsville. Besides marble from Rajasthan, Italian marble is also being used. A team of about 5,000 people is looking after the project in Robbinsville, according to Mr. Zed.

Its main building will reportedly consist of four floors and will include an exhibit on India’s culture and history; an activity center for youth; ornate pillars/panels showing images from Mahabharata, Ramayana, etc.

Arti will be held twice daily in this temple; assemblies of children, adolescents, youth and women; Satsang Sabha; and Gujarati classes will be held on Sundays. Janmashtami, Sharad Purnima and Diwali celebrations will also be held in the temple, according to Mr. Zed.
BAPS, which envisions “a society whose joy lies in the joy of others,” is a socio-spiritual Hindu organization with its roots in the Vedas and headquartered in Ahmedabad, India. Founded by Bhagwan Swaminarayan, it claims to have over 3,850 centers, over a million followers and over 880 sadhus spread worldwide. Pramukh Swami Maharaj, 92, is its current spiritual guru, according to Mr. Zed.

Mr. Zed said that it is important to pass on Hindu spirituality, concepts and traditions to coming generations amidst so many distractions in the consumerist society. He said that instead of running after materialism people should focus on inner search and realization of self and work toward achieving moksh (liberation), which is the goal of Hinduism.

Source: Central Jersey