There are 53 Hindu temples in 33 American states, says a just published coffee table book that details the history, architecture, deities and other salient features reflecting the growing spread of Hinduism in this country.
Titled Bharat Rekha in America, the book by former Indian management consultant K Panchapakesan, was released by Republican Congressman Joe Wilson, a member of the House of Representatives' committee on international relations at the Capitol Hill.
Recalling his close personal ties with India and the role he played in the establishment of a Hindu Temple in South Carolina, Wilson lauded the efforts of the author to meet a long felt need of the Indian American Community.
Published by Kansas Medical Publishing headed by Shekhar Challa, a noted Indian American doctor, the book brings out several interesting facets of Hindu temples in America.
- At a Ganesh temple in Anchorage, Alaska devotees take turn to work as priests.
- Generally Shiva and Vishnu temples are constructed separately, but quite a few temples in the US house both deities together.
- The Ganesh temple in Nashville has a Shiva Lingam (an icon of lord Shiva), which is said to have self-grown on the Narmada riverbed.
- GK Kumar has contributed over $2.5 million for the construction of the Parashakthi Temple in Michigan.
- The first form of Vishnu as Anantha Padmanabha outside India is in the Shiva-Vishnu Temple, Lanham
- Las Vegas has two temples, including a rare one for Brahma donated by the Thais.
- A Shiva temple being built in Hawaii with donations from 55 countries will house the world's largest self-grown crystal Shiva lingam weighing 320 kg and 99 cm in height.