Texas gets its first Hindu temple
The temple has been funded by donations from local Hindus and big corporations like Dell Inc.Updated: Feb 13, 2007, 13:02 IST
Texas' Austin city has got its first Hindu temple and community centre.
The 76-acre temple and community centre cost $15 million, funded mostly by donations from the Hindu community and some from corporations such as Dell Inc.
"The centre is available to everyone. There are only a few restrictions, which include no meat, no alcohol and no shoes," said Harish Kotecha, treasurer of the centre.
Earlier, the Hindu community of Austin had to move from facility to facility for daily ceremonies and cultural activities.
Hundreds of people attended the ribbon-cutting ceremony Sunday by Senator John Cornyn.
"The great thing about this culture is that it is not exclusionary, it is inclusive," Cornyn said. "People are welcomed without regard to religion, nationality or race."
He said the Indian-American community in Texas was well educated and productive and would enrich the culture and the quality of life in Austin.
The centre will offer educational classes that will include teachings on discipline in life and Hinduism, according to the Daily Texan newspaper.
"The classes will teach about why we practise Hinduism," said Jagannath Vedula, a religious coordinator.
Austin Mayor Will Wynn, who also spoke at the event, said the temple would help people be more aware of the diversity of Austin and its importance economically, academically and spiritually.
"It is a great way to bring us all together," said Sujata Ghosh, a medical student.