Indian culture is rich in spirituality, and its impact reaches well beyond the country’s borders. A sizable Indian diaspora in the United States has carried with them components of their cultural heritage, such as religious practices and traditions.
One of the most prominent manifestations of Indian spirituality in the United States is the existence of Hindu temples. These temples function not just as places of prayer but also as hubs for community gatherings, cultural activities, and festivals. Whether you are a Hindu devotee, an architecture aficionado, or simply looking for a one-of-a-kind cultural experience, visiting an Indian temple in the United States will be a wonderful adventure. Here are some of the most popular Indian temples to visit in the United States:
- Sri Maha Vallabha Ganapati Devsthanam
The Sri Maha Vallabha Ganapati Devasthanam, also known as the Ganesh Temple, is located in New York. Construction of this sacred temple began in 1970 and ended in 1977. It is well-known as one of America’s most prominent Hindu temples, and it is of great cultural and religious significance to devotees across the country. According to the Sri Maha Vallabha Ganapati Devasthanam temple website, “This was the first authentic Hindu temple in North America built with traditional granite stones imported from India, and so it is one of the most historically and architecturally important temples in the West.”
- Sri Venkateswara Temple
The Sri Venkateswara Temple, located in Penn Hills, Pennsylvania, is a popular place of worship for followers of Lord Venkateswara, a form of Lord Vishnu. According to the Sri Venkateswara Temple website, “The plans for Sri Venkateswara Temple were designed and planned by Sthapathy Ganapathi, working at the engineering cell of the endowments department, Andhra Pradesh, India”. The temple’s construction incorporates traditional South Indian forms, with magnificent gopurams (tower entrances) and bright sculptures embellishing the grounds. The temple organises regular pujas, cultural programmes, and educational events for the community.
- Malibu Hindu Temple
The Malibu Hindu Temple, located in the gorgeous hills of Malibu, California, is one of the most recognised Indian temples in the United States. This temple is one of the largest Hindu temples in the Western Hemisphere. It was built in typical South Indian architectural style and is dedicated to the Hindu deity Venkateswara. Visitors can visit intricately carved shrines, take part in religious activities, and enjoy the peaceful surroundings.
- BAPS Sri Swami Narayan Mandir
According to the BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir website, “construction on the site of the BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir in Robbinsville, NJ, began in early 2010.” The Mandir was the second phase of construction for the Hindu American Religious Centre, and it was finished early in the project to allow for the centre’s gradual growth. The temple, built in the Nagaradi architectural style and made of an astonishing 68,000 cubic feet of Italian Carrara marble, has been designated by the World Record Academy as the world’s largest Hindu Temple. It was inaugurated on October 8, 2023. The temple complex contains shrines dedicated to numerous deities, including Lord Swaminarayan, Radha Krishna, and Lord Ganesha.