October 15, 2016, Melville, New York: Three decades-long effort to bring up a Bochasanwasi Shri Akshar Purushottam Swaminarayan Sanstha temple to Long Island is finally over.
According to The New York Times, Samir Bhatt, a volunteer who lives in Hicksville and works as a lawyer said, “We’re not building a church; we’re building a Hindu temple.”
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“And while we are New York, and we’re still a very progressive, liberal state, it took some time.”
The golden temple, with flags and domes stand out against a backdrop of trees, office buildings, houses and stands on the Deshon Drive. The 50,000-square-foot B.A.P.S. temple, , sits on five acres of land.
Spiritual volunteerism brought the project¸ after nearly three decades, a volunteer at the temple said.
“Our spiritual leader, His Holiness Pramukh Swami Maharaj’s dream, was to build a temple for the Indian community in Suffolk and Nassau Counties,” said Dr. Vipul Patel, an oncologist who is also a volunteer.
B.A.P.S. temple is a worldwide socio-spiritual organization and is made “for the nurturing and the growth of the individual,” he said.
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The temple also includes an assembly hall, an indoor basketball court, a dining area, and classrooms. SAT preparation classes can be taken by the youths or study other subjects like music, dance or different languages.
“The style, the architecture, is authentic and consistent with the ancient Indian traditions,”
The building’s exterior is made of a material called FRP, or fiber-reinforced polymer — “a fancy word for, like, hard plastic,” Mr. Bhatt said — and was shipped in puzzlelike pieces from India then assembled by volunteers.
“The style, the architecture, is authentic and consistent with the ancient Indian traditions,” Mr. Bhatt said.
There is also a book stall inside, which offers Hindu scriptures at various reading levels, and dry meals, like “the Indian Chex Mix” is also available.
B.A.P.S. worked for years to overcome the logistic and financial struggles
38-year-old Ms. Joshi, a New Hyde Park resident said, she is looking forward to the flexibility that the new temple would offer to her family.
“In New York, which is metropolitan, you get Indian food at every corner, but to learn how to cook and eat ethnic food is different, and an important part of understanding the culture,” she said
Steve Bellone, the Suffolk County executive, addressed the hundreds of people who had gathered, and thanked them for building the temple.
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“Long Island, Suffolk County, this nation, this world, is enriched, is made better, by all of the people inside this room here today, and what you believe, and what you preach, and what you practice every day in your life,” he said.
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