Hindu Temple Ground-Breaking Set in Marlboro

April 18, 2008

Author: Alesha Williams Boyd

Source: Asbury Park Press


The crowd at the Hindu American Temple and Cultural Center gathered in a tent outside Friday evening to pray to Bhooma Devi, their goddess of the earth.

"Because, you see, anything can happen when you're digging," said Nandakumar Balija, the Sri Guruvayoorapan Temple president, as temple priests poured honey, yogurt and ghee, or melted butter, around the yagna gundam, or sacrifice pit.

The digging begins Saturday with a formal ground-breaking ceremony for a 33,000-square-foot temple and 15,000-square-foot priest quarters at the Wooleytown Road site. The actual construction is to begin within the next month or so, Balija said.

On Friday night, a preliminary ceremony was held, during which about 200 to 300 devotees visited the temple to pray that "everything should go well (Saturday)," Balija said.