Source: The Detroit News
On June 19, 2006 The Detroit News reported, "Hindu worshippers took a first step Sunday toward construction of a new $9 million architecturally authentic temple in Metro Detroit. There were no bulldozers or shovels. Instead, about 700 Hindus gathered at the current Bharatiya Temple to take part in a Bhoomi Puja. It's a customary ceremony performed to ask Mother Earth for permission and blessings before breaking ground on a new temple. Plans for the new facility have been talked about for years, organizers said, but fundraising didn't start until about a year ago. Close to $2.5 million has been raised and construction should begin in March 2007. 'We want to be the Hindu temple for Metro Detroit,' said Rao Chalasani, chairman of the temple's board of directors. There are close to 73,000 Indians in Metro Detroit, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. The temple, with about 1,000 active members, opened in 1980 and is the largest in the area. The new 61,000-square-foot facility will be more than double the size of the current one on about 17 acres off North Adams Road. Construction of the building likely will be completed in the fall of 2008. But it will take another year to decorate, Chalasani said. Temple leaders have hired an Indian architect to assist architectural firm METCO of Farmington. And they plan to bring more than a dozen artisans from India to complete the building's decorations, such as the carved wooden doors."