Immigrants Seek Site for Hindu Temple

May 15, 2008

Author: Julie Masis

Source: The Boston Globe

Space needed: A large parking lot, two nice bathrooms, and a room with ceilings that aren't too high - so heating costs don't spiral out of control.

Since the only Hindu temple in New Hampshire was shut down in January, a group of immigrants from India has been trying to rent a place in Nashua that can accommodate about 100 people.

"It's very difficult to find what we are looking for because we are not looking for a house, [and] we are not looking for an office," said Doraswamy Subramony, president of the temple organization.

The group has about $1,500 a month to spend, after more than a dozen Nashua residents and businesses committed to supporting the temple with $100 donations for each of the next 12 months.

In recent weeks, temple members have looked at a church off Route 101 and a hall in Maplewood Estates that was last rented by a presidential candidate's campaign.

"Probably within a couple of weeks, we'll rent a place," Subramony said.

The temple organization - which recently registered with the Internal Revenue Service as the Hindu Temple of New Hampshire Inc., hired a priest, and developed the website - is just one of the signs of the growing Indian community in southern New Hampshire.

There are 4,508 people from India living in the state, according to the 2006 American Community Survey, an increase of about 40 percent since 2000. Today, Indians outnumber immigrants from any other country except Canada, said University of New Hampshire professor Ross Gittell, who coauthored a forthcoming report on the state's foreign-born population.