Largest Hindu Temple in Southeasetern US Opens in Thonotosassa

April 4, 2005

Source: Tampa Bay Tribune

On April 4, 2005 the Tampa Bay Tribune reported, "more than 3,000 Hindus from throughout the United States gathered in Thonotosassa Sunday to celebrate the opening of the temple, which will serve as the religious and cultural epicenter for the growing Hindu community. Bochasahwasi Shri Akshar Purushottam Swaminarayan Sanstha (BAPS), one sect of Hinduism practiced by Bay area Hindus, combines spirituality and social service. Before they built the temple, worshippers met in small gatherings each Sunday at private homes or rented halls, making it difficult to unite in their faith and service... The vision for the temple crystalized in 2000 when the BAPS spiritual leader, Pramukh Swami Maharaj, visited Tampa and gave the blessing required to begin construction. Five years and hundreds of hours of volunteer labor later, the BAPS Hindus are celebrating."