Local Hindu Temple Offers Peace

February 22, 2009

Author: Cullen Thomas

Source: The Hudson Reporter


On a recent Saturday evening, 150 Indian worshippers continued a more than 20-year-old spiritual tradition at the local Swaminarayan temple. Men in sweaters and button-down shirts and women in colorful shalwar kameez prayed and sang while facing a golden shrine encasing vivid paintings of Hindu deities.

The temple, tucked away on Louisa Place overlooking the Hudson River, is an A-frame made of stone and wood. It looks like an old New England church or schoolhouse. Before it was converted into a Hindu temple in 1987, the building was a Christian Science church.

The Weehawken site is the very first Swaminarayan temple in the United States, which gives it special significance for followers.

“This is the headquarters,” the temple president, Bahkti Patel, explained. “You find many [places] with the Swaminarayan name, but we are the original.”