Maple Grove Hindu Temple Located in Cornfields

July 14, 2006

Source: Minnesota Public Radio

On July 14, 2006 Minnesota Public Radio reported, "The temple made news last spring when it was vandalized by two young men. Those men pleaded guilty this week, and could spend two months in jail and pay restitution of more than $90,000 each.

Dr. Shashikant Sane, who is on the temple's executive committee, recalls the incident.

'One unfortunate night on April 5 of this year, two young individuals, who did not know what they were doing perhaps, came in, saw the light, broke through these windows with a baseball bat and basically destroyed many of the statues in this particular location,' Sane says.

The vandalism both horrified and unified Twin Cities Hindus in the midst of an otherwise exciting time for the community -- which was getting ready to celebrate the opening of the huge new $9 million temple building.

The Hindu community celebrated an official grand opening earlier this month, but the temple is far from complete.

The building houses an auditorium, classrooms, meeting rooms, a kitchen, and plenty of room for dancing and feasting.

But the centerpiece of the new facility is a huge, sunlit room with bright orange pillars, polished stone floors and -- eventually -- 19 ornate shrines. They are temples within a temple.

Dr. Sane has helped lead the construction project. He emphasizes that the 19 temples each honor different representations of a single God... Only five of the 19 temples are complete, but eventually each will house an elaborate statue, handmade back in India."