Source: Associated Press
On January 16, 2005 the Associated Press reported, "Arizona's 13,000-member Hindu community dreams of turning a swath of desert 30 miles south of Chandler into a spiritual landmark. It is raising funds to build the state's first traditional Hindu temple... There are several Hindu temples in Arizona, including ones in Yuma, Mesa and Scottsdale. But all were installed in existing buildings, such as strip malls and former churches, modified to suit the worshipers' needs. Ramamurthy says Arizona's Hindu population needs a traditional temple. More than 1,000 families already belong to the Maha Ganapati Temple of Arizona. Members are from the Phoenix area, and they also come from Tucson, Bisbee and Flagstaff. Like the rest of Arizona's population, Ramamurthy said the Hindu community, which is now at about 13,000, is growing quickly. The Maha Ganapati Temple of Arizona was formed in 1999 when a Hindu monastery in Kauai donated a 1,400-pound granite statue of the deity Ganesh to a group of local Hindus."