The largest Hindu temple on American soil will soon open its doors

by | Sep 25, 2023 | Religion

ROBBINSVILLE, N.J. (RNS) — After 12 years of planning and construction, the largest Hindu temple outside of India will open to the public this October. The BAPS Akshardham in Robbinsville, New Jersey, will be the third Akshardham, or abode of the Divine, after the temples in Gujurat and New Delhi — the latter of which is the largest Hindu temple complex in the world. 
Attempting to combine ancient scriptural codes and New Jersey zoning laws, the Akshardham, which encompasses a Maha Mandir, a traditional temple, welcome center, museum and event space, sits on a vast 183-acre plot of land. 
“Having this Akshardham here on American soil is not just the triumph of a community or the triumph of the diaspora — it is the triumph of the nation,” said Chaitali Inamdar, a devotee.
The New Jersey Akshardham, which has been highly anticipated from the Hindu American community for more than a decade, has made national headlines since 2021— when a lawsuit alleging forced labor hit the BAPS organization. Though the lawsuit has since been put on hold, the trademark volunteerism of the BAPS denomination has sparked questions about what constitutes unpaid work and what is selfless service to the Divine.
Members of the BAPS community are largely known for their selfless s …

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