Guyanese in Orange County, Central Florida, has broken ground to build a new temple to serve the needs of Hindu worshippers in the community. This according to Pandit Vishnu Hardowar, a veterinarian, some 7,000 Hindus live in the surrounding area and for months Hindus have been conducting service under a giant tent in the open lot.
Reports about the construction of the new mandir were carried in the Florida Sentinel newspaper. Guyanese have been holding, services for months under a giant white tent.
As one devotee told the Sentinel: “The temple construction is mostly an effort for the community to attract members of the younger generation who are straying from me culture. We need a place identifiable to our young people”. Commenting about the temple, Pt Hardowar said “Given the large com¬munity here, we felt the time was right for a temple”.
The new temple, to be called Shri Suraya Narayan Mandir, is expected to be 6,000-square-feet on the 5-acre lot. When completed in late sum¬mer, the mandir will be topped with a pointed dome and an Om. Pt. Hardowar said the temple project is an achievement of the commu¬nity and his family and he cost is projected to be over a million dollars, Temples are not new to Hardowar. His father, the late Hardowar Panday, established temples in his native Crabwood Creek, Guyana, and in Ja¬maica, N.Y. .
Hardowar said he saw a need for a temple immediately, especially for immigrants from his native Guyana and elsewhere in the West Indies. Central Florida has about a dozen West Indian temples of varying sizes with some of them small houses where a living room has been cleared to hold an altar. A few of the temples are managed by Guyanese priests who migrated from NYC.