Hindu Temple Society Of North America New York
Hindu Temple Society Of North America (Sri Maha Vallabha Ganapati Devasthanam) is situated at 45-57 Bowne Street, Flushing, Queens, New York, was the very first of the traditional Hindu temples in the USA. The designation North America in the name was chosen because there were no other Hindu temples in North America from which it needed to distinguish itself.
The temple is constructed using granite. It is entered through a gopuram gateway. The main shrine is dedicated to Lord Ganesha, while other shrines house idols of Lord Balaji, Goddess Mahalakshmi, Lord Hanuman and Sri Nagendra Swamy. Temple includes a dhvajastambha (column) and a rajagopuram (lofty tower). Sthapathi (temple architect) Muthiah had supervised the reconstruction.
It is popularly referred to as the Ganesh Temple, Flushing since the main deity is Lord Ganesh. While there are now several Hindu temples in New York City area, this is still the most prominent one. The temple architecture and the rituals follow the South Indian tradition.
The temple is visited not only by the Hindus but also those who wish to explore religious diversity in Queens. The temple has a vegetarian restaurant termed the Temple Canteen in the basement which is popular for its simple South Indian cuisine and for the temple experience.
The temple includes a Pathsala (school) where children learn languages such as Hindi, Tamil, English and Sanskrit as well as Math, Science and Religion. Yoga and Meditation classes also offered. Construction of the Vedanta Library, Senior Citizen Center, and Staff Quarters has also been undertaken.