TOWNSVILLE is now home to Queensland’s first Hindu temple outside the southeast corner, after 10 years of planning.
Spokesman for the Sri Siddhi Vinayaka Cultural Centre Dr Shashidhar-Venkatesh Murthy said it had taken 10 years to deliver the temple with raising funds, hiring architects from India and development approval delays contributing to the lengthy process.
“This temple requires traditional architects and we had to look at the purity of the land and the direction of the temple,” he said.
The temple is located in a converted shed in Gumlow, which is fitted out with altars and idols from India.
Dr Murthy said the temple would mean Hindus no longer had to travel to Brisbane to get married or celebrate important festivals.
“Temple visits are a part of our culture,” he said.
“A lot of people have had to travel to Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne even.
“So many people have contacted us from Mackay, Ayr and Cairns and said they’re planning to visit.”
Dr Murthy said having a temple priest based in Townsville would also mean the community wouldn’t have to fly one in for rituals.
More than 200 people attended the opening in a grand celebration of Indian culture.
Member of the culture centre committee Ajay Rane said the temple opening was a wonderful celebration of Indian culture and religion in North Queensland.
“I am a proud Australian citizen and am delighted that I am able to celebrate my Indian culture and spirituality with my friends and community in the dedication of the temple,” Professor Rane said.
“This is another step forward for multiculturalism and inclusivity in our community.”
But it’s not the end of the journey, with plans to build to build a bigger temple on the 0.8ha site in future.
“This is still a temporary temple,” Dr Murthy said.