It took seven years and $10 million to renovate and expand the Bharatiya Hindu Temple to accommodate the growing numbers of worshippers who have arrived in the Detroit area from India.
The temple in Troy, a northern Detroit suburb, underwent a 35,000 square foot expansion and opened its doors to the public on Wednesday.
Its prayer hall houses seven new interior temples that were made in India from marble that was mined there. Other parts of the building, including teak doors, were also built in India then transported to Detroit by ship and train. Local masons spent a year assembling the parts inside the Bharatiya Temple.
At least 25,000 Hindus live in the Detroit area and about 800 families worship at the Bharatiya Hindu Temple, said Tom Patel, chairman of the temple's board of trustees. Hinduism is the dominant religion in India.
U.S. Census figures from 2005-2007 show that more than 36,000 foreign-born people from India lived in and around Detroit. About 1.8 million Hindus were believed to be living in the United States, according to a 2008 report by the Hindu American Foundation.
- The Associated Press contributed to this report