Plans are underway to build the first Hindu temple in the Bay of Plenty after a block of land in Tauriko was purchased by Snatan Dharm Trust.
The 2150sqm block of land in Whiore Avenue in Tauriko has gained counsel consent to build 250sqm.
Snatan Dharm Trust trustees Mohan Sailly and Kuldip Kumar at the site where the Hindu temple will be built.
There is currently a 135sqm shed on the land and tents will also be erected while temple members raise funds for a deposit.
A Bhoomi Pujan – a land sanctifying process completed before the building of a house – will take place at 10am on Saturday where the temple is set to be built.
Temple treasurer Kuldip Kumar says once a deposit is gathered they will apply for a loan and begin building the temple, hopefully by early next year.
“At the moment we're just starting. We have already spent nearly $400,000 to buy that land.”
“That (250sqm) will be enough at the moment; if more people come then we can apply again.”
Kuldip says having a local temple is vital to their religion.
“Once we have a temple we can tell the new generation about our religion. Everybody doesn't know about the religion, once we have a priest there everyone can get together there and the priest can explain.”
The nearest Hindu temples are currently in Hamilton and Auckland.
Kuldip says there is already a growing Hindu presence in the Bay, but he will not know how extensive that is until the temple gains momentum.
“Once we get things started then we will start to know who is around.”
Anyone is welcome to attend Saturday's event, which includes a prayer and meal.
It will take place at 10am at 108 Whiore Ave in Tauriko, Tauranga.