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MAPLE GROVE, MN-The Hindu Society of Minnesota broke ground recently on a new Mandir Temple on an 80-acre site in the city.

The 30,000-sf temple, which is located at 10530 Troy Lane northeast of Hennepin County 30 and 101, is expected to cost $4.7 million and will include an auditorium, meditation rooms and a large kitchen and dining area.

The design was done by the Minneapolis office of the SLL/Leo A Daly (the firm was formerly known as Setter Leach & Lindstrom before it was bought by Leo A Daly of Omaha earlier this year). The firm used ancient Hindu architecture principles in its design, which include attention to the natural and celestial environment, including the sun, moon and wind and on the location of water sources.

The Hindu Society bought 80 acres in the city five years ago for $600,000. The former site of a tree nursery had appeal because of the elevation of the site, as well as its brooks, a pond and surrounding natural wetlands. The groundbreaking has been 10 years in the making, and the society still has a large portion of the cost to raise for the new temple.

The Hindu Society was founded in the Twin Cities in 1978, when people worshiped and prayed in basements of their homes. Later, the society bought a former Methodist church in Northeast Minneapolis. But sometimes 200 people gather at Hindu Mandir in a space which only seats 150. The new temple will serve Hindu communities from Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, western Wisconsin and Iowa.

The temple is expected be completed in the fall of 2005.

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