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Hindu Temple Got Its Start in Greenburgh Restaurant

GREENBURGH, N.Y. -- For the more than two years, the Hindu Temple of TriStates has been holding services at a restaurant in Greenburgh. Soon, the 500 members of the congregation will be able to meet in a temple of their own in White Plains.

“It’s a very good, strong, tight-knit community, and we need a temple in Westchester,” says temple member Monica Mitter.

The temple began two-and-a half years ago as a prayer group for senior citizens at the Royal Palace restaurant at 77 Knollwood Road. The congregation grew under the stewardship of Mitter's husband, restaurant owner Jagdish Mitter. Despite his role in developing the organization, Jagdish Mitter is neither its chairman nor president. Mitter, a Scarsdale resident, said the temple is a group effort.

“We say the minute we come to the public, we are all the servant of god," he said.  "We’re all one.”

In September, the group purchased the empty lot at 390 North St. in White Plains, adjacent to the Shinnyo-en Buddhist Temple, for $800,000. The Hindu group seeks to raise $1.6 million to begin temple construction on the site by the end of the year.  Worship services will commence under a tent at the site in May. Until then, the group will continue to hold prayer services at the Royal Palace restaurant.

Once completed, the temple will host daily religious services, as well as activities for seniors and children.

The India Center of Westchester, in White Plains, is aware of the Hindu group’s plans.   “Definitely, there is a cooperation between these two organizations," says India Center Committee member Siddharta Basu. "A lot of our folks will support it.”

Currently, the Hindu temple nearest to White Plains is in Queens. Dr. Uma Mysorekar, president of the Hindu Temple Society of North America in Flushing, Queens, said building new temples is understandable.

“There is a saying by a great saint," she said. "‘Where there are devotees, there are temples.’”

Hindu Temple of TriStates practices the Hanuman Chalisa service. The next prayer service is March 6th at Royal Palace restaurant. Anyone interested in donating to the Hindu Temple of TriStates can visit the temple's website, www.hindutempleoftristates.com .

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