Less than ten miles north of the Tampa International Airport, on an unassuming side road that rolls through the flat terrain and lush vegetation typical of Florida’s bay area, an architecturally distinctive building bursts suddenly above the treetops. Built to serve the needs of a growing Indian community, the Hindu Temple of Florida is unique among its suburban environs.
Completed in 1996, the building is characterized by its prominent pyramid structure, which forms an entrance tower situated atop an exterior staircase that conducts worshippers to a rooftop courtyard and pooja room. After the building’s completion, a process of “Indianization” began to adorn the exterior in the florid architectural details seen today.
The temple is adorned with so many sculptures of Hindu Gods and Goddesses. Get this, all of it was hand carved by people they bought from India. This massive structure is located on Lynn road, close to Foster Elementary School. Lots of parking available by the compound. They offer prayers in the morning and evening. I always try to come hungry when visiting the temple, their canteen makes some amazing made-to-order South Indian food. South Indian foods are hard to find since most restaurants only offer North Indian dishes
The Hindu Temple of Florida is available for weddings, birthdays, and various public and private poojas, and is attended by priests who conduct services primarily in Sanskrit. Consistent with the non-canonical nature of Hinduism—the oldest religion in the world—the temple has no prescribed days or times for services, nor required donations or methods of worship.
Overall, amazing place to learn more on Hinduism and try some yummy South Indian cuisine. By the way, like most temples they do have a dress code here you are required to modest clothing and you will be asked to remove your shoes before stepping onto the steps of the temple.
Photo Credit: www.atlasobscura.com
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