Ireland’s First Hindu Temple Opens Its Doors In Walkinstown
Ireland’s first Hindu temple formally opened its doors in Walkstein after two decades of fundraising and planning by the Irish Hindu community.
The new temple, which is marking its inauguration by holding several small events over the weekend with limited numbers to keep in line with the Covid-19 restrictions, is expected to bring thousands of members of the Irish Hindu community through its doors in the coming months .
While the center will function primarily as a place of worship for Hindus, it will also provide meditation and yoga classes, language classes, music and dance workshops and will be available for the general public for school visits and youth activities, Sudhansh Verma, director of the Vedic Hindu Cultural Centre of Ireland
“The community has been waiting for this for a long time, so everyone is very excited. Finally we will have a place to adopt our culture, we miss that link here. We expect 8–10,000 people to have visited by the end of the year, but for now we have to ban the numbers. “
Mr Verma, who has lead the campaign to find a permanent home for a Hindu temple in Ireland for nearly two decades, says the community has been relying on temporary locations to offer space for worship up until now and described the opening as “a historic moment”.
“Earlier we were renting places and moving around all the time. We used community centers, school halls, GAA centers but now the hunt is finally over.
“I remember I had my first prayer session in Clontarf Palace in 2001 and we had about 200 people. Then I could count on my fingers how many people from India and Nepal lived here. But the community has grown a lot. “
While the 2016 census has been recorded for over 14,300 Hindus living in Ireland, Mr Verma says that the actual figure, when taking into account the number of students, the technical staff transferred here in recent years, is 25,000 people
Asked if the Hindu community has experienced any racism or disapproval in this country, Mr Verma said he always found Ireland “generous and kind”. He underlined that the new center at the Sunbury Industrial Estate in Walkinstown would be open to people of “all faiths and religions”.
“We do not believe in fundamentalism as a religion; We believe that we are all one family and may have different manifestations of God. We want people to live together in peace and harmony, that is the main objective. It will not only be a spiritual center but also a community center. “
He said he hoped the kitchen of the centers could be used to provide food to homeless people working in partnership with local people. He said that teenagers studying religion at the Leaving Certificate level will be able to attend Hinduism classes at the temple.
Although the centre is open to the public, no walk-in visitors will be allowed, while Covid-19 restrictions remain unchanged and access to the site is only available via pre-booking through the Vedic Hindu Cultural Center.