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BRANDON, Miss. – A new Hindu temple is an incongruous sight in the middle of a bedroom community near the capital of Mississippi.
The temple is believed to be among only a few in the South built in the ancient tradition of agama sastra. Artisans from India spent years working on the 3,500-square-foot temple, which cost $3.8 million.
Dr. Sampat Shivangi of the Hindu Temple Society of Mississippi said back in the 1970s there were about 20 families worshiping in Rankin County. He said now there are 1,000.
The temple was recently opened by priests who transferred the “life” of the temple’s deities before the idols were placed there permanently.
Some members hope the temple will draw throngs of worshipers and tourists to the site in the heart of the Bible Belt.
Copyright 2010 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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