TAMPA — The city's first Hindu temple, Sanatan Mandir, opened in Tampa Heights in 1991 in the community center of a former synagogue at 311 E Palm Ave.
Other temples rose in the years that followed, including the ornate Hindu Temple of Florida in Carrollwood.
On Saturday, Sanatan Mandir's trustees will break ground on a new 10,600-square foot temple building. Its sikharas, or rising towers, will be visible from Interstate 275, according to Dr. Pawan Rattan, chairman of the board.
The public is invited to the program, scheduled to begin with prayer at 10 a.m., followed by plan presentation at 11 a.m., remarks by Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn at 11:30 a.m. and a vegetarian lunch at noon. There is no charge for lunch.
The site used to be home to Congregation Rodeph Sholom, which was founded in 1903 but moved to Bayshore Boulevard. The original synagogue building has long since been demolished, but Dr. Rattan describes the land as sacred because of its history.