Lack of educational and employment opportunities, political instability, and poor economic conditions in Nepal are the major factors driving the migration of Nepalis to the USA.
Though migration of Nepalis to the USA is a recent phenomenon than has not received severe academic attention, the Nepali community has grown steadily in recent years.
Nepalis started migrating to the US from the early 20th century, and the number remained below 100 per year till the 1990s. In 1995, only 55 Nepalis became American citizens, and 312 received permanent-resident status.
According to the 2019 Annual Report by the Nepali Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 280,000 Nepalis are currently residing in the US.
The significant rise in the Nepali community population has led to the inculcation of the Hindu culture in the USA. The Vedanta Society, in 1906, built the first Hindu temple in the largest Christian country.
Currently, there are around 900 Hindu temples and spiritual centers in the USA built by the Hindu community to perform their traditional deity worship. Here are some popular Nepali temples in America.
Deity: Lord Shiva and Lord Buddha
Location: Irving, Texas
Shree Pashupatinath and Buddha Mandir in Texas is constructed to provide a common place for all Nepali Hindus and Buddhists to congregate culturally, religiously, and spiritually.
The Pashupatinath-Buddha temple holds the idols of Lord Shiva and Lord Buddha. Besides, there is a cultural center that serves as a venue for many spiritual activities, including yoga, meditation, and spiritual lectures.
The Nepali Cultural and Spiritual Center (NCSC) runs the temple. It is established to promote and preserve Nepali cultural heritage and fortify social and religious harmony among Nepalis in the US.
God: Lord Shiva and Lord Buddha
Location: Beallsville, Maryland
Pashupati-Buddha Mandir in Beallsville is also the temple of Lord Shiva and Lord Buddha. The Nepal Education and Cultural Center (NECC) constructed the temple in Lanham, Maryland, on September 30, 2000.
Later, on June 4, 2012, the mandir was moved to a spacious location at Beallsville to accommodate the growing Nepali community in the area.
Deity: Lord Buddha
Location: Baltimore, Maryland
The Nepali American Cultural Center (NACC) of Baltimore built the Hindu-Buddha temple to help the Nepali community to observe and celebrate various religious and cultural traditions, festivals, and other relevant life cycle rituals.
The organization’s mission is to cater to the needs of Nepalis regarding the religious and cultural observances regularly throughout the year.
A large number of devotees throng the temple, especially during Buddha Jayanthi and Lhosar. As the temple is very spacious, more than one religious activity can be performed concurrently.
Moreover, the grounds spread over 31 acres, and in addition to the mandir, it includes open front and backyards, playgrounds, and large parking space, making it a perfect venue for performing numerous religious and cultural programs and activities.
God: Lord Shiva and Lord Buddha
Location: Norwalk, California
Shree Pashupatinath and Buddha Mandir in Norwalk is one of the famous Hindu temples in the USA as it replicates the Shree Pashupatinath Temple in Kathmandu, Nepal.
Shree Pashupatinath Foundation, USA, constructed the temple to bring the Nepali diaspora under one roof and celebrate Nepal’s rich culture through artistic, , educational, and religious activities.
Deity: Lord Shiva
Location: Brighton, Colorado
Sanatan Mandir in Colorado is the first Nepali Sanatan community temple in the USA. In around 14,000 square feet of land, the local Nepali community established the temple with the inspiration of Shree Swami Tahal Kishorji Maharaj, President of Radha Krishna Organization.
The temple features attractive marble statues of Lord Pashupatinath, Lord Krishna, Jai Jagadamba, Ram Darbar, and Shiva Darbar.
Despite being a minority religion in the USA, Hinduism is currently growing into a mainstream religion with an exponential rise in immigrants from the South Asian countries like Nepal, India, Sri Lanka, Bhutan, and the Maldives.
As per the latest statistics, the population of Hindus in the USA has reached 2.23 million, making Hinduism the fourth-largest faith in America. Moreover, the Hindu population is expected to reach 4.78 million, 1.2% of the US population, by 2025.
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