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Buffalo Hindu Parishad expands with new temple in Western New York

The Buffalo Hindu Parishad is celebrating a religious festival called Sri Sri Saraswati Puja. They're also looking to expand with new temple in Western New York.

BUFFALO, N.Y. — The Buffalo Hindu Parishad is celebrating a religious festival called Sri Sri Saraswati Puja. It falls at the same time the Bangladeshi community is also looking to expand with a new temple in West Seneca. This will be the first temple in that area.

The Bangladeshi community is growing here in Western New York. They're running out of space to host in their original place of worship, a basement of one of their Buffalo Hindu Parishad members' home.

"We have no temple in Buffalo. We only have one temple in Getzville. It's a little bit far from us," Kamal Das with the Buffalo Hindu Parishad said.

His wife, Urmi Poddar, and their family has been coming to this space for years.

"Moved here in 2016. There were four families. Me and my secretary from Buffalo Hindu Parishad, he was here before me. And now it's 2023, and now there are 40-45 Hindu families here," Poddar said.

This is a place where many others come to celebrate their culture and festivities as well.

"This goddess today that we are worshipping is Saraswati Puga. And we believe she has the power of knowledge. In this very day, what we do is worship Saraswati Puja with the hope of getting more knowledge," said Ashis Podder, who is a member of Buffalo Hindu Parishad.

Saraswati Puga is believed to be the Hindu goddess of music, art, wisdom and learning.

"In our country that day, we don't study. We just celebrate our Puja," Poddar said.

A Puja is a worship ritual. It involves things like lights, incense, flowers, and food. During Puja, the work shippers will chant mantras, which are prayers and verses from the Hindu holy books. But this festival is particularly dedicated to students.

"It's really important for the students. We all need knowledge. Power of knowledge," Poddar said.

This next generation inspires them to expand. They will soon move to a new space of worship in Western New York.

Their new temple will be located at 104 Aurora Avenue in West Seneca. They are hoping to have it ready sometime this year.

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