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Foundation Of A New Future 

Supervisor Frank Petrone bows to Senior Swami Yagna Vallabh during the ceremony, which drew thousands to Melville to participate.

Sunday morning marked the next step in a new chapter of the history of the BAPS in the Town of Huntington.

More than 1,500 people from across New York State came to the site of the Hindu sect’s future home on Deshon Drive in Melville to participate in a sacred ritual to set the mandir’s foundation.

The ceremony was another step forward to a long-awaited groundbreaking which has been more than a decade in the making. The Bochasanwasi Shree Akshar Purushottam (BAPS) originally planned to build their mandir on Old Country Road at the former site of Meyer’s Farm, but they later brokered an agreement with the Town of Huntington and local civic activists to swap that parcel for five of 18 acres located at 25 Deshon Drive in Melville, where a 261-unit affordable community, The Club at Melville, is being built on the remaining land. Meyer’s Farm will become Sweet Hollow Park.

Senior Swami Sadhu Yagnavallabhdas placed the first brick and was followed by members of the community who laid the foundational bricks for the northeast corner of the mandir, BAPS spokesman Yogi Trivedi explained.

After the approximately 90-minute ceremony, which included devotional and musical performances, community children led a cultural dance presentation before dignitaries addressed the crowd.

Guests were given a tour of the 5-acre site, which is adjacent to the future Club at Melville affordable senior complex, which is to be built on 13 neighboring acres. The mandir is expected to include spaces for children’s activities, a gym, a prayer hall, an assembly hall and more, Trivedi said.

The BAPS hope to break ground on their new Melville mandir as early as the spring of 2014, Trivedi added.

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