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Fire Destroys Main Temple At Saraswathi Mandiram

Ranjani Saigal

A New Year’s Eve fire destroyed the Saraswathi Mandiram temple at Green Pastures Estate in Epping, New Hampshire. The fire that was caused by an electrical problem was contained to the main building's two-story addition that included the upstairs temple and downstairs offices. It did not spread to an adjoining auditorium that holds 250 people, where the temple holds Sunday services. The portion of the building with all the Murtis etc has been completely destroyed. Fortunately everyone including the animals on the property was unharmed by the fire.“Along with Murthis and musical instruments, bhajan books that I had collected since my teenage days have been completely destroyed “says Pandit Ramadeen Ramasamooj who is the priest of the temple. “The bhajan books contained many of my Guruji’s compositions and it is a great loss”

Saraswati Mandiram, a 501( c ) 3, tax-exempt, non-profit, religious and educational institution has been serving the community for the past 13 years. “As part of our history, we have initiated the charter school movement in the USA resulting in the first charter school legislation in the country being passed in Massachusetts in summer 1993” says Pandit Ramasamooj. As a representative of the Hindu Faith, Ramasamooj participated in the first conference “The promise of our Youths” initiated by the now Secretary of State, Collin Powell in Massachusetts. He was also participated in the historic Diwali Celebration this year at the White House in Washington D.C. The temple is the only Hindu temple in the State of New Hampshire and the only Saraswati temple in the United States of America.

“We are sad but with unswerving faith and dedication I trust the wisdom of the Divine Mother Saraswati. We have resolved to rebuild the temple. In the mean time, we will continue to hold our regular Sunday Services in the Auditorium located next to the temple. Classes of the Vivekananda Academy, a non public school from Kindergarten to Junior College, approved and accredited by the State of New Hampshire will continue in the School Building. Our Ayurvedic Clinic will continue with Dr. Reshma Nair above the auditorium” says Ramasamooj.

The temple is looking for financial help and for volunteer services to help architect and build the new temple. They have established a “Temple Building Fund". 100% of the donations will be used for construction. You may send your tax deductible donations to

Saraswati Mandiram
Temple Building Fund
38B Ladd's Lane
Epping NH 03042

The temple will be holding a "Jal visarjan" ceremony in which the pieces of the Murties will be and ceremoniously immerse them in the nearby Lamprey River or the Atlantic Ocean. The date and time for this ceremony will be publicized soon.

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