Designed according to specific religious architectural traditions, the temple stands as a monument to Hindu Heritage in Ottawa. It is home to many deities and shrines made of granite, marble and bronze, all sculpted in India. There are an assembly hall and a library. Please remove shoes upon entering. No photography of shrines or deities.
The ground was broken for the first Hindu temple in Eastern Ontario in 1985. The temple is located on Bank Street in the rural area to the south of urban Ottawa, south east of the airport. The site, previously a cornfield, was purchased for the temple in 1984. The $4 million structure, funded by donations made by Canadian Hindus, was officially opened in 1989. It serves the estimated 6,000 Hindus who live in Ottawa, as well as acting as a community and cultural centre for the community with halls, libraries, and other resources. The temple follows traditional Hindu architectural styles, though compromises had to be made to adapt to the cold and weight of snow accumulation. The temple has nine shrines: Ganesha, Kartikeya, Krishna with Radha, Shiva, Lakshmi with Narayana, Rama with Sita and Lakshmana with Hanuman, Durga, Hanuman, and Nataraja. The effort to build the temple was spearheaded by Pandit Madhu Sahasrabudhe, a food science researcher who had also served as a priest in the city since 1960. Until his death in 2004 Sahasrabudhe also played an important role in the community. He is the chair of the Capital Region Interfaith Council. In 2002, he led prayers at a multi-faith Thanksgiving event with the Queen in attendance. He frequently appeared as part of the Ottawa Citizen's panel of local religious leaders.