Neil Bhatt, an architect and director of education for the Hindu Center, says Hindus use different names for the supreme God: Brahma (creator), Vishnu (sustainer) and Shiva (destroyer) - also known as the Hindu Trinity.
But there are many other deities, each of whom "is basically a personification of one aspect of how we relate to God.
In other words, if I'm seeking knowledge, I see him as knowledge giver; a person seeking wealth will see him as a wealth giver.
Deities are depicted in male and female forms.
adds, "I jokingly tell people that in Hinduism, the power lies with the women," such as Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth; Saraswati, the goddess of knowledge; and Durga, who represents power.
Throughout the building process, Bhatt, who is president of nbj Architecture in Glen Allen and the primary temple architect, consulted with a sthapati, an architect from India who is versed in ancient temple-building traditions.
But though built according to traditional principles, the new temple was also constructed using modern green-building techniques: a heat-recovery system that transfers air from one side of the building to the other, energy-efficient light fixtures, occupancy sensors, water-saving restrooms, and landscaping that doesn't require watering.
says materials used in the building came from within a 500-mile radius, and most have recycled content, including the steel.