Finding the Ganesh Broom Street Temple in itself will seem like a little treasure hunt. Walking along the cobblestoned streets of Soho, most New Yorkers will be shopping or in a hurry to get somewhere. But for those on the search for this Hindu temple, you’ll have to spot a “blue door” at the corner of Crosby and Broome Street and head up to the second floor.
Walking by, it’s very easy to miss. There’s a little black board that says “Broome Street Ganesh Temple”, but the “blue door” isn’t really so blue. There are no architectural characteristics of a temple on the outside. On this visit, we spotted the Ganesh temple priest and followed him up to this sanctum of peace and calm. In contrast to its exterior, inside it had all the elements of a typical temple in India.
Started by Eddie Stern in 1989 as a yoga studio, the devotion to practice is evident on the walls of the temple, with pictures of Stern’s guru Sri. K. Pattabhi Jois in complex yoga positions. The time is 6:15 pm on a Friday, and the temple begins to fill up with young New Yorkers and visitors, all here to connect to their inner soul via Vedic chants and prayers.
Shiva,Parvati,Krishna & Radhe Idols at Ganesh Temple
The puja begins and everyone with eyes closed, chanting “Om Gam Ganapate Namaha” for 20 about minutes. The vibrations palpable, people who did not know the chant to start with, were also chanting along by the end of it, and the spiritual energies almost created an aura around each of us present.
In the end, we found ourselves standing amid a group of scientists, engineers, doctors, and yoga students, several of whom were visiting the place for the first time. An entrepreneur, who was a pro at Vedic chanting, mentioned that the temple has been here for 10 years now. Puja happens twice a week on Mondays and Fridays, and the rest of the week, yoga classes are held by Eddie Stern himself.