Sikh Community Set to Welcome New Temple in Delano

July 19, 2023 /

Photo credit: Gurdwara Singh Sabha of Delano could

Coming late 2023 to early 2024, the Delano Sikh community plans to start construction of their brand-new Sikh temple. The new temple is set to open in late 2024 to address the needs of the growing Sikh community in Delano and the region. Currently, around 30% of attendees are from outside of Delano, and around 70% are from within the city. 

The word Sikh is in reference to the religion Sikhism. The Sikh population comes from the Punjab region of northern India. Locally, the Sikh community has a large presence in Kern County and the Central Valley as a whole. Currently, all six Sikh temples in the county are all located in various parts of Bakersfield. 

Gurdwara Singh Sabha of Delano had plans for a new temple as far back as 2013. However, financial circumstances and other factors led to the delay of any potential construction until now.  

Interestingly, the new temple will not be located in Kern County. Instead, it will be located just across the county line in neighboring Tulare County, as the city of Delano sits along the county line. Gurdwara Singh Sabha plans the temple to be a new addition to their existing facilities. 

Southwest Bakersfield is especially known for its large Sikh population. According to the Jakarta Movement, an activist organization, the Sikh population could be anywhere from 30,000 to 40,000 in the county as of 2022. Meanwhile, California is home to the largest Sikh population in the country, with roughly 500,00. 

Kern Sol News spoke with Sandeep Grewal regarding the temple and the Sikh community. Grewal is a board member of the Gurdwara Singh Sabha of Delano and currently holds the secretary position. 

“Everybody has been excited about It, and even the other [Sikh] communities are excited about it,” said Grewal.

Grewal discussed the kind of programs and services available that he hopes will continue. 

 “We opened a classroom for the Sikh community, which is open to anybody who wants to attend and learn the Punjabi language and the religion…kids vary all the way from age 5 to 16-17 years old [and] go there every Saturday and Sunday,” said Grewal. 

He also stated that food is available and spoke to the help from city council. 

‘We are talking to the city of Delano, and they’ve been really helpful…they gave us options,” said Grewal. 

As for the temple itself, the estimated cost of the project is in the range of anywhere between $1.5-2 million. The temple will hold a capacity of around 350 people. Current renderings of the temple appear to show the temple divided into two sections. The temple will have a main hall and other rooms as well for religious practices. The proposed building will be 9,976 square feet in total. In addition to the building, there will be a 60-foot-tall flagpole as well. The location of the temple will be at 14295 County Line Road in Delano. 

Grewal notes the importance that the temple has for the Sikh community. 

“It’s a place for them to gather and to [hold services]…we didn’t have that before,” said Grewal.

Grewal also said that many Sikh community members have their origins in Delano. Grewal noted that all founders of the current six temples in Kern County were originally from Delano and added that Delano is home to around 70 Sikh families.  

The groundbreaking ceremony is set to be around late 2023 and hopes to have a big turnout for this exciting new chapter for the Sikh community. 

Tags: , ,