The Hindu Temple & Cultural Center of BirminghamPlaces of Worship

January 25, 2012 11:28
The Hindu Temple & Cultural Center of Birmingham

About Temple

As in tradition as well as described in vaastushaastras our mandir in Birmingham will be a three dimensional representaton of a mandala or in other words it will be a representation of cosmos in miniature.

It will be 3,600 square feet square structure with the principle entrance from north leading to the chief sanctuary (garbha-grha or mulsthana) of the mandir. The deities are arranged in a U Shape with the principle ones in north-south axis.

Nine manin vedic-murti's is in the main arrangement and there is provision for subsidiary deities in individual niches along the wall. This would serve the needs of the entire community.

The hall for the worshipers (mandap) is large and could accomadate up to 300 devotees simultaneously. There is a provision for circumbulation (pradhakshina) and the decoration (alankar) of individual deities will be done in traditional hindu mandir style.

We are placing a cupola over the sanctuary with a planned traditional shikhara to replace the cupola in not too distant future. In short the temple as planned should provide an extraordinary facility for worship both individual and group, performance of rite of passage, and celebration of festivals for our community.

History Of The Hindu Temple And Cultural Center

A place for worship and cultural activities has long been a dream for the Indian community of Birmingham. Well, by grace of Almighty, tireless efforts and financial support of a number of dedicated individuals, the dream of having the temple and cultural center in Birmingham has been realized. Let us support it, utilize it, and enjoy it.

Let me take throught the events that lead to this point

The inspiration for this project came from late Mr. Krishna Khurana. He approached me in the summer of 1993, to study the bylaws and constitutions of several temples in North America and to write the first draft for a temple in Birmingham. The document thus created formed the basis for our eventual constitution as well as bylaws.

In the fall of 1995, a meeting organized under the banner of ICAB, discussed whether we need a temple or a cultural(community) center. Opinions were diverse and divided, pros and cons of both were emphasized. Finally a decision was made to go with a plan to build a temple but also include a cultural center.

The temple was incorporated with the city and state on December 22, 1994 and became an IRS approved non-profit organization in April 1995.

After extensive search for location, a 5-acre land in Pelham was selected and was purschased in July 1995 with generous contributions by seven people. In February 1996, the bylaws and constitution were approved in the general body meeting and the board of trustees was elected.

Under the able leadership of the chairman, the various committees have monitored the progress of construction of temple, fund raising, various religious and cultural activities, over last two years. It took another year of constant deliberations and meetings to reach to a concrete architectural plan, completed in January 1997.

Thirty three generous members of this community cosigned for a loan 1 million dollars in February 1997. The loan was secured from the AmSouth bank, and a contract was signed with the Thomas and Duncan associates for the construction of this temple and cultural center. Construction began in August 1997.

A formal Ground breaking ceremony was held on October 25, 1997. We thank each one fo you for your support for making it a successful event. The first issue of 'Archana',our temple and cultural center souvenir was released at this occasion.

Utilization of pre-engineered structure and active participation by several members of the community with careful planning and negotiations has helped us in keeping within our budget and yet achieved the completion of this building in a record eight months.

As you can see a lot has been achieved in the last couple of years. Yet, it is just the beginning of the history of our temple and cultural center. Over $500,000 has been donated by you all. Now, your continued support will be necessary to make this temple and cultural center serve and enrich our life and that of our children.

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