The Hindu Temple of Greater Springfield (HTGS) in Chatham (Illinois, USA), which is celebrating eighth anniversary this week, has reportedly planned $2.7 million expansion project.
This expansion, to be undertaken in phases, will be built northwest of the current structure (a former Baptist Church); and will include a main prayer hall with a basement of the same size, also providing space for cultural events, reports suggest.
It will include 17 murtis (statues) of deities brought from India, including five—Mahlakshmi, Venkateswara, Radha-Krishna, Rama-pariwar besides Shiva-lingam—costing $100,000 each. Its proposed salient features include Raja Gopuram, deity gopurams with kalashas (costing $300,000), Havan Room, Immersion Pond with fountain (costing $100,000), Utsav Pallaki, Indianization of Temple Structure (costing $100,000), etc. It will also have dining hall and stage in the basement and will be based on Vastu Shastra principles. An architect will be specially brought from India to assist in the project, reports add.
Temple’s four-day eighth anniversary celebrations, free and open to the public, which will conclude on August seven; include various pujas, kalasha sthapana, archanas, bhajans, Srinivasa Kalyana Utsavam, arathis, abhishekams, discourse, homam/havan, kanakabhishekam and cultural program. A Vegetarian Food Mela will be held on August six.
Meanwhile, Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, in a statement in Nevada today, commended efforts of temple leaders and area community towards realizing this Hindu temple complex.
Rajan Zed, who is President of Universal Society of Hinduism, further said that it was important to pass on Hindu spirituality, concepts and traditions to coming generations amidst so many distractions in the consumerist society and hoped that this temple would help in this direction. Zed stressed that instead of running after materialism; we should focus on inner search and realization of Self and work towards achieving moksh (liberation), which was the goal of Hinduism.
HTGS, a non-profit organization established in 2007, on 9.41 acres plot, whose mission is “to preserve and promote the Hindu Religion, culture and philosophy”, opens and conducts worship daily. It also reportedly undertakes study circles, religious education classes, discourses, celebrations of festivals, religious activities, community service projects, and cultural events.
Puja (worship) services at the temple for 60th/80th birthday costs $251, child-naming ceremony costs $51, mundan (tonsure) ceremony costs $31 and for vehicle it costs $25. Dr. Kartik Mani and Gopal Reddy are Trustees’ Chairman and Vice-Chairman respectively; while Dr. Krishna Rao and Shipra Somani are Executive Committee President and Vice-President respectively. Keshava Shastry is the Priest.