Temple History


Sri Ranganatha Temple History

Note: On September 28, 1998 Sri Ranganatha Temple is registered as an Indian Hindu Religious Temple non-profit organization with Tax ID #13-3447854

The Divine Command:

The idea of having an exclusive place of worship in the USA for Sriman Narayana had taken shape in August, 1985 at the birthday celebrations of the 44th Jeeyar of Sri Ahobila Mutt (His Holiness, Sri Mukkur Azhagiyasingar). Our beloved Founder Acharya commanded Poorvasramam Dr. Venkat Kanumalla to build an exclusive temple in the USA for Shri Ranganayaki and Lord Sri Ranganatha to propagate the concept of Saranagati – Absolute Surrender to Lord Sriman Narayana.

A Labor of Love:

Sri Ranganatha Seva Samithi was registered in the state of NY on Oct 8, 1987. Soon after, Utsava Vigrahas of the present Sri Ranganatha, Sri Devi, Bhu Devi, Mahalakshmi and Andal prana pratishtha was performed at the Dasavatharam Sannidhi in Srirangam, India in the presence of the 44th Jeeyar. These Vigrahas were air lifted to New York. For the next 12 years, the Divya Mangala Vigrahas blessed Poorvasramam Venkat Kanumalla at his residence by having Daily Aradhana. During these 12 years, Poorvasramam Venkat swamin and several dedicated volunteers reached out to the devotees to raise the much needed funds for the construction work to begin. 5 acres of land in Pomona, New York was acquired for building the temple.

Ground breaking ceremony was performed in 1997 and the first phase of construction was started. In May, 1999, 10 skilled Stapathis were flown in from India and they worked for 20 months until January 2001, to complete all the traditional temple art work, including the beautiful Pranavakara Vimanam.

As the construction was proceeding, devotees and Sri Vaishnava organizations from all over the US continued to support this project. The second phase of the construction required a fresh infusion of funds. Many devotees took out second mortgages on their homes or borrowed from their retirement or personal savings to help with the temple construction.

With the untiring efforts of the trustees of the temple and the volunteers, the construction work was completed the certificate of occupancy was finally obtained on February 14 2001. The final samprokshana (Kumbabishekam) was held on May 27, 2001. It was preceded by ceremonies 48 days ahead, starting from April 6, 2001 with Dhanyaadivasam.

This Great Temple could not have been built but for the goodwill, support, donations, and sacrifices of countless devotees from all over the USA.

Temple Philosophy:

The Temple follows the Visishtadvaita Philosophy as given by Bhagavad Sri Ramanujacharya, as elaborated by Sri NigamAntha Maha Desika and as currently followed by the Jeers of Sri Ahobila Mutt, India. ALL devotees, irrespective of their birth or current status have an equal opportunity to reach the Lotus Feet of the Lord in Sri Vaikuntham (Moksham) by following the path of SaraNagathi, or Absolute Surrender to Lord Sriman Narayana. For more details on SaraNagathi, please contact the Temple or HH Krishna Desika Jeeyar Swami at skdyjswamy .AT. gmail.com

Generous Contributions from Devotees:

Many generous devotees came forward with donations which helped clear the construction loan of $1,800,000. 12 generous devotees completed the offering of nearly 500 Kilograms of Silver Kavacham to all the Moola Vigrahas, Lord Sri Ranganatha, Sri Maha Lakshmi, Sri Andal, Sri Lakshmi-Nrusimha, Sri Sita-Lakshmana-Hanumat sameta Sri Ramachandra, Sri Venugopala-Krishna, Sri Srinivasa and Sri Garuda. Also, 6 generous devotees completed the Dhwaja-Stambham project. After the grand First Brahmotsavam in 2007, a few devotees came forward to have the Second Brahmotsavam in 2008, in a very grand way, and we got 4 wonderful Vahanams – Garuda, Hanumantha, Sesha and Kalpa-Vruksham and Pallaki with 180 Kilos of Silver. The third Grand Brahmotsavam in 2009 was celebrated with a beautiful 24 feet high silver-clad Chariot (ThiruTher) as well as silver Thirumanjana Vedhigai.

A Unique Temple with Yatha-Sakthi Concept:

After clearing the construction loan of nearly $1,800,000, this Temple adopted a New Policy of YATHA-SAKTHI (effective from January 2007) for all scheduled poojas in the Temple, like: No ticket system for any number of Archanas at all sannidhis on all days, No ticket for any Abhishekam to all Dieties on all Scheduled days, No ticket for Sri Srinivasa kalyaNam on all Saturdays and Sundays, No ticket for Sri Satya Narayana Pooja on all Full-Moon days at 6 PM, and No ticket for all the wonderful prasadams on all days (as part of Nithya-Anna-dhanam project). The Temple continues to follow the No-Ticket (Yatha-Sakthi) system which has been well received and supported by all of its thousands of devotees.

Utsavams (Religious Festivals):

The Temple has grown considerably, through the Acharyas’ Grace, as well as the support of the ever growing number of devotees. Several utsavams (festivals) are being conducted in a , grand manner including Vaikunta Ekadasi, Panguni Uthiram, Grand Annual Bhramotsavam (over many days), Krishna Jayanthi, Rama Navami, Acharya birthdays, Deepavali, etc. Some of the Special Utsavams: Pushpa-Yagam (with thousands of jasmines, lotus, lily and many other exotic flowers, imported from India); Anna-Kuta utsavam with so many varieties of prasadams, Pavitrotsavam, Adhyayana-Ursavam and Sri Nammazhwar Moksham are enjoyed by all the devotees.

The scale and grandeur of all of these utsavams (specially the several days of the Grand Brahmotsavams) has been likened by some to the scale and grandeur of the festivals being celebrated in some of the DivyaDesams in India. Please visit the Temple Photo Gallery for spectacular pictures of the various Utsavams. for more information , please visit Temple Festivals