Holy Pilgrimage - Hindu temples in Foreign Countries
Hindu Samaj of Hamilton & Region, Ontario, Canada
Hindu Samaj of Hamilton & Region is a non-profit, religious organization based in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, registered with Canada Customs and Revenue Agency. The organization, whose main operation is the Hindu Samaj Temple, has been serving the community in the new city of Hamilton and vicinity (formerly the regional municipality of Hamilton) since 1975.
HistoryThe organization was formed in 1975 and received the charter as a charitable religious organization in February 1976. In 1984, the samaj purchsed an old church and a began the job of converting it into a temple. The church was gradually converted into a temple and Hindu deities were established, the last being in April 1993. The Temple is a centre of worship and focal point for cultural events for Hindus in the Golden Horseshoe area of Southern Ontario. All major Hindu festivals are organised and celebrated at the temple in accordance with Karma Kand of Sanātana Dharma. The temple also invites and hosts important Hindu religious and spiritual leaders from around the world, including India.
The fire of 2001 and subsequent rebuildThe temple was the victim of arson on September 15, 2001 (local media reported on the suspicious nature of this attack, coming as it did just days after the 9/11 terrorist attacks). The temple was eventually rebuilt with the hard work and determination of the local community, assistance from government, and bank loans. The burning down and subsequent rebuilding of the temple attracted national and international sympathy. The event was covered by several international news organisations. ] The temple was rebuilt and reopened in 2005. To commemorate the event, and to celebrate the coming together of Hamilton’s community, the City of Hamilton recognised the Temple as a site of historic importance and installed a commemorative plaque there. As a direct response to the fire of 2001 the Strengthening Hamilton Community Initiative (SHCI) was developed by the city of Hamilton. Subsequently, Hamilton Centre for Civic Inclusion (HCCI) was set up in 2006 to act as a centralized hub to enable all Hamilton citizens access to the knowledge and resources needed to build a strong, racially diverse and welcoming city.
Temple OperationsThe temple serves both as a relegious and a cultural centre for the Hindus in the area. A number of religious ceremonies are regularly performed. Major events that are routinely held at the temple or performed by the priests are: Engagement Ceremony, Marriage (priests are licenced to perform marriages in Ontario), Namakaran, Annaprashana, Mundan Sanskar, Havan, Bhoomi Pooja, Vastu Shanti/Graha Pravesh, Satyanarayan Pooja, Navagraha Pooja, Maata Ki Chowki.
Main deities at the Temple
Major festivals celebrated
BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir Toronto, Canada
BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir Toronto is a Hindu temple in Toronto within its western district of Etobicoke.
HistoryIt opened on July 22, 2007, by Pramukh Swami Maharaj, the spiritual leader of BAPS. Also in attendance at the ceremony were Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper with Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty, Federal Opposition Leader Stéphane Dion, and Indian Ambassador to Canada Rajamani Lakshmi Narayan. The temple was constructed by 2,000 builders who were required to follow ancient Hindu rules The temple was built using Turkish limestone and Italian marble. It is the second largest Hindu temple outside India, behind only the BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir Atlanta.
The temple cost an estimated $40 million to build. However, like many other temples in BAPS, significant work was provided through volunteering efforts of the local community. At 32,000 sq.ft, it is the largest mandir in Canada.
The Mandir shares its home with the Canadian Museum of Cultural Heritage of Indian-Canadians
Hindu Temple of Ottawa-Carleton, Canada
Ground was broken for the first Hindu temple in Eastern Ontario in 1985. The temple is located on Bank Street in the rural area to the south of urban Ottawa, south east of the airport. The site, previously a cornfield, was purchased for the temple in 1984. The $4 million dollar structure, funded by donations made by Canadian Hindus, was officially opened in 1989. It serves the estimated 6,000 Hindus who live in Ottawa, as well as acting as a community and cultural centre for the community with halls, libraries, and other resources. The temple follows traditional Hindu architectural styles, though compromises had to be made to adapt to the cold and weight of snow accumulation. The temple has nine shrines: Ganesha, Kartikeya, Krishna with Radha, Shiva, Lakshmi with Narayana, Rama with Sita and Lakshmana with Hanuman, Durga, Hanuman, and Nataraja.
The effort to build the temple was spearheaded by Pandit Madhu Sahasrabudhe, a food science researcher who had also served as a priest in the city since 1960. Until his death in 2004 Sahasrabudhe also played an important role in the community. He is the chair of the Capital Region Interfaith Council. In 2002, he led prayers at a multi faith thanksgiving event with the Queen in attendance. He frequently appeared as part of the Ottawa Citizen's panel of local religious leaders.
Om Tat Sat
(My humble salutations to the great devotees , wikisources and Pilgrimage tourist guide for the collection )