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Holy Pilgrimage - Hindu temples in USA  

Sri Rajarajeswari Peetam, Rush, NY
Sri Vidya Temple Society



Sri Vidya Temple Society
6980 East River Rd
Rush, NY 14543

Festivals & Special Events

In our Temple, we celebrate the major Saiva festivals as well as Navaratri and our annual Alankara Festival. Please view our Temple Calendar for dates and other specific details. For those who are interested, sponsorship is available for most festival events.
Not only are festivals fun for the family and a feast for the senses, they represent a powerful time for receiving divine blessings from Divine Mother and Lord Siva.
Festivals are calculated according to the positions of the planets and stars, such that a maximum of cosmic energy is flowing into the Temple during the pujas. The divine celestial energies combine with the powerful mantras and ceremonies to create a maximally auspicious and energized atmosphere.
By witnessing or sponsoring the festival pujas and homas, tremendous divine blessings can be absorbed during these auspicious times. The following sacred festivals and auspicious days are celebrated in our Temple.

Public Sraddha Ceremonies to Honor One’s Ancestors

Sraddha Tarpanam is a very important duty for everyone to perform, and it is typically performed on the lunar tithi of the mother’s or father’s passing. However, some people may not be able to arrange this ceremony on the correct date.
To help everyone carry out this sacred duty, the Temple conducts public Sraddha ceremonies on Chitra Paurnami (for the mothers), and Adi Amavasya (for the departed fathers). Sponsors are able to perform the ceremony with their own hands, through the guidance of our volunteers.

Special Homam Events

Right after the start of every Tamil New Year, the rare and powerful Maha Pratyangira Homam is conducted to invoke divine blessings and protection for all the devotees in the new year. Devotees are given the opportunity to prepare sweets to be offered to Sri Maha Pratyangira Devi, and all who attend are able to offer sweets directly into the fire. This is an extremely rare opportunity and a wonderful blessing.
On the final Sunday of each year, a special and unique Raja Matangi Homam is performed to bless all the young students. The uniqueness of this homam is that it is entirely organized and run by kids, and only children up to the age of 21 are allowed to sponsor and make offerings into the homam fire.

Puja & Homam Services

During the course of life, there are often times when we feel the need to request special divine blessings. For example, when getting married, or when pregnant with the first child, or on the occasion of one’s birthday, and so on. The great sages of our Sanatana Dharma were well aware of human needs and understood how to invoke divine energies for happiness, peace, health and true prosperity. They have gifted us with many powerful ceremonies designed to purify our energy, create an aura of positivity around us, and lighten our load of karma, so that we are able to overcome obstacles more easily with the grace of God.
To serve all the devotees, the volunteers of the Sri Rajarajeswari Peetam provide a number of puja and homam services. Please see below for the list. If you would like to schedule a puja or homam, or even if you’d just like some advice on what to request, please fill out our Puja & Homam Request Form. A volunteer will contact you within 24-48 hours to discuss your request.

Specific Puja and Homam Services

  • Ganapati Homam
  • Ganapati Tarpanam
  • Navagraha Homam (Short)
  • Navagraha Homam (Long)
  • Sarpa Shanti Puja
  • Sraddha Tarpanam
  • Ayushya Homam
  • Rudra Homam
  • Sri Sukta Homam
  • Pratyangira Homam
  • Vana Durga Homam
  • Sudarshana Homam
  • Swayamvara Parvati Homam
  • Chandi Homam

Samskara Services

  • Annaprasanam
  • Vivaham
  • Vallaikappu

Every Purnima, or Full Moon, a special Navavarana Puja or Homam is performed in the Temple. Everyone who attends is offered the sacred “visesharghyam,” a mix of auspicious items that is charged and energized with the divine energy of Sri Rajarajeswari Devi. Please be advised that there is a dress code for entering the Temple.
In our Temple, we perform either Navavarana Sri Chakra Puja or Navavarana Homam on the full moon day. “Navavarana” comes from the Sanskrit “Nava” plus “avarana.” This is referring to nine enclosures, veils, or layers that are contained within the sacred Sri Chakra design. Each avaranam contains a certain number of triangles that correspond to specific aspects of Divine Mother’s powers of love, wisdom and pure consciousness.
In the puja, we worship a physical Sri Chakra, the Meru Chakra that has been installed in the main sanctum. For Navavarana Homam, the nine levels of Divinity with their respective goddesses are invoked into the sacred homa fire, and appropriate offerings are made. In truth, the worship of the Sri Chakra is both an art and a science designed by divinely inspired sages; its regular performance clears all obstacles, bestows all blessings, and carries us inexorably towards the highest goal of oneness with the supreme Goddess Sri Rajarajeswari Devi.
We invite you to join us for the Purnima Sri Chakra Puja or Homam. Whether one performs the puja, witnesses it, or just takes the sacred visesharghyam, one is sure to receive the most loving and compassionate blessings of Sri Rajarajeswari Devi.

Dress Code & Etiquette

At the Sri Rajarajeswari Peetam, our mission is to promote the traditional culture of Sanatana Dharma, to enable all devotees to come closer to Divine Mother Rajarajeswari, and to encourage spiritual values like modesty and respect. Recognizing that the way we dress and the way we act has a huge impact on ourselves as well as others around us, we ask that you follow our dress code and etiquette guidelines. These guidelines have been created to help you have the best possible experience and also to help everyone enjoy their experience at the Temple.

Temple Dress Code

When entering the Temple, please observe the following dress code:
  • No loose hair; all long hair must be tied securely.
  • No shorts or short skirts. 
  • No leggings.
  • No tank tops or tube tops.
Please be aware that this dress code applies equally to both men and women. Men are required to wear either veshti, kurta pajamas, or long pants (extending below the calf muscle). Ladies are required to wear either pants or a long skirt (extending below the calf muscle), sari or salwar kameez.

Temple Etiquette Guidelines

At the Sri Rajarajeswari Peetam, many of our customs are different from those at other Temples, so we understand that some visitors might not know what to expect. Please review our etiquette guidelines, so that we can help everyone enjoy their experience at our Temple.
  • Please keep noise/talking to a minimum when pujas or homas are in progress. Excessive talking is distracting to the volunteers as well as for the devotees. Please help us to maintain an atmosphere of devotion and respect.
  • Please do not allow your children to run or play unattended. In particular, children must not run anywhere inside the Temple. Not only is this distracting for the volunteers, it could also be dangerous for the children. Not only are there many exposed lamps in the Temple, there are many sacred murtis that could be damaged or knocked over. To ensure a sacred atmosphere as well as everyone’s safety, please do not allow your children to run in the Temple or play unattended.
  • Please silence your cellphones while in the Temple. Cellphones often interfere with our sound system, so please try to limit their use.
  • Please touch the murtis only on their lotus feet. In our Temple, we encourage everyone to feel close to Devi and all the deities, so we allow everyone to touch the murtis, including the mula murtis of Ganapati, Rajarajeswari and our main Siva Lingam. However, we ask that you limit yourself to touching only the lotus feet.
If you have any questions or concerns about our dress code or other policies, please feel free to contact us.

Temple Classes and Workshops

As a “Teaching Temple,” we offer various classes and workshops on various topics related to Sanskrit, bhajans, Sri Vidya, the Tamil Saiva tradition, and Sanatana Dharma in general. These events are always posted on our Temple Calendar, but the best way to stay informed about learning opportunities is to sign up to receive Temple News.

Sanskrit and Bhajans Classes

On a rotating basis, we offer classes on either bhajans or Sanskrit pronunciation. For more information on topics of instruction, please visit the Sanskrit Class page  and the Bhajans Class page.

Interactive Learning Sessions

Once a month, we hold an Interactive Learning Session, which is a class designed to allow interaction and discussion. There are separate sessions according to age.


From time to time, Sri Chaitanyananda (Haran Aiya) offers public workshops on topics like Sri Vidya, the why’s and how’s of performing puja, traditional Saiva culture, the need and purpose for the Hindu samskaras, and more. There is always time for Q&A, and Aiya welcomes all sincere questions on every aspect of Hinduism, spirituality, and Devi worship.

Calendar of Events

for August, 2013



Varalakshmi Vratam Will Be Celebrated on August 16, 2013

Each Friday in the month of Sravana is very auspicious to Maha Lakshmi Devi, but the Friday occurring just before Sravana Purnima is known as the most auspicious “Varalakshmi Vratam.” This year, Varalakshmi Vratam will be celebrated on August 16, from 6 – 8 PM.
On this day, married ladies take the opportunity to perform Lakshmi Puja for peace, happiness and abundance in their families.
A number of sponsorship opportunities are available, including the chance to perform Lakshmi Deepa Puja in the Temple. If you would like to sponsor this puja in the Temple, please sponsor online or call the Bookstore at 585-533-1970.

First Youth Chariot Festival to Be Held August 3rd!

We are very happy to announce our first Youth Chariot Festival! Aiya has decided that it will take place this Saturday, August 3rd, on the last day of the VSI Camp. We warmly invite all of our youth and all of our Temple community to come and enjoy taking part in this auspicious and fun Youth Festival!

Why We Are Conducting This Chariot Festival

Last April, when Sri Amma visited our Temple, She requested all of our Temple youth to conduct a special “Youth Chariot Festival” on a regular basis. The purpose of this festival is to encourage all the youth to come together in harmony and work together to organize and carry out this Youth Festival.
Sri Amma explained that this activity will help spread true friendship and affection among all our young devotees. It will teach everyone the real value of “cohesiveness” and cooperation.
To pull a chariot successfully, all must work together to pull in unison with united minds and hearts. What unites our minds and hearts is love for Devi, who came to us as Sri Amma, and love for Aiya, who has dedicated his life to passing on the sacred traditions to all the children.

Important Details About the Festival

This Saturday, the Kalasa Puja will start at 8AM, to make sure there is enough time for the Chariot Festival. Any youth who wish to participate in the chariot festival should be sure to follow the Puja Dress Code (sari or pavadai for girls and veshti with shawl for boys).

New Email List for Temple Youth Activities

In order to reach all our young devotees and volunteers, we have created a new Email List for those up to the age of 27. If you know someone in this age range who wishes to receive the Temple Youth emails, please send an email to info@srividya.org, and we will add them to the list.

Contact Us

Sri Vidya Temple Society
6980 East River Rd
Rush, NY 14543


The Sri Rajarajeswari Peetam is located outside of Rochester, NY. Our mailing address is:
Sri Rajarajeswari Peetam
6980 E River Rd
Rush, NY 14543

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Om Tat Sat

(My humble  salutations to the great devotees ,  wikisources  and Pilgrimage tourist guide for the collection )


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