West Michigan Hindu Temple Hours:
Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday:
Morning: 10.00 AM – 1.00 PM
Evening: 5.30 PM – 8.30 PM
Saturday and Sunday:
Morning: 10.00 AM – 2.00 PM
Evening: 5.00 PM – 8.30 PM
West Michigan Hindu Temple History:
Forty years ago only few Hindu families settled in the Grand Rapids area and today there are several hundreds and still counting. For many years Hindu Devotees of Grand Rapids had Pujas and Satsang (religious gatherings) in various homes, Banquet Halls, and Schools. It was a long felt desire of the community to have a Temple in Grand Rapids. West Michigan Hindu temple was formed by a group of volunteers who took it upon themselves to build a temple in the community they lived. With the support and commitment of many long term residents of Grand Rapids, an organization quickly came into prominence to spearhead the cause for building the temple that you are seeing today. The Mission of the temple is to promote the values of peace, harmony and human values of truth, tolerance, forgiveness, respect for one another and sharing through the means of prayer, bhajans, and community spirit. The vision of the Temple is to create a centre for prayer and Hindu culture that serves the region of West Michigan. The center will promote Hinduism as a way of life through bhajans, Satsangh, prayers, community programs and cultural events.
The path to the present temple began in 2001. A few dedicated volunteers of the community got together and built a small Pole barn structure in Greenville for worship. The response of the community was overwhelming and people from Big Rapids, Holland, Muskegon and Grand Rapids started to come and pray at this Prayer Hall. Unfortunately, the prayer hall was not suitable for the harsh winters of the Midwest. Not to lose the momentum that was generated, the community wanted to continue the prayers and involvement of the children in Bal Vihar. The immediate goal was to find a place to continue our weekly prayers but with a clear vision and mission of building a permanent temple for the West Michigan Hindu community. Our short term needs were met by the availability of the Banquet Hall of GrandMark Lodge in Grandville for the biweekly prayers. But, to attain our long-term goal of building a temple we formed a non-profit organization.
On June 1st 2002 the name West Michigan Hindu Temple was incorporated (the State of Michigan Incorporation No 774-697).
It was during this time Srini Iyer took the lead and formed a committee. The committee’s main mission was to make the temple a reality for the West Michigan community. The first committee met and the following group of people were identified Renu Malhotra, V.J.Desai, Madhuri Acharya, Jiten Shah, Sridhar Sundaram, Ram Ramakrishnan, Sree Menon, Rashmi and Girish Juneja, Pravin and Taru Patel, JP and VP Vadivelu, Prasad Reddy, Rajinder Gautam, Sudhir and Naina Bora, Simha Magal, Arun Dalmia, Suresh Bhargava, Chunnilal and Narbada Raniga, Mahi Mahesh, Suresh and Sarla Puri, Jai Kishen, Bhaskar Gunda, Chandra Dommeti, Srinivas Voruganti, Satish Damodaran, Mahindran Balakrishnan, Vamsidhar Ravi, Renuka Gopinath and Ashok Premchandran. However some of the members left the town for better future and we were left with a core group of people who met regularly. The major task of this group was to raise money, buy the land and build the temple.
We started raising funds with seed money from the members and also from the community to become founder members by paying $2001 by the year 2005. The core group of members continued to raise money and met at various houses on an ongoing basis. Three main sub-committees were formed. The construction committee headed by Jiten Shah, fund raising committee headed by Rashmi Juneja and pooja committee headed by Jayanthirani Pasupathy. Communication to the community was through the website first started by Srini Iyer and later by Arun Dalmia. Website was maintained by Arun Dalmia, who was also responsible for all communications sent to the community.
The first draft of Constitution and bylaws was completed in 2002 and later amended in January 2005. Federal Tax exemption as 501(c) (3) as a non profit organization was established in August 2003( Tax ID 41-2090487).
West Michigan Hindu Temple Purchased 5.57 acres of land at 4870 Whitneyville Ave, SE, Ada, Michigan 49301 with the money collected at a total price of $115,000.00 on which the present temple and cultural center is situated. We performed the “Bhoomi-puja” at this site on September 19, 2004 which was attended by many families from various locations in West Michigan and it was a grand success.
In 2006 Board of Trustees were formed and first elections for the executive board was held. The Board of Trustees were Chaitanya Achrya, V.J.Desai (President), Girish Juneja, Vas Janardan, Ritu Mathur, Suresh Puri (Vice President), Prasad Reddy, and Vamsidhar Ravi. The Executive Board consisted of Alka Bhargava (Asst. Treasurer) , Jayathirani Pasupathy, Taru Patel, Ribha Roy, Jiten Shah and Sridhar Sundarm (Treasurer). The main goal of the board continues was to raise funds and complete construction of the Temple and Cultural Center.
Since inception of the West Michigan Hindu Temple we have raised about $724,916.14 until April of 2008. We still have a long way to go to complete the temple. By the time you review this article the first Prana Prathishta of the six Deities will be occuring. Sri Venkateswara Swami (Balaji), Sri Maha Lakshmi, Sri Ganesha, Sri Kartikeya, Navagrahas and Sri Shirdi Sai Baba.
We have scheduled the 2nd Prana Pratheshta in September for Sri Ram Parivar, Sri Radha Krishna and Bhagwan Swaminarayan, Sri Shiv Parivar, Sri Lakshmi Narashima, Valli and Devayani, Ma Amba Maata and Sri Mahavir.
We want to take this opportunity to thank each and every one of you who have made this dream for a temple in our community a reality by your continued support and contributions.
As Swami Bodhananda Saraswati writes “Temples are the centers of Hindu culture and spirituality. The community congregates around the temple to worship, to learn about their culture and to imbibe right values of living. A community with out a temple is like a rudderless ship, or like an assembly with out purpose. Temples are magnets that cohere divergent energies of individuals and groups for common good.”
On Behalf of the Board
President, West Michigan Hindu Temple
West Michigan Hindu Temple Address:
4870 Whitneyville Ave. SE
ADA, MI 49301
Telephone Number:(616) 868-9909