:: Hindu Temple History and Accomplishments
By 1984, the Hindu community in Colorado had grown to a sizable population and began the Hindu Society of Colorado. This group would meet at different member’s homes for spiritual discussions and deity worship. After this grew, for a brief period, a house in Aurora was rented, deities were installed, and the home was used as a temple. A need for a true temple was present, so another group, Hindu Temple and Cultural Center of the Rockies (HTCC), formed and merged with the Hindu Society of Colorado in 1995.
By 1996, the group successfully raised $100,000 to purchase an old church building in Littleton for the much needed temple in Colorado. Also during this year, the publication of the temple newsletter, Mandir Vani, began. In 1997, the search for a full time priest began, and by 1998 Acharya Kailash Upadhyay Ji was the new chief priest. Following the arrival of Upadhyay Ji, deities were installed and the temple began operating on a daily basis. This temple started successfully and within the same year, the neighboring lot was purchased. In 1999-2000 the Hindu Temple website was up and running and the number of devotees as well as the mailing list increased significantly (about 1800 people). With this growth, temple activities for both children and adults expanded in 2001 with Bal Mandir and Yoga classes.
In 2002, the third lot was purchased, and talk regarding a bigger temple began. This idea, unfortunately, was rejected due to the lack of available land (less than 1 acre); instead in 2003 both floors were remodeled and open for use. In 2004-2005 the parking was paved and a New Temple Committee was formed. Between 2006 and 2009 Pundit Raghavendra Iyyer Ji joined (2006) as Assistant Priest, the third lot was sold and the land in Centennial was purchased (4.25 acres, $500,000, 1-30-2007), the Bhoomi Pooja Samaroha was celebrated (6-23-2007), the design of the new temple was complete (2008), and the site plan for construction was approved (2009).
**Updates from 2009-date can be viewed on the New Temple Project tab under the “Project Update” page.
– Hindu Society of Colorado is incorporated. Community members meet for religious discourses at their residences on sporadic basis. For a brief period, a house in Aurora is rented where several deities are installed and worshiped by community members.
– Hindu Temple and Cultural Center of the Rockies (HTCC) is incorporated and Hindu Society is merged into HTCC.
– HTCC buys a small old church building on South Wadsworth Blvd in Littleton an remodels it to house the Temple. Community members raise funds to pay in cash. Publication of Mandir Vani, news letter, begins.
– HTCC recruits a full-time highly qualified and experienced Chief Priest (Acharya Kailash C. Upadhyay ) from Canada and installs all major deities. Temple is opened every evening and 5 mornings each week, with sponsored poojas and Prasad lunch on Sundays. HTCC buys the adjacent vacant lot.
– A web site (www.hindutempleofcolorado.org) is established and e-mail broadcasts are used in addition to Mandir Vani, to keep the community informed of activities at the Temple.
– The mailing list exceeds 1800 with a huge influx of computer professionals from India.
– HTCC starts Bal Manidr program for children and Yoga classes for adults.
– HTCC buys the third adjacent vacant lot and considers building a new Temple at the site but decides against it due to small total land size (less than 1 acre).
– After obtaining Special Use Zoning Permit from Jefferson County, a major inside remodeling is undertaken to increase the seating capacity upstairs, and improve food preparation and distribution downstairs.
– Outside improvements (parking lot, sidewalk, landscaping, and fences ) re completed.
– New Temple Committee (comprising of Several Trustees and Community Members) is formed to expedite the purchase of land and construction of s new, larger and better Temple.
– HTCC celebrates 10 years of continuous operation of the current temple. A highly-qualified South Indian Assistant Priest (N. D. Raghavendra) is recruited from India to expand the temple operation hours and service to the community. HTCC sells the third lot and signs a contract for purchase of 4.25 acres of land for a new Temple.
– HTCC purchased the new land at 7200 South Potomac Street, Centennial, Colorado on January 30, 2007 at a price of $500,000, which was raised with the community support. The Bhoomi Puja, veneration and sanctification of the land (Earth/Bhoomi) was performed in a grand scale on June 23, 2007.