Hindu Mandir 15th Anniversary Celebrations & Historical Perspective
Hindu Mandir of Las Vegas invites you to join the community to celebrate the 15th anniversary of the Hindu Temple and Jain Center of Las Vegas beginning Friday, April 22nd through Sunday, April 24th 2016
2016 marks the 15th year of Hindu Mandir in Las Vegas and, as usual, please join in an annual ritual to celebrate the Mandir anniversary with family and friends.
- Temple – 15th Anniversary Celebrations Weekend
- beginning on
- Friday, April 22nd – Hanuman Jayanti 7:00 PM to 8:00 PM
- Saturday, April 23th 2016 – Navagraha Puja 9:00 AM to 1:00 PM
- Sunday, April 24th 2016 – Maha Vishnu Puja 9:00 AM to 1:00 PM
- Freshly prepared lunch immediately followed by religious services (around 1pm)
- Location – Hindu Temple and Jain Center of Las Vegas
- 1701 Sageberry Drive, Las Vegas, NV 89144
- Phone: 702-304-9207 For further information, Please visit – www.hindutemplelv.org
This year, Mandir is seeking volunteers to sponsor special Maha Vishnu Puja with a minimum donation of $101 per family and Deep Daan for $51. Additionally, Mandir is also looking for lunch sponsors & donors to underwrite the cost of this once a year special celebration. Anniversary celebration is also an informal fundraiser for the Mandir.
For further assistance and sponsoring a special puja on this important occasion, please call Neeru Piplani 702-234-1071; Radha Chanderraj 702-524-8310 and/or Pandit Ji Brijesh Rawal at 702-480-8392.
Background & Historicial Perspective : It was in early Nineties when few early settlers and active families from the Indian community floated an idea of having a Hindu Mandir for the prosperous and growing Hindu community of Las Vegas. The constructive brain storming and ideas turned into a dream, which ultimately resulted in embracing a future plan for the local Hindu Mandir. With that mindset and determination the Hindu Society of Nevada was registered with the Nevada Secretary of State as a non-profit entity in September 1994.
The first community meeting and a fund raiser dinner was held at the Masonic Lodge in mid nineties. At the meeting, the attendees had an enthusiasm, passion and determination to build a first Hindu Mandir in the State of Nevada. Over 400 excited community members packed the hall and committed the financial and non-financial resources to support and build the Mandir. Although the tickets were only $50 per person but over $250,000 was committed that evening to move on with the project at the earliest.
Seeing the enthusastic support for the Mandir, the founders committee debated on how to acquire land, location and should the community approach BLM for cheap land or just buy the required real estate from the open market. Around the same time, the master-planned Summerlin development was at conceptual stage and the current location, 5 Acre (net 4.25 acre), was acquired in March 1997 in the name of Hindu Society of Nevada, for $297,000 from the Howard Hughes corporation as the land was specifically zoned for religious purposes.
Photo published in Las Vegas Review Journal/Las Vegas Sun – April 2001
On the side note, vegasdesi.com regretably informs that Mr. Anil Gupta (first from left) and Dr. Dipak Desai, both, have been declared a felons due to their malicious unlawful business activities. Mr. Gupta served time in the jail and is living in Canada, while Dr. Dipak Desai is serving a life imprisonment in a federal prison. It’s high time that Hindu Mandir Board takes an action to remove their name from the plaque at the temple entrance.
With no zoning related issues and all the permits and funding in place, the construction started with ground breaking ceremony in late 1999. The dream came true in April of 2001 when the Mandir was completed and community came together to the three day grand opening celebrations. The grand opening festivities along with Murthi Sthapana (placing of deities) services were held from April 27th through April 29th, 2001 with over 600 community members in attendance. The community was proud of having its own place of worship.
Four prominent and well learned priests – Shri S. Krihnamacharyulu of Los Angeles, Shri S. Venkatachryulu of Pittsburgh, Shri Gopal Krihnamacharyulu (our former panditji) and Shri Bhanu Joshi of Las Vegas performed the religious services and blessed the temple and the attendees. The grand opening was also attended by some of the prominent local elected officials including then Mayor Oscar Goodman and Congresswoman Shelley Berkeley.
After one year in operation, the board decided to organize a second fund raiser with door prizes, social hour, dinner and entertainment. The tickets were reasonably priced at $35 per person to encourage wider participation from the community which resulted in a quick sale of six hundred tickets. One thousand raffle tickets were sold for $100 each for a raffle prize of a brand new Mercedes Benz. The raffle was somewhat controversial and Ms. Rita Vaswani won the brand new Mercedes Benz. The second fundraiser also saw some Bollywood style action – the verbal and almost physical fight between the two well known community members. The clash of personalities and egos were seen before the beginning of blessing prayers by our panditji. The cooler heads calmed down the two individuals.
The third fund raiser – a black tie optional dinner – started on the controversial note as the management, especially Dipak Desai, decided to raise the ticket prices to $250 per person. The fourth, fifth and sixth fundraiser divided the community and the whole event was labled as for the Physicians, by the Physicians and of the Physicians as the ticket prices were kept at $250 per person with platinum sponsorships going for $10,000. The last formal fundraiser, held in 2006, brought in over $250,000 on a pretext to build a community center on a vacant land at the Temple. Architectural drawings were displayed to generate additional donations. Click here for the last formal (2006) fund raising pictures.
Amid controversies, the management somehow decided to abandoned the community hall construction and ended formal fundraisers.
Beginning 2007, Mandir management started focusing on bringing back the community and encouraging a wider community participation with numerous smaller fundraising activities.
After all the initial controversies and the beginning pains of infancy being gone, the current Mandir administration is doing an exceptional and professional voluntary service to keep the community engaged in Mandir activities.
With growing attendance and demand on Panditji Gopal, Mandir administration decided to hire another priest to supplement the services of Panditji Gopal. Panditji Brijesh Rawal joined the mandir in 2014 which helped the needs of growing Hindu community in the valley and at the same time brought additional revenues for the Mandir. After serving the Mandir for over 15 years, 2015 saw a departure of Panditji Gopal who went solo with his own private Mandir in the Southwest area of the valley. With growing demand for daily affairs of the Mandir, this year management has decided to hire a qualified Manager to run day-to-day operations.
2016 marks the beginning of 16th year of Hindu Mandir in Las Vegas and, as usual, please join in an annual ritual to celebrate the Mandir anniversary with family and friends. Celebrations are FREE…Sumptuous Dinner & Luncheons, Entertainment, Spirtiual Awakening and the most import socializing with old and new friends at NO COST.
Advertisement Placed in the Las Vegas Review Journal/Las Vegas Sun – April 2001