The Hindu Temple of Rochester is a significant, vibrant center of spirituality and practice of the Hindu faith for devotees around Rochester in Western New York. It is also an educational center teaching close to hundred children about Hinduism, the traditions, and the cultural underpinnings. It is a place where families can come, do pujas and celebrate their special occasions. In addition, the Temple is also open and welcoming home for all and is actively involved in the Rochester inter-faith community, health walks, yoga classes and Professional Forum community events.
As Hindu families moved to Rochester in the sixties and seventies, they started getting together to celebrate our festivals and to do Pujas. As more families moved in, they felt a need for a Hindu Temple here. The Hindu Temple of Rochester was registered with NY State in 1975 and a Federal Tax-Exempt status was obtained in 1976. Over the next few years Temple started regular pujas, celebration of festivals, language classes etc. These were conducted in homes, at various public places, Inter Faith Chapel of U of R and ICC.
The families decided to build a Temple in 1986. After a long and thorough search, the present 9.4 acres of land was acquired in 1990 for $ 131.000. Bhoomi Puja was performed by Shri Morari Bapu in May 1991. Site plans were approved by the town in Oct. 1991 and ground breaking ceremony was in May 1992.
Very prudently, the Trustees decided to build the Temple in phases to keep the debt manageable.
The objective was to retire all loans before moving to the next phase. Phase I included putting an access road, constructing the parking lot and construction of 50’x80’ shell of building on 2 levels and making lower level functional. This was done from 1993-1995 at a total cost of $ 576,000. All loans were retired by 1997. Phase II commenced in 1998 to finish the upper level and construction of Devasthanams for the Deities. This was completed in 1998- 99 at a cost of $375,000. By year 2000 Ram Parivar, Krishna Parivar, Shiv Parivar, Murugan Parivar, Venkatesh, Shiv Lingam and Durga Matha murthies were installed separately at an additional cost. Temple began to function in full earnest offering many services that our community wanted.
The Maha Kumbhabhishekam was performed in a grand manner in the summer of 2011 generating much goodwill towards and support for the Temple. The Ganesha Murthi was installed in 2012 and the Hanuman Murthi in 2013. Thanks to the surplus funds raised by these events and frugal management of Temple's resources, the Phase III loan was paid off in Jan. 2015! Now that we had a more moderns, spacious facility, the language, arts and heritage classes expanded to accommodate the needs of an increasing membership. Temple also hosted a number of cultural events. sat sanghs, social events, and expanded the schedule of Pujas and festivals. Our Pujariji Shri. L.V. Govind has been an integral part of the growth of our Temple and has been instrumental in making our Temple a true sanctuary with his priestly services and friendly approach. He is the Cheerleader-in-chief of our Temple. Members approved the Final Phase IV at a Special General Body meeting in Feb. 2015. The original plans called Phase IV to complete the structural aspect of our Temple by ‘Constructing Gopuras at front and back and completing exterior ornamentation’. This will be done in Phase IV along with finishing the Kitchen and other cosmetic changes e.g., entrance and landscaping to create the serene surroundings of a Temple and expanding the parking lot. Some other shortcomings and needs will also be part of this project. With God's Grace, we are planning to finish this Phase in 2016 – the 25th anniversary since Bhoomi Puja to make our dream come true.