Tag Archives: Richmond Hill temple

The Hindus in North America felt the need of community worship in the late sixties and started thinking of building a temple. The Hindu Temple Society of Canada was founded in 1973, as a non-profit religious institution. The trust was started with just ten members with a motive of starting a temple as soon as possible. For about ten years, the trust was not able to do something fruitful, but they were still determined to start the temple. There were certain socio-economical reasons due to which the idea did not shape up well.  Finally, they bought a piece of land in Richmond Hill, north of Toronto. The site was sanctified in October 1983, and an ardent task of building a temple was started. Lord Ganesha’s idol was consecrated at a temporary altar in 1984, which was later moved to permanent and swanky building. This is the sole Hindu temple that was built entirely by karseva (volunteer labor) and a priest was called from India. In 1987-88, the construction began with the help of lots of volunteers, as a result of which the trust was able to cut on labor cost. On 2nd July 1988, the services of the main temple started with the installation of Lord Murugan in his abode. The overall design was done by renowned architect Mr. V. Janakiraman Sthapati. He is from the same family who built the famous Thanjavur Temple in South India during the Cholas reign. He designed the entire temple with his team of sculptors. The temple turned out to be a piece of marvel. Two vimanas (Altar Towers) were built on the top of the altars of Lord Murugan and Lord Venketeshwara. A special prayer, Abhishekam was done in the late 1990s for these two altars. Another landmark was reached on April 7, 2002, when all the Azhwaars and a Ramanuja were installed and consecrated in the temple. The Richmond Hill temple was the first to do so. The temple is said to be the largest among all and is still run under the guidance of Agama Sastra (A scripture for South Indian which describes the architecture of a temple. All temples are constructed abiding the rules of this sastra). The Muruga Vigraha idol is the longest idol in the world. The same trust that started the work is managing the temple.

The Temple Complex           

The three deities are in their own different altars (moola sthanas) and individual towers (vimanas). The original idea of the temple was to construct a temple for ShivaVishnu and two separate altars of Lord Murugan and Shri Venketeshwara. The day Lord Ganesha’s idol was installed, PoojaArchana (prayers) began the very first day and the project moved smoothly without any obstacles. For a long time, only Lord Ganesha’s idol was worshipped at the temple and thus the temple got its name as Shree Ganesha Temple. Then Mother Durga’s idol was installed. Over the period of time, devotees became too attached to Lord Ganesha. The permanent phase of the temple begun and, Lord Ganesha was moved to a prominent place in the middle with a separate ‘mool sthana’ in accordance to the wishes of his devotees.

The main deities in the temple are:

  • Lord Ganesha
  • Lord Muruga
  • Lord Shiva
  • Goddess Parvati
  • Lord Nataraja
  • Sri Aadi Shakti or Sri Durga
  • Sri Vali and Sri Devasana
  • Navgrahas (The nine planets)
  • Sri Bhairavar
  • Sri Chandikeswar
  • Skandchand Moorthi
  • Lord Venkateswara
  • Sri Maha Lakshmi
  • Sri Andaal (Bhudevi)
  • Sri Ramchandra with Parivar
  • Sri Sudharsanar
  • Sri Yoga Narsimhar
  • Sri Garuda
  • Sri Azwhars

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