The Hindu Temple of Atlanta (HTA), Riverdale received whelming support from the Hindu community here at a fundraiser held on Saturday, March 17, 2007 for the Indianization of the Siva temple. The Indianization involves transforming the structure to a Chola and Pallava style Hindu temple. Over 400 sponsors attended the fund raising dinner.
Dr. P. Ravi Sarma, current president of the temple gave an impressive power point presentation on the evolution of the temple, with details of the temple’s achievements and goals. He said that the twin temples dedicated to Lord Balaji and Siva stands out as one of the most beautiful temples in North America. “Te temple has evolved over the years to fulfill the spiritual, cultural and educational needs of the Indian community in southeast region,” he added.
Dr. Hyma Mikkilineni, vice president of the temple expressed her appreciation to the community for their support over the years. She recounted how the Bala Vihar, which was started in a trailer with 10 students a decade ago, has grown to 800 students and has a new building exclusively for conducting classes. She also informed the gathering amidst applause that the fund raiser boosted $ 150 K besides another $ 100 K pledges.
Dr. Krishna Mohan, construction committee chair informed the gathering that 14 Indian artisans (shilpis) were brought over to carve hundreds of images that adorn the Siva temple’s interior and exterior. Silpis started their work in August 2006 and so far have completed the vimanams. Work is progressing as per schedule and the Indianization of the Siva temple is expected to be completed by 2008. “We hope to have the kumbabhishekam in May 2008”, he added.
Dr. P. B. Rao, fundraising committee chair told this reporter that the temple was felicitating all of us to continue the practice of our culture and heritage though we are far away from our kith and kin, and to introduce our rich heritage to our children.
Cultural programs were presented earlier in the evening.