About Temple


About the Temple

Sri Venkateswara Temple (S. V. Temple) is located in Penn Hills, an eastern suburb of Pittsburgh, PA, USA. It is one of the earliest traditional Hindu Temples built in the United States.


History

Sri Venkateswara Temple organization was established on Aug 7, 1975. Assistance from Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanam (TTD) for construction of the temple was requested on Sept 11, 1975 and granted on the same day. On June 30, 1976 ground breaking was performed and was followed by pratisthapana on Nov 17, 1976. Daily worship is being performed continuously ever since.


Other significant events are:

June 8, 1977

Kumbhabhishekam

October 22, 1978

Dedication of Rajagopuram

May 28, 1979

Dedication of Pushkarini

August 31, 1986

Sahasrakalasabishekam

November 17, 1986

10th Anniversary Celebration

March 22, 1989 to May 21, 1989

Jirnodharanam

May 25, 1989

Kumbhabhishekam

August 25, 1989 to September 3, 1989

Ashtalakshmi Pooja and Sudarsana Homam

November 23, 1990

Srinivasa and Padmavati Mahakalyanotsavam

November 23, 1990

Inauguration of the Auditorium and Kalyanamandapam

May 25, 1991 to May 27, 1991

Maha Satyanarayana Pooja

October 26, 2001 to October 25, 2002

25th Anniversary celebrations: Year long Tulasidala Archana, Koti Tulasidala Archana, Ashtakshari Mahamantra Yagna Sri MahaVishnu Viswashanti Yagna and Maha Yagna, Sahasra Rajata Kalashabhisekham

August 26th to 30th, 2009

Kumbhabhisekham



S. V. Temple was constructed at a cost of several millions of dollars with donations raised from devotees in U.S.A and several countries. Most donors were first generation Indian immigrants seeking to maintain ties with their mother culture.


Structure

Plans for Sri Venkateswara Temple were designed and planned by Sthapathy Ganapathi working at engineering cell of endowments department, Andhra Pradesh, India, on Aug 2, 1973. Sri Venkateswara Temple, Sri Tayar (Lakshmi) Temple, Sri Andal temple are their design, which is different from Sri Venkateswara Temple in Tirupati, Andhra Pradesh, India. Click here for floor plan


Agama

A Hindu Temple is constructed according to the Agama Sastras (Temple manuals) in the image of the human body. The two sides of the temple represent the hands, and the top of the Temple represents the head. The deity Venkateswara (Lord of Venkata, and a representation of Vishnu) rests in the innermost recess called the Garbhagraha (sanctum sanctorum). The S. V. Temple at Pittsburgh follows the temple texts known as Pancharatra Agama which consists of 108 samhitas (collection).


Archa  Roopam

The Agama state that Narayana, the eternal Divine Being, should be worshipped in the Archa Roopam (iconic form) in temples and homes. Hindu devotee believes that divine power has manifested itself in the murti (icon/idol). Major religious events like Kumbhabhishekam are performed to re-energize the Murti with Divine Power, which can either be diluted or lost due to transgressions committed unknowingly by the priests or the worshippers. Worshipping the Archai Avatara as Hari gives the devotees access to God and His Power.


Priests

Rules of Agama require a temple priest to serve and act as an intermediary between the worshipper and God. The Vaishnava Temple priests are referred to as Bhaktacharya, Bhattacharya or simply Bhattar. They come from families with Temple priesthood as their traditional occupation, and learn their skills from a young age. All the daily and weekly rituals are performed by the priests. Special occasions such as  Kumbhabhishekam require additional priests, who are then invited from other Temples in the United States and India.


Worship

Several types of religious services performed at the Temple: Archana, Abhishekam, Sathyanarayana Puja, Kalyana Utsavam, Homa and many others which are published under "Services", "Programs & News" menu items in this website.