Temple History

History and formation of
Sri Venkateswara Temple organization (SVT)

TTD offered Sri Venkateswara Temple under SVT and
Corporate Member adoption into bylaws of SVT

The Sri Venkateswara Temple (SVT) Organization was incorporated on Aug 7, 1975. The incorporators are Rajashri Gopal, Nagabhushanam G. Nunna and Nancy Srinivasagam. (Click here for a link to Articles of Incorporation). An application requesting help for construction of the Sri Venkateswara Temple by the SVT was made on Sept 11, 1975. (Click here for a link to Application).

Construction assistance of the Sri Venkateswara Temple, currently located at South McCully drive, was offered to the Hindu Temple Society of North America, Pittsburgh (Name later changed to Hindu Jain Temple) by Tirumala Tirupathi Devasthanams and Government of Andhra Pradesh.

There are many events leading to the existence of this great temple under the Sri Venkateswara Temple organization. Let us remember and pay our respects to all of the founders, including some who are no longer with us.

The following history is provided by Nagabhushanam G. Nunna who was present during all important phases of the evolution of this great temple under HTS, Pittsburgh and SVT.

Jan 26, 1970
Hindu Temple Society of New York (Herein after referred to as HTS, NY) was formed.

Jan 14, 1972

Mrs. Jaya Mani taught Bharatanatyam Dance classes in the basement of "House of India" store on Forward Ave, in the Squirrel Hill area. Daughters of Raj Gopal, Nagabhushanam Nunna and N. Srinivasagam were among her first students.  As time went by, others followed. A temporary place of worship in  the "House of India" was started by Dr. Raj Gopal and Rajashri Gopal. In time it grew to several persons participating. A Lord Ganesa idol was provided by Rajashri's father.

Aug 23, 1972 
Mr. A. Alagappan, Secretary, HTS, NY, in his letter to TTD, proposed that, TTD erect in His (Lord's) name a number of institutions in the U.S.A. He proposed to build a hall or cultural and information center, name it after Lord Venkateswara, and have it become an executive arm of T.T. Devasthanams. 
- Mr. A. Valliappan, I.A.S., District Collector, Chittor District, A.P, brother of Mr. A. Alagappan, forwarded the letter to the T.T.D Board, who considered the proposal.  
- Mr. A. Alagappan in his letter also requested senior officials to visit USA to assist joint planning

Sept 9, 1972
Tirumala Tirupathi Devasthanams, Tirupati, Andhra Pradesh, India was approached for the first time in its history for a temple in United States by Mr. Alagappan, secretary of HTS, NY. His brother Mr. Valliappan was collector of Chittor, who presented this request to TTD Board on Sept 9, 1972. (Click here for a link to TTD Board Document)

Nov 5, 1972
Mr. A. Alagappan, Secretary of HTS, NY meets with some interested people, invited by Raj Gopal, in Pittsburgh .The Primary resolution at this meeting was to bring the NY and the Pittsburgh committees under one association, to be named the Hindu Temple Association of North America.

Dec 10, 1972
T.T.D Board who has considered the proposal of A. Alagappan, Secretary, HTS, NY and approved and sanctioned on Dec 10, 1972. Rs 7 lakhs to HTS, New York

March 1973
The Hindu Temple Society of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA established. 
- Founder trustees donated an initial $300 with an additional donation of $200 each year.  (Click here for link to a copy of the membership application)

- Founder trustees, listed alphabetically are: S.K. Bansal, S.K. Das, Raj Gopal, N. Kalavathi, M.S. Luthra, M. Mahidara, A. Malhotra, M. Mazumdar, R. Nath, G. Nagarajan, P. Nemani, Nagabhushanam G. Nunna,  I. Pandit, C. Ramaswamy, P. Sudhakar Reddy,  S.K. Sekaran, P. Shrivastava, S. Somani, N. Srinivasagam, R. Singh, K. Tarneja and R. K. Wadhwa.

- First Officers (1973) President: N. Srinivasagam, Secretary Raj Gopal, Treasurer Satu Somani. (Click here for link to a copy of Board and Executive Committee in June 1973)
Officers (1975) President:  B. Niyogi, Vice-President: Nagabhushanam G Nunna, Secretary: Raj Gopal, and Treasurer K. Mathur.

The persons with names in Bold are founder trustees in Sri Venkateswara Temple organization when it was formed

June 1973
Vasudeva Rao, Commissioner, Endowments Dept, Andhra Pradesh with Ganapathy, Sthapathi visit NY and Pittsburgh and submit their report to TTD and AP Govt

Aug 2, 1973
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 Tirupathi, Andhra Pradesh, India. Click here for floor plan

July 2, 1974
Raj Gopal, Secretary, HTS, Pittsburgh, submits to Hon. Vengala Rao, Chief Minister, Andhra Pradesh, a letter for temple construction in Pittsburgh.. By September 1975 prathista is mentioned in the letter.

July 24, 1974
Raj Gopal, Secretary, HTS Pittsburgh, submits a letter to TTD requesting help for construction of Venkateswara swamy temple. (Click here for a link to TTD Board Document)

Sept 25, 1974
Based on TTD Board Chairman's request, C.V. Narasimhan of HTS, NY wrote a letter recommending help and Rs 4 lakhs, be sanctioned to Pittsburgh Venkateswara Temple.

Nov 21, 1974
TTD board approved to help HTS, Pittsburgh and sanctioned Rs 4 lakhs

April 12, 1975
Groundbreaking ceremony at Hindu Temple Society of Pittsburgh, 615 Illini Drive, Monroeville, PA for this Venkateswara temple occurred on Saturday, April 12, 1975. At 10.30 AM. Sri Patwardhan from New York performed the rituals. His Excellancy, T. N. Kaul, Ambassador for India, Mr. C. Anna Rao, Chairman and Mr. Rajagopala Raju, Executive Officer, T.T.D Board, Tirupathi, India attended this function along with many local devotees

July 27, 1975
General Body Meeting of Hindu Temple Society of North America, Pittsburgh through resolution, permitted withdrawal of donations to Sri Venkateswara Temple under HTS, Pittsburgh. (Click here for link to the resolution document)

Aug 7, 1975
The Sri Venkateswara Temple (SVT) organization was incorporated on Aug 7, 1975 in COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA. The location and post-office address of its initial registered office in this Commonwealth is 1620 Branning Road, Pittsburgh
The incorporators are Rajashri Gopal, Nagabhushanam G Nunna. and Nancy Srinivasagam

Sept 11, 1975
Nagabhushanam G Nunna made a trip to India to get the TTD S. V. Temple project under the new SVT Organization. He met the following persons and succeeded in getting the project transferred. Except for incorporators there was no Board or any other body of this organization as of this time.
-Sri C. Anna Rao, Chairman, TTD, Mr. Rajagopala Raju, Executive officer, TTD, Mr. Purusotham Naidu, Commissioner of Endowments, Government of Andhra Pradesh, discussed at length and provided the Sri Venkateswara Temple to SVT organization.
-TTD withdrew help to HTS, Pittsburgh  (Click here for link to HTS refusal document)

June 30, 1976
Groundbreaking ceremony at Sri Venkateswara Temple, South McCully Drive, Penn Hills, with Sri C. Anna Rao, Chairman, TTD, Mr. Purusotham Naidu, Commissioner of Endowments, Government of Andhra Pradesh attending.

June 30, 1976
First Board of Trustees elected and first meeting conducted: Nagabhushanam G. Nunna, (Chairman), Raj Gopal (Secretary), K.R. Channarasappa, N. Srinivasagam, S. Valliappan, G. Varaprasada Rao (Members) 

Board appointed the Executive Committee: C.P. Velusamy (President), K. Narasimhan (Vice-President), V.U.S. Rao (Secreatary) S.G. Sankar (Joint-Secretary), G. Manoharan ( Treasurer), Rajashri Gopal (Joint-Treasurer), R. Madhav (Cultural/Education), A.T. Santhanam (Public Relations)

Sept 11, 1976
Executive committee dissolved and name changed to Construction Committee. Members same as before and additional members as the committee co-opts.

Member Additions to initial Board of June 30, 1976 till July 17, 1981

Feb 20, 1977

Rajashri Gopal, G. Manoharan, and C.P. Velusamy

July 22, 1979

V. Uday Shankar Rao and C. Radhakrishna V. Kamath

July 17, 1981

K. S. V. L. Narasimhan and, C.P. Natarajan

June 30,'76 to Sept 30, '80
Nagabhushanam G. Nunna as Chairman and Raj Gopal as Secretary of Board

Oct 1, 1980
Board of Trustees: Chairman: V.Uday Shankar Rao, Vice-Chairman; G. Manoharan, Secretary; Nagabhushanam G. Nunna, Treasurer: N. Srinivasagam Joint Treasurer: K.R. Channarasappa.  Raj Gopal, Rajashri Gopal,  C.R.V. Kamath, Gutti Varaprasada Rao, S. Valliappan
Executive Committee: President: K.S. Narasimhan, Satish Channarasappa, Suresh Channarasappa,  Raj Gopal,  Byre Gowda, C.P. Natarajan, Nagabhushanam G Nunna, Parandham Koduri, Krishnan Pandalai, S.S. Palusamy, V.U.S. Rao, and N. Srinivasagam

Board Members as of Oct 1, 1985
K.S. Narasimhan (Chairman), N.Srinivasagam (Vice-chairman), Varaprasada Rao Gutti (Treasurer), V. Uday Shankar Rao (Joint Treasurer), Rajashri Gopal (Secretary), Suresh Channarasappa (Joint Secretary), K.R. Channarasappa, Raj Gopal, C.R.V. Kamath, Parandham Koduri (President, E.C), G. Manoharan, C.P. Natarajan, Nagabhushanam G Nunna, Krishnan Pandalai, Janaki Raghupati, S. Valliappan.

Executive Committee Members as of Oct 1, 1985
Parandham Koduri (President) Satish Channarasappa (Vice-President), A.T. Santhanam (Asst Treasurer) , Radha Rao Dhulipala, Byre Gowda, Shikha Iyengar, Ashok Madhav, Chinna Rao Mokkapati, Geetha Narasimhan, S.S. Palusamy, B.N. Ramnath, V.S. Ramachandran, Hanumantha Rao, Nagaratnam Sunku, S.V. Krishna Swamy, Rajashri Gopal (Secretary Board), Varaprasada Rao Gutti  (Treasurer, Board)

There were issues in the organizational structure that took a very important direction resulting in the creation of corporate members for the first time in the organization.  There were 41 individuals serving in the Board of trustees and Executive committee combined from the inception of the organization. Regular meetings, election of trustees did not occur as per bylaws. No decision is taken by the majority of board members as to who the members are for the organization who in turn will elect the board of directors. A meeting was called for election of Directors by Nagabhushanam G. Nunna and Uday Shankar Rao on Nov 9, 1985 being held at Howard Johnson's, Monroeville , PA. This location outside of temple was chosen not to interfere with disturbances at the meeting. Reasons for meeting are in the notice of meeting. Click here for meeting notice and signature of attendees at the meeting.  This forced the majority of board to negotiate with me. Once my conditions were met, a memorandum of understanding was drafted same evening, Nov 9, 1985. Uday Shankar Rao was continuing with the meeting electing Board of Directors at Howard Johnson's just in case contents in Memorandum of understanding will not get followed.  Signing of memorandum of understanding was done by others only after it was first signed by me at the temple. Click here for memorandum of understanding.  All persons were allowed to name anyone they chose for an initial list of corporate members. A list of initial corporate members was made by Jan 8, 1987. Click here for initial proposed corporate members. The present bylaws are approved by corporate members on Oct 7, 1987 meeting.  K.S.V.L.  Narasimhan was Chairman of Board at this historic meeting of corporate members of SVT.

We have learnt many lessons in the administration of Temple. We have never failed to provide excellent services to devotees. S. V. Temple history is provided till adoption of corporate members into the bylaws. Very important events are mentioned here. It may not be including each and every event which may be perceived by others as important.   The management is very proud of a best managed Sri Venkateswara Temple serving the devotees from near and far.

With a generous financial help and voluntary work by many, near and far, this Temple has become Tirupathi of USA for several devotees.

Please visit About Temple menu item for information of several events and accomplishments not covered in this item here.

Thank You very much for reading this history with documentation.

Nagabhushanam G. Nunna