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Hindu temple welcomes public for opening celebrations

5/16/2013 - West Side Leader
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By Kathleen Folkerth

The exterior of the Sree Venkateswara Temple, which is nearly completed.
RICHFIELD — After seven years of planning and work, the Sree Venkateswara Temple of Cleveland is ready to open its doors.

The Hindu temple, at 4406 Brecksville Road in Richfield, will host its grand opening and Prana Pratishnapanam Celebrations May 22-28.

Dr. Ram Bandi, of Bath, who is chairman of the temple’s Board of Trustees, said the community is happy the project is nearing completion. Local Hindus have mostly met in homes or traveled to a temple in Pittsburgh for worship and special events, he said.

“It’s been a seven-year process and lot of things to do,” Bandi said. “It’s exciting that we don’t have to travel all the way to Pittsburgh.”

Workers were on-site to complete the Sree Venkateswara Temple’s main floor this week.
Photos: Ken Crisafi
The Hindu community decided on the 7-acre site because it affords easy access and has lots of trees, Bandi said. The finishing touches are being placed on the building so that it will be ready for next week’s activities.

Bandi said a priest is living in a home that already was on the property.

In the Hindu faith, Venkateswara is the form of the Hindu deity Vishnu. Bandi added that Hindus do not gather for services at a particular time and day like some faiths do. They go to the temple when they like, and the priest conducts a service that lasts about 15 minutes. The temple also will be used for special events and occasions, Bandi said.

The grand-opening-week events will begin May 22 from 5 to 8 p.m. Through May 28, events will take place in the mornings and in the evenings. Bandi said there would be music and dancing and food provided at no cost for lunch and dinner.

He added that all are welcome to come and see the new building.

“We’re open to anybody who wants to come and visit,” he said. “We welcome all the public. We want to have harmony and peace. That’s what we believe in.”

For more information, call 330-576-7676 or go to balajiusa.org.

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