Brief History of Hindu Temple of Tallahassee (HTT)
The Hindu community of Tallahassee has been growing steadily over the years and devotes always travelled a long distance for their religious needs. The lack of a Hindu temple prompted a few like minded individuals to have an informal gathering at the Governor Square Mall in Oct 2013 to see if the community was ready to build Hindu Temple for the community. The journey of HTT slowly but steadily started with this initial meeting.
The Journey so far:
- After the initial meeting in October 2013, a series of meetings were held to plan for a community wide meeting for early 2014.
- On Sunday, January 12, 2014 a community wide meeting was held at the Chaires Community Center at 4768 Chaires Cross Rd, Tallahassee. The community response was overwhelming and from there on the dream of constructing a Hindu Temple in Tallahassee started to materialize spearheaded by a team of dedicated volunteers.
- Hindu Temple of Tallahassee (HTT) was formally registered as a non-profit organization with the Division of Corporations, Florida on Tuesday, March 4th, 2014.
- A group of 27 volunteers joined to form an interim governing body to help bring a structure to the nascent organization.
- The interim governing body developed and adopted the bylaws on Thursday, June 12, 2014.
- Most importantly, the interim governing body submitted the necessary paperwork with IRS and the HTT was approved on Wednesday, October 8, 2014 as a Public Charity under section 501 (c) (3) as a religious non-profit organization.
- To celebrate the victory of the good over the evil, HTT conducted the first ever Ravan Dahan & Diwali Mela. The mela was conducted on Sunday, October 12, 2014 at 2616 Gamble Road, Monticello, FL.
- In the coming years the Ravan Dahan and Diwali Mela became the signature event for HTT and the community always looked forward for this annual event.
- Through 2015 and 2016, volunteers spent time researching on the temple site requirements. The volunteers reached out to various temple organizations - big and small as well as those with a similar community size as Tallahassee - to gather the lessons they learnt and solicited advice for a budding organization like HTT. The volunteers also consulted Stapatis to familiarize with the vastu requirements for the temple site and the temple building.
- Based on the above outreach and research, criteria for selecting a site for HTT were developed. These criteria include: vastu, site size, location, safety, zoning and price.
- Using these criteria, HTT volunteers scoured throughout Tallahassee and nearby vicinity in search of a perfect site.
- After close to two years of meticulous planning, the community at a Special General Body meeting held on Sunday, August 21, 2016, approved the purchase of the current site at 2526 Chaires Cross Road, Tallahassee, FL 32317.
- The site is 19.84 acres and was designated for agricultural use.
- The site was purchased on the auspicious Vijaya Dashami day - Tuesday, October 11, 2016.
- On Sunday, December 11, 2016, the community came together to decide on the presiding deity and other deities for the temple.
- The presiding deity is Sri Venkateswara along with his consorts Mata Bhudevi and Mata Sridevi.
- Other deities - Sri Shiva, Sri Ganesh, Mata Saraswathi, Mata Durga Devi, Sri Radha Krishna, Sri Ram Parivar, Sri Hanuman.
- Gurus - Sri Shirdi Saibaba, Sri Raghavendra Swamy, Sri Rama Krishna Paramahansa.
- The members of the governing body identified a Civil Engineering firm and prepared the necessary site plan which was submitted to Leon County official for approval.
- The site plan was finally approved on Wednesday, May 16, 2018.
- Stapathi’s were consulted for the temple floor plan. After a prolonged process the community approved a single-story temple building on
- 2017 and 2018 were consumed with procuring all the required permits and getting the approval for the site plan.
- Site development work was initiated in April 2019 and was completed in December 2020.
- At a special general body meeting held on Sunday, March 28, 2021, the membership approved to proceed with the construction of the temple building after securing a loan from TC Federal Bank.
- The building contract was awarded to Riley Palmer Construction Company on Wednesday, April 14, 2021.
- The TC Federal Bank loan was secured and signed on Thursday, April 29, 2021.
- A grand Bhoomi Puja event was held on Sunday, May 16 2021 with priests from Orlando Hindu Temple presiding over the puja events.
- The initial preparation of the site for construction of the temple started on Monday, June 7, 2021 and is due for completion in March 2022.