News - Sunnyvale temple to get a face-lift
Change - Community and City Efforts for better
The Sunnyvale Hindu temple, located at 420 Persian Drive, has been a fixture of the SF Bay Area for the past 15 years, well-known because of its central location andits auditorium that can accommodate around 1,700 people, frequently hosting community events and celebrations.
However, the temple has not had a face-lift for a while and continues to look like an industrial warehouse, with occasional improvements in the temple or adjacent hall and kitchen area.
With the improvement plans submitted to the Sunnyvale city planning commission being approved, the temple management have now indicated a willingness to take the plunge.
While plans for the external façade and interior have been displayed for over a year, it is builder Kartik Patel and Associates who have set the ball rolling.
The acquisition of adjacent properties by housing developers restricted parking opportunities around the temple, with community members being heavily fined by Sunnyvale Police for violating regulations. Temple volunteers and community members have now made it a point to work with the authorities, indicating their willingness to be part of the system and not the problem.
Over the past year, special arrangements have been successfully made for important events like Diwali, Holi, Durga Puja and Jagran.
Some internal changes are also in the offing, including a fundraiser for the renovation of the temple. Sanjay Agarwal, Amarjit Singh, Naren Pathak among several others have taken the lead to work and liaison closely with city and county officials.
To add to the renovation plans, a devotee from Vallejo in Northern California recently donated several high-quality idols to the Sunnyvale Temple.
“The idols are made in Jaipur, Rajasthan,” confirmed temple priest Dr Kishor Sharma and added that the deities were installed with proper rituals.
The forward looking vision of the Sunnyvale temple is welcome to a lot of devotees, as the recent Holi festival went off without major problems. Parking is at a premium during such events with around 5,000 people attending, and so shuttle buses were arranged to the NetApp corporation’s huge parking lots. The community cooperated and the arrangements were appreciated by the City officials of several departments who graced the occasion.
Sunnyvale City Mayor Anthony (Tony) Spitaleri who visited the temple several times, has been supportive and looked forward to more events and appreciated the community feedback and involvement, especially with the growing number of professional Indian Americans in the South Bay. Santa Clara County Supervisor and former San Jose Vice-Mayor Dave Cortese, San Jose City Council member Ash Kalra, are also regular visitors to the temple. Community leaders like Jim Griffith and members of the Sunnyvale police department have also been
Temple board member Raj Bhanot said, “We look forward to working with everyone and help make Sunnyvale Hindu Temple what we envisioned for the entire community”.
Meanwhile, many members who have lived for several decades in the area have also taken a step to engage the community. Some of the programs initiated by volunteers at the Sunnyvale Temple have included Second Harvest Food Bank, outreach help for global warming awareness initiative, hosting non-profit seminars and other initiatives to work closely with all aspects of the community.
“Change is due and coming at the Sunnyvale Hindu temple. We will soon be working in phases to transform the temple as per the plans,” said a regular devotee and volunteer at the Sunnyvale temple.
Special Thanks, courtsey The Indian Express, WESTCOAST Newsline
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