Wednesday December 12, 2018

Santa Clarita in California to get its First Hindu Temple due to growing Population of Indians and Hindus in the Valley

The City of Santa Clarita is the third largest city in Los Angeles County, California and the seventeenth largest in the state of California.

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Delhi, Dec 23, 2016: Santa Clarita residents are raising funds to construct the first ever Hindu temple in the Santa Clarita Valley. The temple will be called ‘Siddhivinayaka Temple’ and will have Lord Ganesh as the main deity.

Reason behind the idea of a temple in Santa Clarita Valley:

Ritu Khadiya, a volunteer with the Hindu Temple says that to make a visit to a temple, the residents of Santa Clarita have to travel really far. She said,” Santa Clarita is one valley that doesn’t have anything to do with a Hindu temple — for a temple, (SCV residents seeking a Hindu temple) have to go all the way up to the (San Fernando) Valley, North and Palmdale, mentioned hometownstation.com.

We have been thinking about it for past 2-3 years to have something for our community out right here.” Khadiya also gave a statement saying,”Kids need to learn about our culture too, we are very bound to our culture and we are strong about it also. We wanted to start something out here so that they get a little bit taste of all festivals, all cultural programs in Hindu society.”

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Choosing Lord Ganesha as the main deity:

Khadiya also gave reasons behind choosing Lord Ganesha to be the main deity of the temple. She said, “Ganesha is lord of good luck, and we pray him when we start something new and so that’s what was the whole idea behind it.” The group of volunteers who are actively behind the concept of this Hindu temple actually thought about it during the festival of Ganesha Chaturthi in September this year. “We were sitting together at Ganesha festival, and everyone came up with same name — ‘Let’s start with Siddhivinayak temple,” she said, referring to the famous Mumbai place of worship.

Contribution and Funding:

A total amount of $51,000 is needed for the temple and the community has already raised about 10 percent of that target in just a few short months. Khadiya also said, ”We are very open to collect money for one time right now, because we have a saying in our culture — if you open a temple, the temple runs by itself so we really are looking forward to collect funds and open the temple by the end of January 2017. We have a GOFUNDME me through Facebook, the biggest thing we have right now is you can go into on our website, and you can just click on fund me out there, it’s very safe and goes directly to the funds account and it is tax-deductible, too.”

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People of Santa Clarita valley can also contribute by volunteering for various services like helping the priest, volunteering for festivities etc. Ritu further mentioned that there are many volunteers from Santa Clarita who are working very hard towards an early opening of the temple.

– prepared by Shambhavi Sinha of NewsGram. Twitter:  @shambhavispeaks

 

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The Hindu Temple of Gulyana and Sikh Samadhi in Pakistan

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Gulyana, Pakistan

By: Wali Imran (Hindu Council of Australia)

900 years old Gulyana town of about a 50,000 people, just a few kilometers South of Gujar Khan, was raised to the ground once several centuries ago, by raiders from the West. The second time it was destroyed during the 1947 partition riots.

Gulyana, Pakistan

Before 1947, the Gulyana town center was mostly Hindu and Sikh. The Hindus and Sikh owned all the businesses in the town center and Muslims were their tenants, peasants and laborers. Muslims sold their lands to pay off their debts and also handed over their crop of wheat. The Dewan, Dutt, Mohyal Brahmin, and Singh families were always part of royal elite.

Bollywood Star Sanjay Dutt is from the same branch of warrior Brahmin Dutt and belongs to the same place.

Gulyana, Pakistan

Land owners were guaranteed protection from military’s presence in Gujar Khan from the North and a rivulet from the south. This land produced sheer gold and wealthy Sikhs and Hindus lived like kings in mansions make of stone, several storey high.

Gulyana, Pakistan

Bakshi Tek Chand, Dewan Prithvi Chand Dutt, Bakshi Moti Ram and Tara Singh were the dominant names of those times.  They built temples, dug up wells for the 30-50 kanal holdings each and distributed these lands amongst their permanent serfs. They did however, treat their serfs with respect and gave them a good share of the crop — what do you expect from absentee landlords.

Gulyana, Pakistan

The Sikh had a timber business. Logs from Kashmir valley were dumped into Jhelum River and recovered downstream near Jhelum city to be sold at Gujar Khan.

The Hindus were mostly traders, money lenders and retailers.

Gulyana, Pakistan

Muslims were mostly illiterate and poor and were destined to stay that way considering the only quality boarding school in nearby Gujar Khan had 95% non-muslim attendance.

During the 1947 riots, one Sikh Bali Singh and one Hindu Lady Banto were killed in the riots but the rest were whisked away with their gold, in the safety of Gorkha soldiers. The Muslim riot crowd burnt to the ground the several symbols of oppression and got rich in the process, during the looting.

One Hindu tehsildar had the magistrate’s powers to jail someone for 6 months.

Gulyana, Pakistan

When the British left suddenly in 1947, the carefully crafted social experiment in native subjugation came crumbling down within days.

Otherwise, one 100 years old resident of Gulyana tells me, “the Hindus and Sikh were very friendly towards the Muslims, their women played around with the boys, molvi were not trouble makers then; they cared about their serfs and neighbors’, built schools, hospitals and wells for the general public. No Muslim was allowed into their kitchen however. Balraj, Sita, Beera, Ramu Shikari, Gujrati, Peecha Singh, Mangat Singh, Jawals Singh, Raab Singh, Gurdyal, were the well-known Hindus and Labbu, Gurra, Jagdev, Santa, Paacha, Chatru were the known Sikh of the time. One Tek Chand Never left for India and embraced Islam. His wife and three sons left for India. Tek Chand married a Muslim lady and had seven children. They are all in poverty now. Several of the old mansion, one dhramsala, one temple, several bowlis (watering hole) have been lost to time.

Gulyana, Pakistan

The surrounding farms around Gulyana were refreshing. The old styled spoke wells, Sikh Samadhi, Hindu temple and 100 years old Gujarati’s mansion still survives.Gulyana, Pakistan

I went into the temple inner sanctum and saw the most beautiful frescos of mixed Hindu and Sikh religious figures like hanuman, Krishna, Sita, Baba Guru Nanak, Bala, Mardana, etc.

Gulyana, Pakistan

 

Pakistan government build a dam 5 km upstream, called the Ugahaun; it’s a lovely place to fish and boat around.

The union council in 1947 had more financial powers than it does today.

In short, all the entrepreneurs, educators, administrator, jurisprudence people, revenue people, land record people and large scale farmers left in 1947.

Gulyana, Pakistan

I am astonished how Pakistan survived with an illiterate mass of people, steeped in poverty — traumatized by exploitation and mass killings.

Other interesting places in Potohar region are:

Also Read: Protecting The World, The Hindu Way

Bedi Mahal, Pharwala fort, Malot fort, Sangini fort, Rawat fort and Mankial Stupa. (Hindu Council of Australia)