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A Brief History of Sri Vara Siddhi Vinayaka Temple

With divine blessings and the community’s generous support, the Sri Ganesh Temple at Austin Hindu Temple and Community Center (AHTCC) was inaugurated on Feb 11, 2007. The dreams and aspirations of many devotees first took shape in the form of the “Sri Vara Siddhi Vinayaka” Temple, the first building on the grounds. In the Siddhi Vinayaka form, the Ganesh deity’s trunk is turned to the right side. In this form, the deity is believed to be very generous in bestowing spiritual knowledge and success and hence named “Siddhi Vinayaka”. The temple, dedicated to Ganesh, has  always had a special place in the heart of many Hindu Austinites.

After twelve years as per agama traditions, a second Maha Kumbabhishekam (Rajata Bandhana) of Sri Vara Siddhi Vinayaka Temple was performed on May 20-23, 2023. Along with some necessary renovations, during this special occasion three kosta devatas were installed on the exterior walls of the garbhagriha (sanctum sanctorum).

A lot of manpower went into the first designs of the temple. The Board of Directors (BOD) authorized the construction of the Sri Ganesh Temple and Mutipurpose Religious Hall (MPRH) in April 2006. Originally, the Ganesh Temple was designed by Sthapati Karuppiah Swaminathan to be an open-air temple. LZT Architects were responsible for the architectural plan, and the structural designs were done by Viral Patel, one of our founding Trustees. Journeyman Construction (owned by Sam Kumar, Ex Chairman and a major benefactor) volunteered to build the Temple at only a $1 profit. There was so much clay in the soil at first that 6 feet of soil had to be dug out and replaced with more stable soil under the Ganesh Temple and MPRH construction site.

For the first couple of years, the sides of Ganesh Temple were open, there were eight circular shaped pillars, without walls or windows. But later, (2010-11) to protect it from exposure to the extreme weather, it was closed with glasses, expanded, the pillars were made as square, interior ceiling decorations were done, and pillars towards the front and windows were added. The final ornamentation of the vimana and columns as we see it today were designed by Padmasri Muthaiah Sthapati, who also designed our main temple not long afterwards. The Sikhara Pratishta of the newly ornamented Ganesh temple was performed on May 29th, 2011 along with Bhumi Puja (ground breaking Ceremony) for the Main Temple.

One of the first major objectives laid by the Board of Trustees is to make the temple a unique, traditional and special place. Every year, the Ganesh temple continues to fulfill the needs of many devotees through multiple grand celebrations celebrated throughout the year, the most notable of which is Ganesh Navaratri followed by nimajjana (immersion) in the nearby Decker Lake. We truly hope that the Ganesh temple will be able to continue to be an asset it has always been to the Hindu community for many decades to come.