Santa Clarita Is Going To Have Its First Hindu Temple

ganesha-logoSanta Clarita residents are raising funds to construct the first ever Hindu temple in the Santa Clarita Valley.

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 The temple will be a place for the community to come together worship, meditate and celebrate festivities together, according to a member who’s helping the effort to raise money to support it.

“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. We have been thinking about it for past 2-3 years to have something for our community out right here,” said Ritu Khadiya, a volunteer with the Hindu Temple.

“Kids need to learn about our culture too, we are very bound to our culture and we are strong about it also,” said Khadiya, who mentioned the growing population of Indians and Hindus. “We wanted to start something out here so that they get a little bit taste of all festivals, all cultural programs in Hindu society.”

The main deity of this temple would be lord Ganesha.

“What we thought is, ‘Let’s get together and open a small temple and nothing better than opening a Ganesha temple,” Khadiya said, “because 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.”

There is no affiliation with the famous Siddhivinayak temple of Mumbai, India, as per Ritu, the name is just inspired by 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.

This Hindu temple has been filed under 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, and Khadiya added that donations are being sought in support of things like getting the idol, lease and the land.

“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,” said Ritu. “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.”

(Click here for  a link to the website.)

In order to start the temple, this group needs $51,000, and they’ve already raised about 10 percent of that target in just a few short months.

People of Santa Clarita valley can also contribute by volunteering for various services like helping priest, volunteering for festivities or kids program. It is also a way of supporting the Temple.

Throughout the year, there will be festivities and special programs for everyone. There will be daily prayers and over weekends, as well as meal days to donate food to needy, she said. There is an active bunch of volunteers who are working hard towards opening the temple soon.