HOUSTON, TEXAS, April 24, 2015 (Houston Chronicle): Construction of Houston’s Sri Guruvayurappan Temple was anything but a standard Houston real estate deal. Planetary trajectories were factors in the design; a precise consideration of the elements – earth, air, fire, water, sky – was crucial in construction. And as workers and temple officials, many attired in traditional Indian dhotis, scurried to ready the city’s newest Hindu temple for its formal opening, great attention was given to assuring that everything about Sunday’s ceremony would be “auspicious.”
Flanked by two evangelical Christian churches in the 11000 block of Ormandy Street on the city’s southwest side, the temple, dedicated to Lord Krishna, is modeled after the ancient Temple of Guruvayur in the southwestern Indian state of Kerala. The Houston temple, a project of the city’s Kerala Hindu Society, is built of modern materials. Concrete replaces traditional wood, and the interior walls are covered in plasterboard. But the traditions and beliefs, said society trustee Biju Pillai, are ancient. “The rituals are unique, and the architecture is unique,” Pillai said. “This is a holy place.”
Officials at Hindus of Greater Houston, an organization representing a faith community of about 120,000, said the new temple is the region’s 23rd. With about 300 member families, the temple is medium-sized. Sri Meenakshi Devasthanam in Pearland, arguably the largest Houston-area temple, claims more than 2,000 families as devotees.