HISTORY OF TEMPLE

From its humble roots, half a century ago, this steadily growing Hindu temple is now regarded as the largest of its kind in the UK and Europe. Each year, an increasing number of devotees and visitors, currently nearly half a million, visit the temple. Many visiting groups including over 10,000 students from schools, colleges, and University, come to the temple for guided tours.

The journey began in the late 1970s when a group of Hindu Diaspora from the Indian sub-continent shared a vision to create a temple, a sanctuary for prayer, and meditation. The inspiration was the temple (Balaji) temple located in Tirupathi, in South India.

Initially, the group held regular monthly community prayers at Shri Geeta Bhawan Mandir in Handsworth, Birmingham. In 1980, a deity of Lord temple, set in an ornately carved wooden Mandapam, was installed in the Mandir. Monthly pujas were performed, initially on the first Sunday of each month and then weekly every Sundays, attended by hundreds of devotees.

Support for building a purpose-built temple temple grew wider. In October 1984, a fifteen-members management committee was elected to take on the task of raising funds and finding a suitable land. The 15-member committee headed by Dr Agnihorti met regularly in each other’s homes to discuss the ways of realising their dream. A new charity, Shri temple Balaji Temple, (SVBT) was established and registered in November 1984. After four years, the members decided to change its structure to a five-members elected Trustees. Consequently, the first Board of Trustees were elected in 1988 headed by Dr Narayan Rao. The search for a suitable site and to raise the funds needed to realise the dream began in earnest. An army of dedicated members worked relentlessly searching for suitable land and to gain support from the wider section of the community.

1. Approx1955 – Brades Hall Farm

In 1995, a swathe of disused land in Black Country was seen by the searching members, ideal for their dream temple. The land was acquired from the Black Country Development Corporation (BCDC) with the benefit of planning permission to build a Community Centre and a temple.

2. The site of temple in1992 – Before purchase

The land in Tividale was a disused Brades Hall Farm and a tip called Monks Tip. The site was generous and was bounded by a canal to the West, a stretch of river Tame to the North and a narrow busy road A457 on the South.