Location:- This temple is located in New Jersey, USA. The state of New Jersey has a massive Indian population of about 300,000. In the year 1992, a temple dedicated to Sri Venkateswara came into existence that allowed the growing Hindu community to connect with its cultural roots.
This temple is locally known as Bridgewater temple.
Main Deity:- The Main deity at this temple is Balaji or Sri Venkateswara. There are about 50 small temples along a 25 mile radius of Bridge water town.These are dedicated to Swaminarayan, Shirdi Sai Baba, Durga and Aryasamaj.
Best Time to visit:- The Bridgewater temple prominent in the tourist circuit and sees a lot of tourists especially in the New year months.
Temple History:- The plot for this temple was brought under the Hindu Temple and Cultural Society (HTCS), in September 1989. The temple building is in a nearby area and the original plot has the community center which is also called as sannidhi hall.
Architecture:- The Utsav moorthis (icons) are from India. They belong to the TTD - Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanam. The idol of the presiding deity is made out of granite and is 7 foot in high.The deity is present along with consorts Sridevi and Bhudevi . Sri Venkatesvara is at the center and other gods and goddesses are all around in accordance with Vastu Sastra.
The idols of Sri Devi, Bhu Devi, Siva, Parvati, Ganapati, Subrahmanya and the Navagrahas were sculpted and shipped from the shilpalayam in India and are made of granite. There are also marble deities of Sri Rama Parivar, Sri Hanuman, Sri Lakshmi Narayan, Sri Radha Krishna, and Sri Durga. These were from Jaipur.
Special Prayers/Festivals:- The sanctification of the Rajagopuram and Dvajasthambam (flag post) was done in July 1999.The temple also follows the traditions to recharge the spiritual powers of temples every 12 years. At this time a Pushkarostava Maha Kumbhabhiskhakam for all the vimanas (domes) are done. During this occassion, His Holinesses Sri Chinna Jeer Swamiji and Sri Siddheswarananda Bharati Swamiji of Siddheswari Peetham, Courtallam (In Tamil Nadu) ,were present. It is said holy water from the Ganga in India was brought for the Kumbhabhiskhakam.
All major Hindu festivals as well New Year’s Eve and New Year day are celebrated here. Women make garlands to adorn the deities. Sameepa Darsan (Darsan of the main murti at the temple in close proximity) on this day is a special feature of festival days.
The temple has eduational programs like HTCS Vidyalaya and provides language programs in Sanskrit and various Indian languages to all age groups. Besides language, there are Vedic Hinduism classes, bhajans, yoga, arts and crafts etc. The Vidyalaya conducts summer camp for two weeks.
A group of women volunteers runs a Women Forum. The temple association has food drives and soup kitchen services for the local people.
Photo Courtesy: TripAdvisor