In the early 1990s, several dedicated members of the Hindu-Jain community felt the need for a place of worship and to preservce our heritage for future generation. After extensive community input and feedback, it was decided to build a new temple and community center in the Greater Baltimore area. The following are some of the major milestones in the history of the temple.
In March, the Greater Baltimore Temple, Inc. was registered as a tax exempt, non-profit oganization.
In June, a contract was signed to purchase five acres of land for $190,000 for building the temple in a quiet suburban community of Finksburg in Caroll County, about 40 minutes from downtown Baltimore.
In January, the settlement was completed for purchase of the land. In July, a contract for $64,700 was singed with the architectural firm, Laurel Design Alliance, Laurel, MD to design the temple complex.
In March, Carroll County approved the temple plans. The first puja was held at the temple site on receipt of this approval. Construction bids were solicited. Six construction companies submitted the bids. Craft Constuction Inc. of Baltimore was selected by the Board of Trustees. In December, 1996 the Ground Breaking Ceremony was performed at the temple site.
In February, a construction contract for $1,707,000 was signed with Craft Constuction Inc. to build the temple and a Community Center. Financing was arranged with Carroll County Bank. The temple construction began in spring. In April, the Cornerstone and foundation laying ceremony was held.
On August 9, the commmunity center was inaugurated and the first puja (Vasatu Puja) was performed by the chief priest, Pundit Padmanabh Joshi, to seek the blessing of the gods for the success of the temple project. From December 11-13, the Murthi Pranaprathishta (Sthapana) ceremonies were performed for Ganesha, Durga, Shiva Lingam, Hanuman and Saraswathi.
On May 9, the Idols of Bhagwan Mahavir were installed. From June 16-20, the Murthi Pranaprathishta ceremonies for Balaji, Padmavathi, Radha-Krishna, Sri Rama-Sita-Lakshmana and Maha Lakshmi were performed.
The Greater Baltimore Temple complex is a one story building that includes a prayer hall, deity chambers, puja rooms, library, office, reception area, shoe storage room, coat room, Priest room, kitchen for prasad preparation, warm-up kitchen and rest room facilities. The temple hall is approximately 3000 square feet and can accomodate about 250 devotees at a time. The adjacent Community Center and lobby are located on the south end of the building, on the same level. The community center is approximately 4800 square feet and can accomodate about 300 people. Plans exist for the expansion of the Community Center and construction of class rooms at the lower level. Onsite parking spaces can accomodate approximately 100 cars.