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From: Nachu Anbil (
Date: Thu Apr 16 1998 - 12:34:15 PDT

I am forwarding a copy of write up on the upcoming Sri Ranganatha Temple
at Pomona, New York, which appeared on page B of the supplement to the
Hindu dated 11th April 1998 for the information of our members.
Anbil Ramaswamy

Thanks to the efforts of the Indian settlers abroad, temples of many
deities of the country are coming up in distant lands. A shrine of Lord
Ranganatha Swamy is being built in the US by Sri Ranganatha Seva Samithi
at Pomona near New York. This would almost be a replica of Sri
Ranganathaswamy temple of Srirangam. It is coming up in an area of about
8000 sq.ft. The Bhoomi Pooja was performed recently after obtaining the
approval of the US Government.

The project was started with the blessings of Srimad Azhagiya Singar
Jeeyar Swamigal of Sri Ahobila Muth. The temple's Sanctum  Sanctorum and
the Vimanas would also be similar to those of the Srirangam shrine. It
will also have a huge Mahamandapam, a prayer hall and other amenities.
The entire plan of the temple was drawn up by  Mr. M.S.Sivaprakasam
Sthapathy, who had designed the Rajagopuram of the Srirangam temple, the
tallest in Asia. Mr. Sivaprakasam, who was conferred the title of
Kalaimamani in 1993, has also been entrusted with the work of sculpting
a replica of Lord Ranganatha in the reclining posture as seen at the
Srirangam temple. Along with the moolavar, a set of 13 other deities is
also being readied at an estimated cost of Rs.12 lakhs for the proposed
temple at Pomona.

A team of 15 skilled workers, led by Mr. Sivaprakasam, his brother, Mr.
M.S. Sivakadaksham and Mr. P. Palaniswamy, has been involved in carving
the sculptures for the past nine months.

Except for the finishing touches, all the idols are almost ready and
will be shipped in special containers to the U.S. by the end of this

The idol of  Lord Ranganatha, made of black granite acquired specially
from Pannaikaranpatti near Namakkal, weighs about 12 tonnes. It  is 9.5
feet long and measures 3.6 feet in breadth and was carved out of a
single stone except for the hood of Adiseshan.

The other deities to be shipped to Pomona include Kothandaraman, along
with Sita and Lakshmana, Ranganayaki Thayar, Venugopala, Garuda Azhvar,
Nammazhvar, Anjaneyar, Ramanuja, Lakshmi Narasimhan and Andal.

Mr. Sivaprakasam and his team have already shipped a set of Panchaloha
idols of the Utsavars for the temple. Work on the construction of the
temple will commence after the presiding deity is installed.. Mr.
Sivaprakasam will lead a 15 member team to the U.S. shortly to supervise
the construction of the temple, which is expected to be consecrated in
about two years.

He says that it is a matter of great pride and personal satisfaction for
him to see the spiritual and cultural traditions of the country being
spread overseas.