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History

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A Brief History Of

Hari Om Mandir

Hindu Society of Metropolitan Chicago - A non-profit organization under IRS Regulation 501(c)(3)

The history of Hindu Society can be traced back to the 1960’s, when some Immigrants from India came to the United States of America. With the memories of their Motherland and its rich culture in their hearts, some families started meeting in their homes in the name of Lord Krishna. They formed a Gita Society and met once a month at the home of a host family. They started a 2-hour program with the recitation of Bhagvad Gita, Bhajans, Kirtans and Speeches on religious subjects, and concluded with Lunch/Prasad. Gita Society was officially incorporated with State of Illinois on Feb. 19, 1968 under “General not for profit Corporation Act”

In 1970’s meetings were held in rented public halls. From April 1974 to March 1987 meetings were held in Stevenson Recreation Center at Lake and Taylor Street in Oak Park. In April 1987 Hindu Society held its first meeting in its own temple building, Hari Om Mandir at 6N020 Medinah Rd., Medinah, a dream come true after years of hard work and planning. There were about ten sites/buildings, inspected, studied and investigated before the purchase of the present building in Medinah.

The Board members in 1972 decided to change the name from Gita Society to Hindu Society and a new Constitution was prepared. At a meeting of the members held on Feb. 11, 1973, the name of the Gita Society was changed to Hindu Society. A new constitution was approved on this day with two basic objectives - to change the name from Gita Society to Hindu Society and to obtain Federal Income Tax Exempt Status from Internal Revenue Service. These changes were made to broaden the scope of activities of the Society, to celebrate various important Hindu Festivals and to increase the Membership base.

This building had a constructed area of 2,500 sq. ft with a basement and upper floors, on a lot size of about 2.12 acres. The original purchase price was $225,000 and an additional amount of about $125,000 was spent on improvements of the building, paving the parking lot, landscaping, renovation of bathrooms and kitchen, and construction of Domed Entrance above the stairs. After the mortgage loan and all these improvements were paid off with the generous Donations from devotees, a Building Committee was formed to undertake the expansion projects of the temple. The first expansion project started in Aug. 1998 and was completed in Aug. 2000. The expansion resulted in a magnificent improvement and addition to the existing facilities. It doubled the space on both the floors (5530 sq. ft. each floor), provided a Priest Apartment and spectacular area for installation of all the important Deities of the Hindu religion.

Pranpratishtha ceremonies were performed over six days which concluded on auspicious Janam Ashtami - Aug. 23, 2000. Life size beautiful marble Murtis of Mata Vaishno Devi, Radha Krishna, Ram Darbar and Shiv Darbar were installed in the Sanctum Santorum. The entire cost involved in this lavish Project was about $650,000. Devotees were overjoyed to see their efforts shape up on such a marvelous scale and the growth of their Home of Worship: HARI OM MANDIR.

Introduction of Devi Jagran programs in 1998 brought great significance to the Hari Om Mandir. Unparalleled devotion to Durga Mata by the devotees has been a major factor in the expansion of the temple. On popular demand, regular Sunday Congregations were started on Jan. 2001 and the temple is kept open every day.

Devotional Bhajans and Kirtans are performed on regular basis. Classes for children are held to provide opportunity to learn about Hindu religion and Hindi language. Senior citizen meetings are held once a month to provide opportunity to the senior citizens of Hari Om Mandir to share their valuable experiences of life. Religious and Spiritual discourses by renowned speakers and Swami’s visiting from India are arranged occasionally.

All important Hindu Festivals and cultural events are celebrated every year-Janmashtami, Ram Naumi, Shivratri etc. In addition, some cultural events are celebrated with great enthusiasm e.g. Lohri, Baisakhi, Youth Night, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Picnic etc.

In March 2001 Sprint Co installed a cell tower. This has improved the revenue base of Hindu Society.

Another milestone occurred in the history of Hari Om Mandir on August 19, 2001 with the installation of Murtis of Shri Ganesh, Shri Hanuman, Santoshi Mata, Maha Kali Mata, Shani Dev Maharaj, Lord Vishnu and Lakshmi Devi in the Parikrama area. Also, marble pillars with intricate designs, all imported from India were installed on the same auspicious day. On Aug. 30, 2002 Pranpratishta ceremonies were performed for wall Murtis of Shri Hanumanji (sindoorwali); Mata Saraswati Ji and Shri Ganesh Ji (at the entrance gate).

After 9 years, the Constitution of Hindu Society was again revised and updated - as proposed by the Members: for the enhancement, further growth and improved functioning of the Temple. Plans were made to provide excellent Services, Facilities and a Peaceful environment to the devotees who visit the temple for any religious Poojas or to seek Blessings from their Gods.

In 2002, Landscaping of outside grounds was also completed and drawings for a new Commercial Kitchen with latest equipment to prepare Prasad for large gatherings on the premises, was proposed. The Kitchen Project was finally completed in 2003.

As part of the Building Expansion, new rooms to accommodate visiting Swamis / Religious Speakers from India – 2 Rooms each, on the Upper & Lower Level – (528 Sq Ft) were added in the years 2008-2009. A Library consisting of almost 4000 Books, including the Vedas/Puranas and Children’s Books was built in April 2011. The Main Gate was also transformed to give a Traditional Hindu Temple look in the same year – 2011.

To honor the wishes & requests of the Devotees, Navagraha were installed in the Shiv Durbar area in 2012. With the continued efforts and donations from the Community, a huge 21 Ft single Marble Statue of Hanuman Ji was installed-Pranpratishtha in 2013 – this is a landmark and one of its kind in the whole of Chicagoland area. Later in 2019, ardent Devotees of Baba Balak Nath started a regular program and Baba Ji’s Murti was also installed.

The final and the biggest Building Project got recently completed in 2022, at a cost of over $500,000. For the convenience of our esteemed Senior Citizens, there was an urgent need for an Elevator. An elaborate Construction Project to install an Elevator from the Ground Level to the Upper Level & the Lower Level was started in 2019. Along with this a complete facelift of the Mandir Entrance, Stairs, additional Board Room / Yoga Room/ Meditation Room comprising 1470 Sq Ft have been added.

Our next Project on Plan is to build a glass DOME around the tall Hanuman Ji’s Murti installed outside in 2013. Due to the drastic weather conditions, the Murti has lost color & needs touch up and paint to be protected for future.

With the Blessings of Lord Krishna, Lord Rama, Shiva and Maa Durga, we look forward to bringing improvements to the temple in every respect: Spiritual, Religious & Social needs of the Devotees. The Executive Board, Board of Trustees and the Building Committee, will keep striving for the all-round Growth of the Temple.

Management Team

Executive Board

Click on Name to view Photo

Vipan Wadhera

President

Ramesh Bhardwaj

Vice President

Sneh Chaudhary

Secretary

A.G. Mohansundr

Treasurer

Ashok Sharma

Publication

Usha Verma

Food & Prasad

Gopal Tiwari

Inside Property

Dinesh Patel

Outside Property

Pooja Sharma

Special Events

Board of Trustees

Brij Sharma

Chairman

Dr Anand Lal

Vice-Chairman

Mohan Karamchandani

Secretary

Ram Verma

Member

Satish Chander

Member

Amar Singla

Member

Upma Hardy

Member

Chandru Bhojwani

Member

Temple Priests

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