In July 1978, The Ganesha Murthi in the present temple was sent from Hawaii by Gurudeva Sivaya Subramuniya Swami for the holy purpose establishing Ganesha Worship in Edmonton. At the beginning, the Ganesha Murthi was kept at homes of many devotees for prayers. The deity attracted more and more devotees for occasional dharshans and poojas. In 1979, the gatherings were relocated at a rented facility in Edmonton, where the Ganesha Murthi was installed. Daily worship of Sivalingam, the absolute being of God Shiva began just prior to the Maha Sivarathri day in 1983. Worship of Lord Muruga also known as Skanda or Karthik began in October 1984.
With regular worship having been firmly established the Maha Ganapati Society of Alberta was formed in 1981 with the primary goal of building a temple for Lord Ganesha. The Maha Ganapati Society of Alberta is also responsible for the temple operations. In the fall of 1985 the present temple site, located at the edge of the ravine leading to the Blackmud Creek, was acquired. The worship was transferred to the present location in December 1985. Poojas were performed by few devotees of Lord Ganesha until the arrival of the resident priest, Subramaniya Kurukkal, in May 1987.
Major Hindu festivals and days of religious significance are celebrated in the temple with special poojas. In the fall of 1995, The most miraculous happening that took place in the temple's history was the "Milk Miracle". Lord Ganesha continued to drink milk for three days and blessed the devotees with his presence. This miracle attracted several thousands of Hindus from all over Alberta and neighboring provinces. Many newspapers, and TV broadcasts covered this miracle with front-page editorials.
To accommodate the growing number of devotees and to build a temple according to ancient traditions, members of the Hindu community in Edmonton began their efforts to build a new temple in the present site. The Foundation Stone Laying Ceremony was held in June 1996 to initiate the temple construction. The new temple building includes a cultural center in the basement to foster and promote cultural events. The cultural center will also be available for public use.
Groundbreaking ceremony for the new temple took place on May 27, 1996. The rituals were performed by Navaliyoor Prathishta Sironmany Swamy Viswanatha Kurrukkal of Sri Lanka, assisted by our resident priest. Ravindranath Thagur sthapathi who will complete the architectural features of the Moolasthanam and Vimanam of the temple also participated in the function. Many devotees attended this two-hour event.
The stone-laying ceremony took place on May 31 to June 2, 1996. This event was one of the rarest events that took place in the city of Edmonton. Swamy Viswanatha Kurrukal, Subramaniya Kurukkal, Harihara Sharma of Toronto, Mr. Ameranath and Dr. Rajan of Edmonton performed all the religious rituals for this event. Blessings from Sri Sivaya Subramuniya Swami of Saiva Siddhanta Church, Kauai, Hawaii, was conveyed on the day of the ceremony.
Swami Brahmanishtananda Saraswati of Brahma Vidya Guruukulam, Edmonton and Swamy Ramdass of Durban, South Africa, blessed the occasion by their presence along with other invited dignitaries. Ravindranath Tagur Sthapathi laid the sacred stones. Three-day events were organized by a committee of volunteers, headed by Uncle Arun Veylan. It was a magnificent event and such a rare occasion to be part of a temple building ceremony that there were devotees and materials from far away places such as Fiji, India, Malaysia, Sri Lanka, South Africa and many more, just to name a few. Materials such as gems, precious metals, conch shells and holy ash were laid in the foundation by the hands of devotees and well-wishes. This will be part of the foundation supporting the temple, for years to come. I hope to have some pictures of it posted as well, very soon.
Fund raising is usually done through musical concerts, dinners, and bingo's or local charity events. To host such events, volunteers are always needed and the need for volunteers are very much appreciated. Even to cut construction costs, many qualified and professionals volunteer devote their time and money in the engineering and architectural design of the temple on a regular basis. This is their seva to God
You can also receive blessings from the almighty Lord Ganesha by participating in daily pooja activities or sponsored poojas. As the completion of the temple construction requires financial support, you may help in fundraising activities by monthly contributions or lumpsum donations. This is a registered charitable organization and tax receipts for income tax reduction purposes will be mailed to you for your donations. (As printed in the Annual Reports 1996-1998).
For general inquiries, sponsor poojas or donations, please contact:
The Board of Trustees,
c/o the Maha Ganapati Society of Alberta
128 Running Creek Road
Edmonton, Alberta, Canada