Vallejo Hindus Celebrate Area’s First Temple
By a Staff Reporter
from India-West, December 1, 2000, B18
VALLEJO, Calif. – People of all faiths celebrated Durga Mata Murti Sthapna at Solano County’s only Hindu temple here Nov. 26. The festival was one of the first held at the temple’s new location, a renovated church at 1268 Taylor Ave.
The celebration began early, when Swami Satyananda, of the Devi Mandir in Napa, and Shree Maa performed a temple puja and havan at 8:30 in the morning.
More and more devotees and community members flocked to the temple throughout the day, to partake in such highlights as a satsang, the decoration of Durga Mata, and bhajans performed by Mamta Puri, Kamlesh Kundra, and Arvind Nischal.
Nischal, one of the temple’s founders, told India-West that the event drew TV news reporters from KRON channel four, and was also attended by a representative from the consulate general of India, and Vallejo’s Vice-Mayor Ray Pete and his wife.
In his speech, Pete commended the Vallejo Indian community for creating the new temple, and jokingly asked, “What took you so long?”
By the end of the day, Nischal said, nearly 400 people had come through the doors.
“It was really great,” he said. “Now we’re very excited for future programs.” Nischal added that the temple plans to hold children’s classes and yoga classes, as well as special programs and jagrans on Tuesdays, Saturdays, and Sundays.
Swami Satyananda from the Napa temple will also perform special programs from time to time.
“Everyone is welcome to plan community events like Diwali or Dussehra here,” Nischal said. “People should continue to participate. We need their views.”
The temple’s other founders include Shiv Kumar, Jaginder Bawa, and Chamkaur Giri.