History and formation of
Sri Venkateswara Temple organization (SVT)
TTD offered Sri Venkateswara
Temple under SVT and
Corporate Member adoption into bylaws of SVT
The Sri Venkateswara Temple (SVT) Organization was incorporated on
Aug 7, 1975. The incorporators are Rajashri Gopal, Nagabhushanam G. Nunna and
Nancy Srinivasagam. (Click here for
a link to Articles of Incorporation). An application requesting help for
construction of the Sri Venkateswara Temple by the SVT was made on Sept 11,
here for a link to Application).
Construction assistance of the Sri Venkateswara Temple, currently
located at South McCully drive, was offered to the Hindu Temple Society of
North America, Pittsburgh (Name later changed to Hindu Jain Temple) by Tirumala
Tirupathi Devasthanams and Government of Andhra Pradesh.
There are many events leading to the existence of this great
temple under the Sri Venkateswara Temple organization. Let us remember and pay
our respects to all of the founders, including some who are no longer with us.
The following history is provided by Nagabhushanam G. Nunna who
was present during all important phases of the evolution of this great temple under
HTS, Pittsburgh and SVT.
Jan 26, 1970
Hindu Temple Society of New York (Herein after referred to as HTS, NY) was
Jan 14, 1972
Mrs. Jaya Mani taught Bharatanatyam Dance classes in the basement of
"House of India" store on Forward Ave, in the Squirrel Hill area.
Daughters of Raj Gopal, Nagabhushanam Nunna and N. Srinivasagam were among her
first students. As time went by, others followed. A temporary place of
worship in the "House of India" was started by Dr. Raj Gopal and
Rajashri Gopal. In time it grew to several persons participating. A Lord Ganesa
idol was provided by Rajashri's father.
Aug 23, 1972
Mr. A. Alagappan, Secretary, HTS, NY, in his letter to TTD, proposed that,
TTD erect in His (Lord's) name a number of institutions in the U.S.A. He
proposed to build a hall or cultural and information center, name it after Lord
Venkateswara, and have it become an executive arm of T.T. Devasthanams.
- Mr. A. Valliappan, I.A.S., District Collector, Chittor District, A.P, brother
of Mr. A. Alagappan, forwarded the letter to the T.T.D Board, who considered
- Mr. A. Alagappan in his letter also requested senior officials to visit USA
to assist joint planning
Sept 9, 1972
Tirumala Tirupathi Devasthanams, Tirupati, Andhra Pradesh, India was approached
for the first time in its history for a temple in United States by Mr.
Alagappan, secretary of HTS, NY. His brother Mr. Valliappan was collector
of Chittor, who presented this request to TTD Board on Sept 9, 1972. (Click here for
a link to TTD Board Document)
Nov 5, 1972
Mr. A. Alagappan, Secretary of HTS, NY meets with some interested people,
invited by Raj Gopal, in Pittsburgh .The Primary resolution at this meeting was
to bring the NY and the Pittsburgh committees under one association, to be
named the Hindu Temple Association of North America.
Dec 10, 1972
T.T.D Board who has considered the proposal of A. Alagappan, Secretary, HTS, NY
and approved and sanctioned on Dec 10, 1972. Rs 7 lakhs to HTS, New York
The Hindu Temple Society of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA established.
- Founder trustees donated an initial $300 with an additional donation of $200
each year. (Click
here for link to a copy of the membership application)
- Founder trustees, listed alphabetically are: S.K. Bansal, S.K. Das, Raj
Gopal, N. Kalavathi, M.S. Luthra, M. Mahidara, A. Malhotra, M. Mazumdar, R.
Nath, G. Nagarajan, P. Nemani, Nagabhushanam G. Nunna, I.
Pandit, C. Ramaswamy, P. Sudhakar Reddy, S.K. Sekaran, P. Shrivastava, S.
Somani, N. Srinivasagam, R. Singh, K. Tarneja and R. K. Wadhwa.
- First Officers (1973) President: N. Srinivasagam, Secretary Raj Gopal,
Treasurer Satu Somani. (Click
here for link to a copy of Board and Executive Committee in
Officers (1975) President: B. Niyogi, Vice-President: Nagabhushanam G
Nunna, Secretary: Raj Gopal, and Treasurer K. Mathur.
The persons with names in Bold are founder trustees in Sri Venkateswara
Temple organization when it was formed
Vasudeva Rao, Commissioner, Endowments Dept, Andhra Pradesh with Ganapathy,
Sthapathi visit NY and Pittsburgh and submit their report to TTD and AP Govt
Aug 2, 1973
Structure: Plans for Sri Venkateswara Temple were designed and
planned by Sthapathy Ganapathi working at engineering cell of endowments
department, Andhra Pradesh, India, on Aug 2, 1973. Sri Venkateswara Temple, Sri
Tayar (Lakshmi) Temple, Sri Andal temple are their design, which is different
from Sri Venkateswara Temple in Tirupathi, Andhra Pradesh, India. Click
here for floor plan
July 2, 1974
Raj Gopal, Secretary, HTS, Pittsburgh, submits to Hon. Vengala Rao, Chief
Minister, Andhra Pradesh, a letter for temple construction in Pittsburgh.. By
September 1975 prathista is mentioned in the letter.
July 24, 1974
Raj Gopal, Secretary, HTS Pittsburgh, submits a letter to TTD requesting help
for construction of Venkateswara swamy temple. (Click here for
a link to TTD Board Document)
Sept 25, 1974
Based on TTD Board Chairman's request, C.V. Narasimhan of HTS, NY wrote a
letter recommending help and Rs 4 lakhs, be sanctioned to Pittsburgh
Nov 21, 1974
TTD board approved to help HTS, Pittsburgh and sanctioned Rs 4 lakhs
April 12, 1975
Groundbreaking ceremony at Hindu Temple Society of Pittsburgh, 615 Illini
Drive, Monroeville, PA for this Venkateswara temple occurred on Saturday, April
12, 1975. At 10.30 AM. Sri Patwardhan from New York performed the rituals. His
Excellancy, T. N. Kaul, Ambassador for India, Mr. C. Anna Rao, Chairman and Mr.
Rajagopala Raju, Executive Officer, T.T.D Board, Tirupathi, India attended this
function along with many local devotees
July 27, 1975
General Body Meeting of Hindu Temple Society of North America, Pittsburgh
through resolution, permitted withdrawal of donations to Sri Venkateswara
Temple under HTS, Pittsburgh. (Click here for link to the resolution
Aug 7, 1975
The Sri Venkateswara Temple (SVT) organization was incorporated on Aug 7, 1975
in COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA. The location and post-office address of its
initial registered office in this Commonwealth is 1620 Branning Road,
The incorporators are Rajashri Gopal, Nagabhushanam G Nunna. and Nancy
Sept 11, 1975
Nagabhushanam G Nunna made a trip to India to get the TTD S. V. Temple project
under the new SVT Organization. He met the following persons and succeeded in
getting the project transferred. Except for incorporators there was no Board or
any other body of this organization as of this time.
-Sri C. Anna Rao, Chairman, TTD, Mr. Rajagopala Raju, Executive officer, TTD,
Mr. Purusotham Naidu, Commissioner of Endowments, Government of Andhra Pradesh,
discussed at length and provided the Sri Venkateswara Temple to SVT
-TTD withdrew help to HTS, Pittsburgh (Click here for
link to HTS refusal document)
June 30, 1976
Groundbreaking ceremony at Sri Venkateswara Temple, South McCully Drive, Penn
Hills, with Sri C. Anna Rao, Chairman, TTD, Mr. Purusotham Naidu, Commissioner
of Endowments, Government of Andhra Pradesh attending.
June 30, 1976
First Board of Trustees elected and first meeting conducted: Nagabhushanam G.
Nunna, (Chairman), Raj Gopal (Secretary), K.R. Channarasappa, N. Srinivasagam,
S. Valliappan, G. Varaprasada Rao (Members)
Board appointed the Executive Committee: C.P. Velusamy (President), K.
Narasimhan (Vice-President), V.U.S. Rao (Secreatary) S.G. Sankar
(Joint-Secretary), G. Manoharan ( Treasurer), Rajashri Gopal (Joint-Treasurer),
R. Madhav (Cultural/Education), A.T. Santhanam (Public Relations)
Sept 11, 1976
Executive committee dissolved and name changed to Construction Committee.
Members same as before and additional members as the committee co-opts.
Member Additions to initial Board of June 30, 1976 till July 17, 1981
Feb 20, 1977
Rajashri Gopal, G. Manoharan, and C.P. Velusamy
July 22, 1979
V. Uday Shankar Rao and C. Radhakrishna V. Kamath
July 17, 1981
K. S. V. L. Narasimhan and, C.P. Natarajan
June 30,'76 to Sept 30, '80
Nagabhushanam G. Nunna as Chairman and Raj Gopal as Secretary of Board
Oct 1, 1980
Board of Trustees: Chairman: V.Uday Shankar Rao, Vice-Chairman; G. Manoharan,
Secretary; Nagabhushanam G. Nunna, Treasurer: N. Srinivasagam Joint Treasurer:
K.R. Channarasappa. Raj Gopal, Rajashri Gopal, C.R.V. Kamath, Gutti
Varaprasada Rao, S. Valliappan
Executive Committee: President: K.S. Narasimhan, Satish Channarasappa, Suresh
Channarasappa, Raj Gopal, Byre Gowda, C.P. Natarajan, Nagabhushanam
G Nunna, Parandham Koduri, Krishnan Pandalai, S.S. Palusamy, V.U.S. Rao, and N.
Board Members as of Oct 1, 1985
K.S. Narasimhan (Chairman), N.Srinivasagam (Vice-chairman), Varaprasada Rao
Gutti (Treasurer), V. Uday Shankar Rao (Joint Treasurer), Rajashri Gopal
(Secretary), Suresh Channarasappa (Joint Secretary), K.R. Channarasappa, Raj
Gopal, C.R.V. Kamath, Parandham Koduri (President, E.C), G. Manoharan, C.P.
Natarajan, Nagabhushanam G Nunna, Krishnan Pandalai, Janaki Raghupati, S.
Executive Committee Members as of Oct 1, 1985
Parandham Koduri (President) Satish Channarasappa (Vice-President), A.T.
Santhanam (Asst Treasurer) , Radha Rao Dhulipala, Byre Gowda, Shikha Iyengar,
Ashok Madhav, Chinna Rao Mokkapati, Geetha Narasimhan, S.S. Palusamy, B.N.
Ramnath, V.S. Ramachandran, Hanumantha Rao, Nagaratnam Sunku, S.V. Krishna
Swamy, Rajashri Gopal (Secretary Board), Varaprasada Rao Gutti
There were issues in the organizational structure that took a very
important direction resulting in the creation of corporate members for the
first time in the organization. There were 41 individuals serving in the
Board of trustees and Executive committee combined from the inception of the
organization. Regular meetings, election of trustees did not occur as per
bylaws. No decision is taken by the majority of board members as to who the members
are for the organization who in turn will elect the board of directors. A
meeting was called for election of Directors by Nagabhushanam G. Nunna and Uday
Shankar Rao on Nov 9, 1985 being held at Howard Johnson's, Monroeville , PA.
This location outside of temple was chosen not to interfere with disturbances
at the meeting. Reasons for meeting are in the notice of meeting. Click here for meeting notice and signature
of attendees at the meeting. This forced the majority of board to
negotiate with me. Once my conditions were met, a memorandum of understanding
was drafted same evening, Nov 9, 1985. Uday Shankar Rao was continuing with the
meeting electing Board of Directors at Howard Johnson's just in case contents
in Memorandum of understanding will not get followed. Signing of
memorandum of understanding was done by others only after it was first signed
by me at the temple. Click here for memorandum of
understanding. All persons were allowed to name anyone they chose for an
initial list of corporate members. A list of initial corporate members was
made by Jan 8, 1987. Click here for initial proposed corporate
members. The present bylaws are approved by corporate members on Oct 7, 1987
meeting. K.S.V.L. Narasimhan was Chairman of Board at this historic
meeting of corporate members of SVT.
We have learnt many lessons in the administration of Temple. We
have never failed to provide excellent services to devotees. S. V. Temple
history is provided till adoption of corporate members into the bylaws. Very
important events are mentioned here. It may not be including each and every
event which may be perceived by others as important. The management
is very proud of a best managed Sri Venkateswara Temple serving the devotees
from near and far.
With a generous financial help and voluntary work by many, near
and far, this Temple has become Tirupathi of USA for several devotees.
Please visit About Temple menu item for information of
several events and accomplishments not covered in this item here.
Thank You very much for reading this history with documentation.
Nagabhushanam G. Nunna