Meenakshi Temple Embarks on Expansion of Main Sannidhi and Praharam for Mahalakshmi

Godess Lakshmi Sannidhi display on stage with the Core donors gathered for the launch of MTRP project.

Godess Lakshmi Sannidhi display on stage with the Core donors gathered for the launch of MTRP project.

PEARLAND: Sri Meenakshi Temple Society (MTS) launched the Main Temple Renovation Project (MTRP) on April 24, with a fundraising kick off meeting at Sri Meenakshi Temple Kalayana Mandapam.

MTS is the first traditional Hindu religious landmark in the Southwest United States; built over three decades ago the MTS facility has been attracting thousands of devotees on a regular basis.  What started in 1977 as a humble dream for a small group of supporters has gradually blossomed into a magnificent complex meeting the religious needs of the vast, growing community.  This is the first such temple outside India with Goddess Meenakshi as the main deity, constructed with guidance and assistance from the original Sri Meenakshi temple in Madurai, India. Before the main temple was built, and as the conventional custom of Hindu faith dictates, a small Sannidhi for Lord Ganesha was consecrated in 1979.

The main temple was constructed in 1982 followed by the majestic and ornate ‘gopurams’ at the four entrances along with the traditional surrounding walls. The supporters have been generous with their time, resources and emotions, the temple doing exceedingly well, attracting visitors and adding more facilities such as gopurams, corner mandapams, outer praharam, kalyanamandapam, Youth Center, Ratham and visitors center, staff quarters, as dictated by the needs, over a two decade period.

Sri Meenakshi Temple has become a sacred Indian monument in Pearland, suburb of Houston, and recognized by the state and the city, as an attraction for visitors.  To quote Texas Traveler “seeing a gleaming white Hindu temple rising from the grass in the middle of Texas cornfield is a thing to behold”, should give an impression of how it is perceived as an established landmark of the area.

With the steady growth of the devotee population, time has come to expand the religious facilities built thirty five (35) years back. The series of expansion was started last year with the Ganesh Temple, the 4000 sq.feet facility with granite sanctum, gopuram and with granite floor.   Main Temple Renovation Project (MTRP), the second stage of the essential development of MTS, with highlight of the project being the sublime realization of creating an edifice for Goddess Padmavathy with a Praharam around Her Sannidhi. The expansion will have several other attracting features to improve the access for more devotees with expansion of the main temple with the Pradhana Sannidhi (for Meenakshi, Siva and Venkateshwara) to increase the floor area by approximately 2500 sq.feet. This million dollar project is expected to complete by end of year 2015.

The MTRP fund raising kick off meeting on April 24 was a great success with near one hundred of the core support of devotees gathered in the Kalyana mandapam where the Lakshmi sanctum on the stage was very impressive. After the opening remarks by MTS chairman Dr. Vaduganathan, one of the stalwarts of Fund raising, AVN Reddy hosted the attendees with speeches from the Fund raising committee, as well as several prominent Patrons and Supporters.  A highlight of the evening was the presentation by Padmashri Muthiah Sthapathi, temple architect and builder, who explained and answered questions relating to the architectural details of the exquisitely beautiful proposal.

The next milestone on the historic expansion will be the auspicious Lakshmi Puja on June 1, at 10am.  Devotees and supporters of MTS wishing to be part of the auspicious and historic expansion can become Gold brick Lakshmi Sannidhi sponsors by emailing your pledge to or can visit

  (Contributions to the article: Dr. Venugopal Menon, AVN Reddy and Dr. SG Appan; photo: S. Balakrishnan)