The Ganesha Temple is a unique jewel among the religious places in Adelaide - the beautiful multicultural city of churches. The magnificent traditional temple, depicting the colorful religious architecture of India, was completed in 2001. It is a place of worship that serves the needs of over 20000 people of Hindu faith in South Australia.
Hindus from India, Fiji, Mauritius, Guyana, Trinidad, Surinam, Malaysia, South Africa, Sri Lanka, and other places settling in Adelaide initially satisfied their spiritual needs by holding regular satsangs (spiritual gatherings) in the houses of different devotees. This practice continued for some years. As the population of people of Hindu faith increased, senior members of the Adelaide's Hindu Community formed the Hindu Society of South Australia. In 1985, the Society decided to establish the Ganesha Temple to satisfy spiritual needs of Hindus then living in Adelaide and the future arrivals. A vacated Lutheran Church was bought for this purpose. The Society chose Lord Ganesha, the Vighnaharta, the remover of obstacles, as the main deity because Lord Ganesha is acceptable form of God to Hindus belonging to different sects within Hinduism. Initially, the worship was carried out in front of a Lord Ganesha's picture, which still hangs in the front-half of the current temple building.
In July 1986, a granite statue of Lord Ganesha was brought from Chennai and was dedicated in October by local Pandits. In the early days before a priest was employed a few members volunteered to open the temple daily in the evenings and perform a puja and read from scriptures. Later, the Members of the Hindu Society were able to find a priest from Malaysia who was willing to work as a full-time priest. He however left in 1988. The present Chief Priest Sri Sriskandarajah Kurukkal started working as a permanent priest in 1989.
As the Hindu population of Adelaide continued to increase, the Executive Committee of the Society felt the need to expand the temple building. Consequently, a piece of land adjoining the temple was acquired in 1991. Following extensive planning and community consultation, the building work finally started in 1999. Sculptors and architects well-versed with designing Hindu temples were invited from India to undertake work on building a temple depicting a traditional Hindu architecture. Maha Kumbhabhishegam was held in November 2000. The Ganesha Temple was finally opened by the then Premier of South Australia Mr. John Olsen in 2001.
The Ganesha temple regularly hosts pujas and religious functions and caters to spiritual needs of the Hindus of Adelaide. The temple also provides a platform to meet and be at home while away from home for the students visiting South Australia to undertake higher education. Many friendships have been formed and the temple functions as temples in India. The Ganesha Temple has not only become a very important place in the lives of Hindus of Adelaide but also a centre for promoting social and cultural harmony.
Lord Ganesha is the presiding deity in the Ganesha Temple. The elder son of the Lord Shiva, He is worshipped in 32 different names and forms (murthis) in various parts of the world. The one worshiped in the Ganesha Temple is Siddhi Ganesha. In this form, He is the giver of success and is associated with bountiful harvests and general abundance in life. Lord Ganesha is popularly known as Vigneswara, meaning remover of all obstacles, and as such every ritual in Hindu tradition begins with His invocation.
The Shiva Linga represents the Absolute God beyond all forms and qualities. This consists of three parts: the base symbolizing the place of Brahma (The Creator), the middle symbolizing the place of Vishnu (The Preserver) and cylinder at the top symbolizing the place of Shiva (The Destroyer). The Shiva Linga thus embraces all the three forms of universal energy.
Lord Vishnu, also known as Narayan, is the God of Preservation. He has four hands each holding a conch shell (Shankha), a discus (Chakra), a lotus and a mace (Gadha). From time to time He manifests in the form of Avatars (incarnations) to win over evil and uphold virue in the world . Laxmi is active energy and the consort of Vishnu, and is the giver of prosperity, well-being, wealth and harmony.
Durga, Laxmi and Saraswati
Durga, the consort of Lord Shiva, is the divine cosmic force (Shakti). Laxmi, the goddess of Wealth and Saraswati, the goddess of Knowledge are respectively the consorts of Vishnu and Brahma. That the three major aspects essential for human survival and progress are assigned to goddesses reflects Hinduism's respect for women. This is unique to the Hindu religion.
Muruga Valli & Deivanai
Muruga is the younger son of Lord Shiva. He is the conjoint manifestation of Shiva and Shakti. Muruga is usually flanked by his consorts Valli and Deivanai that represent will (Valli) and action (Deivanai). He also holds a spear given to him by his mother Shakti for subduing and transforming the evil force of demon king Surapadman. The spear (Vel) represents knowledge (Gyana). These three together denote the three cosmic energies of governing will, action and knowledge.
The Navagraha literally means the nine planets that are said to govern our destinies. They are Surya (Sun), Chandra (Moon), Mangal (Mars), Budha (Mercury), Guru (Jupiter), Shukra (Venus), Shani (Saturn), Rahu and Kethu. The latter two are the ascending and descending nodes of the moon. Navagraha are placed in the north-eastern corner of the temple and arranged in a square so that they do not face each other.
Hanuman is the faithful devotee of Lord Rama - an incarnation of Lord Vishnu. The monkey faced son of Vayu (the Wind God) is revered for his immense physical strength, courage and deep devotion. He played a prominent role in battle between Lord Rama and the demon king Ravana. Hanuman's contribution in this battle is narrated in the epic poem of India, the Ramayana that has been a perennial source of spiritual, cultural and artistic inspiration.
Bhairava is the fierce manifestation of Lord Shiva. He wears a tiger skin and a ritual apron composed of human bones. In his four hands he carries a noose, trident, drum, and skull. Bhairava has a dog as his divine vehicle. He is the guardian of the temple of Lord Shiva. Bhairava is invoked during rites performed to destroy enemies.
is located at 3A, Dwyer Road, SA - 5046, Australia. You can contact this listing via this phone number: 8358 4005.