HELENSBURGH is one of the famous Hindu temples in the southern hemisphere and is held in veneration by all devotees.
The temple is built on top of a hilly area 400 feet above sea level. The temple has four ‘Praharam’ (encircling corridors).
Helensburgh is a place of natural beauty with hills and groves surrounding it where Lord Balaji (Sri Venkateswara) with Goddess Lakshmi and Lord Shiva (Shri Chandramouliswarar) along with Sri Tripurasundari remained here bestowing their blessing to the devotees.
Significance Of The Sri Venkateswara Temple
The Construction of Sri Venkateswara Temple started in 1978 when a small group of people had a vision to build a Hindu temple according to Vedic principles (Agama Sastras). They selected this divine site in Helensburgh because “it is said the gods always play where groves are, near rivers, mountains and springs and in towns with pleasure -gardens ” -Brihatsamhita.
According to the ancient principles of Hindu temple construction, there are five requirements:
- The proposed site for a Hindu Temple should be a virgin land…a forest…ideally in an islandwith plenty of water source located in a coast line.
- It is significant to note that the Sri Venkateswara Temple site has met all of the five requirements.
- As per the saying ‘Gopura Darisanam Kodi Punyam’…meaning the sight of a Temple tower is worth 10 million pious activities!! Hence it should be the first object visible to us whenever we approach any temple. So the construction of the Rajagopuram forms a very important aspect of the construction of a Hindu temple. Our temple, being a Siva Vishnu Temple, will have two Rajagopurams.
By the prophecy that the numbers of the Hindus believers will swell in Australia…the idea of SVT arose and this temple was constructed in the traditional Indian architecture based on Agama Sastras so that it would be a light house for spiritual guidance and solace.
The Sri Venkateswara Temple Association was formed on 17th November 1978 in Sydney
The Mahakumbhabhishekam (consecration of the temple by sacred waters) of the Lord Ganapathi ( Sri Varasiddhi Vinayagar) and the Main temple of Sri Venkateswara, Sri Maha Lakshmi and Sri Andal took place on 30th June, 1985 with ample good will and support from a very wide circle of devotees both in Australia and abroad. The Tirupathi Tirumala Devasthanam was helpful by giving us both encouragement and financial help.
Sri Venkateswara Temple in Helensburgh NSW is Australia’s first Hindu Temple built in the traditional style of Hindu Temple architecture. It stands as an outstanding example of Hindu Temple Architectural Excellence. Located in a bushland setting, it serves as an impressive local landmark.
The Temple has been listed as a heritage item by the NSW Office of Environment Heritage for historical, aesthetic, social and reasons of rarity and representativeness in the Wollongong Region.
Helensburgh is located on the route of Grand Pacific Drive Sydney to Wollongong and beyond, a 140 kilometre scenic coastal drive.
The Temple has been functioning since 1985. Whilst it serves as a major religious and sacred place for Hindus living in and visiting Australia, many non-Hindu visitors and tourists are also attracted due to the unique Hindu Temple architectural significance of the buildings and their iconic cultural status.
The base structures were constructed by local builders and then a team of Hindu Temple sculptors who were brought in specifically for this purpose, with their specialised skill passed on to them from generation to generation, completed the Temple without the aid of any building profiles or modern engineering equipment. It took seven years to build the main shrines, and the Temple was consecrated for public worship on 30 June 1985. Subsequently various additions were completed prior to the 25th anniversary of its establishment in 2010.
The Temple’s peaceful settings, ample car parking, the vegetarian canteen and comfortable rest room facilities further enhance the “visitor experience” of an ever-increasing number of tourists who are constantly attracted by the Temple’s many and magnificent architectural aspects. The Temple is now one of the major tourist destinations in the Wollongong – Illawarra Region and attracts many thousands of tourists, both of casual and organised groups.