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History

Balaji Temple :: Sri Venkateswara Swami Temple

A Brief History of Temple

Thousands of devotees from the Midwestern states, especially from Chicago land used to travel to Pittsburgh to have darshan of Sri Venkateswara swami. While the experience was spiritually rewarding, the time and effort required to make the trip was making it difficult for many to have his darshan as often as their hearts desired. Many felt a void in their spiritual lives and their discontent was wide spread. The state of affairs continued until 1985. As a result of philanthropy of nine families who donated 20 acres of land with a farm house in Aurora (a far west suburb of Chicago), as a site for the proposed Balaji temple, a beginning was made in the realization of a dream of many. Since Sri Venkateswara swami (Balaji) temple is an institution that has to serve innumerable generations to come, plans were drawn on a magnificent scale related to the means available and the needs of the moment. No pains were spared in making its designs meet the agamic space requirements when at the same time ensuring that it also meets the local building codes, structural safety standards and the needs of the community.

Padmasri M.Muthiah Sthapathy, a noted expert on temple construction in India collaborated with Sri Subhash Nadkarni, a reputed architect of Chicago and a devotee of Balaji, and together they designed the temple. This design is an excellent blend of ancient Shilpa shastra and modern architectural technology. This design also served as a model for other temples that were built later in the United States. A unique feature of the temple is provision for circumambulation (pradakshina) inside the temple not only around the presiding deity, but around all the major shrines inside the temple.