Sanatan Mandir - Home of Spirituality

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Sanatan Mandir is a Hindu temple in Tampabay Florida. It is a place of worship for hindus where the God is worshiped in the form of sculptures. All the Hindus offer prayers to their Gods and find peace within themselves. The idea of establishing a place of worship was conceived in 1989 and Hindu Samaj Inc, a non-profit religious organization, was established to pursue this idea. The main objectives and goals of Hindu Samaj Inc. are:

  • To provide a place of worship to Hindu community in Tampa Bay area
  • To keep our children in touch with religion and culture.
  • To educate our children about our religious and cultural values.
  • To provice a place to our community which they can use at the time of their need to celebrate happy events and share sorrow at sad events.
  • To acquaint the community at large with our culture.
  • To create better understanding among community members with different back grounds in a multi-ethnic society.

 



About Sanatan Mandir

Sanatan Mandir is located in historic Tampa Heights.  This site has rich and unique history. More than a hundred years ago, this historic site was established as a Jewish Temple. In 1989, it become Hindu Temple.  The two buildings on this site have been purchased by Rattan Family and donated to be used as Hindu temple. The bigger main temple building  was later demolished  and the smaller of the two buildings  is currently used as Temple.  The founding family  has since them purchased  and donated land immediately to the East, West and South side  of the temple. Sanatan Mandir is very unique in its location.  To our best knowledge, this is the only temple in the entire USA to be within approximately  one mile of the city center and the mayor's office.  As if destiny had meant our temple to be at the center of the city's activities. Now  proposed Ist bullet train station in US  is approximately less than 1/2 mile from our temple.  Further Sanatan Mandir is less than a mile  from main bus station and 5 mile away from the Tampa International airport. Over 25 years of  temple's existence, a lot has changed in Tampa but one fundamental has remained the same. This sacred place of worship has remained   a place of worship for over a century.  That was a vision of the founders of Hindu Samaj Inc.  and we are committed to keep it same way for all generations to come.


  • Old Temple Building ( demolished)

    Old Temple Building (demolished)

History of Sanatan Mandir in Dr. Rattan' s words.
Hindu Samaj Inc, dba Sanatan Mandir. Incorporated Jan-9-1989.
A short narration of its beginning 25 Years ago.
As the beautiful sunset in Tampa Bay cast it's pink and purples hues over the western sky, I sat on the edge of my fathers bed as I did most evenings at the end of my workday.It was a special day as Puja , Havan and the festivities performed that morning at our house had gone well.As I reminisced over the old friends who had joined us as well as welcoming the new families who had just moved to Tampa.
Pita ji, my father, asked me casually, why I was late in attending the Havan. I replied " She was a private patient and I had to deliver her baby & as it was not my call day, I will get paid extra" .After few moments of silence he said "Making money night & day is not  the sole purpose of your coming to USA. There is not even a temple in this Tampa town of yours"
I proceeded to explain that many like-minded people had thought about building a Temple in Tampa. Dr.ANV Rao from USF had come with us just the other day to look at the W.L. Bigelow Building on Bay Shore Blvd. It will happen soon, I assured him.
"I have been hearing that now for over a year "a touch of sarcasm in his voice." What is important to a community shows in its Priority"he said.
That day I resolved, I will make Pitaj' wish a priority. A few days later Henry Purcell a retired US Army Col ,MBA ,realtor,tall ,tough looking gentleman came to see me in my Hyde Park office.He started to talk about purchase of office buildings.
I think this is not what he expected to hear.The perplexed Look  on his face , the kind I had seen ,many a time,on the face of white Americans, new to us Indians & Indian culture & religion.  "Doc this is South!!  Zoning  for a temple will be a problem, at least in the City limits". Before I could even think what he really meant , he was out tthe door .A few weeks later Henry Purcell showed up in my office again.He was insistent . You got to listen to me Doc. You will never get a chance like this." I have a beautiful three story building with granite pillars &  it is a Temple already,and you get the  Educational building next to it as a bonus" . Believe me ,it is less  than a mile from the Mayors office. It needs some work but you can get Federal grant as this is a historical building.

You Indians should not miss this chance. A few weeks later, I was the new owner of the Jewish Temple, Rodeph Shalom building on 309 E.Palm Ave and their educational building at 311 E Palm Ave. My father,mother, my children, my wife and I did the 1st Pooja with just a picture of our deities, hung  on the east wall of the buildings.Sprinkling Ganga Jhal in the premises Pitaji said to my children "This is a Temple, and for us all places of worship are sacred."

Incorporation  papers were filed in December 1988 with four directors, Sh S.R Rattan( Pita ji) Sh Amar Dambla, Sh. Dave Handa and myself, and on Jan 9th,1989 we had a Registered Corporation.Name:  United Sates Arya Samaj inc. Thereafter 501 c(3) designation was in place. Later  the corporation's name was changed to , HINDU SAMSJ INC.Soon the building ownership was handed over to Hindu Samaj inc.
There were changes & transfer of management over the years.
Unfortunately without my participation or consent the Rodeph Sholom main building was demolished .But that is an other chapter & a different narration .
The smaller building is now Sanatan Mandir, the property around the building was gradually acquired and is now owned by Hindu Samaj inc.
January 23rd 2014:  The City of Tampa granted us Permit to build a new Temple Building .
In last last 25 years Tampa has changed a lot .
One thing has not changed, We are still within less than a mile from the Mayor's office & the only temple that close to downtown in any major city in USA. Over one hundred years ago this site was a Jewish Temple and for last 25 years a Hindu Temple.There is acceptance to the fact that there is one God but many ways to reach Him & worship Him.A sacred site of worship, remaining sacred.
We have had TampaBay Mayors visit our Temple & support us in our growth plans.I am moved by the  immense support from both the Indian community and local Tampa Heights community.
The new Temple building will be 10,600 sq.feet and present building nearly four thousand sq feet, will serve as Community Hall.
Ground breaking for new Temple ,will be held on February 22, 2014. Our Temple President, Sh. Pankaj Patel is leading the project.
As The journey continues, my late father Sh S.R.Rattan's words are still fresh in my, mind, " Making money night & day, is not the sole purpose of your(our )coming to USA". Yes Pita Ji we have a lot more to do and give back to our community !
With Gratitude,
Pawan K Rattan, M.D.
Chair Board of Trustees.
 
Our Priest and Manager
Manikya Sharma - Priest
Rushi Vyas- Priest

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