SKAI foundation is pleased to announce that it will construct, operate, and maintain “Char Dham Hindu Temple” in The Woodlands, TX. The site is located on S.H. 242, at the intersection with Northway Drive, about three miles west of Interstate 45 North. There will be four worship centers, called “Char Dham”. They are: Badrinath, Dwarka, Jagannath, and Rameshwaram. Besides four worship centers there will be a multi-use cultural center, a Yoga Center, and Priest quaters.
SKAI (Surya Kabita Amlan Ishan) foundation has been established in 2007 by Dr. Surya Sahoo and his wife Kabita Sahoo with the help of their sons Amlan and Ishan.
The mission of SKAI foundation is to provide direct services for charitable causes which include relief for the poor and the underprivileged, advancement of education, provide religious services by establishing and maintaining religious facility and promoting cultural activities within community and eliminating prejudice and discrimination.
In keeping with it mission to help the needy SKAI foundation contributes to local food banks. The foundation also plans to help needy students by establishing scholarships to aid in education.
SKAI foundation is a 501(c)(3) private operating foundation. Contributions are Tax Deductible.
SKAI foundation is in planning stages to construct, operate and maintain Char Dham Hindu Temple in The Woodlands, Texas. In addition to a worship center the facility will have priest quarters, multi-use cultural center & yoga center.
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About Char Dham Hindu Temple
The Char Dham Yatra has a great importance and significance especially among the people of Hindu religion. Pilgrims believe that theChar Dham yatra washes away all of their sins and opens doors for “Moksha”. Every human being should consider visiting these four Holy places at least once in their lifetime.
Millions of devotees visit this auspicious holy yatra and pay homage to the temples every year. It is commonly believed that undertaking a journey to these Pilgrim locations will remove all sins, and whatever mistakes you have madein your past life. The yatra offers you sense of belonging, purity of heart, and brings self-actualization into your life.
The Hindu Char Dham (consisting of four divine temples) is one of the holiest Hindu sites comprisingBadrinath, Puri and Dwarka.Though the origins are not clearly known, the Advaita school of Hinduism established by Sankaracharya, who created Hindu monastic institutions across India, attributes to the origin of Char Dham to the seer.[The four monasteries lie across the four corners of India and their attendant temples are Badrinath Temple at Badrinath in the North, Jagannath Temple at Puri in the East, Dwarakadheesh Temple at Dwarka in the West and Ramanathaswamy Temple at Rameswaram in the South. Though ideologically the temples are divided between the sects of Hinduism, namely Saivism and Vaishnavism, the Char Dham pilgrimage is an all Hindu affair.There are four abodes in Himalayas called Chota Char Dham (Chota meaning small): Badrinath, Kedarnath, Gangotri and Yamunotri– all of these lie at the foot hills of Himalayas.The name Chota was added during the mid of 20th century to differentiate these temples from the original Char Dhams.The journey across the four cardinal points in India is considered sacred by Hindus, and many aspire to visit these temples once in their lifetime.Traditionally the trip starts at the eastern end from Puri, proceeding in clockwise direction in the manner typically followed for circumambulation in Hindu temples.
Adi Shankaracharya, the eighth century philosopher and reformer who was credited to the revival of Hinduism, was also responsible for coining the words Char Dham, referring to the four holy abodes of the lord Vishnu. During his extensive tour throughout India, he also established Mathas in those four places dedicated to the research and preservation of four Vedas. Jyotir Matha is an example at Badrinath, was assigned the task of maintaining and preserving the Atharv Veda. Sharada Matha at Dwaraka was assigned the task of maintaining and preserving the Sam Veda. Govardhan Matha at Puri was assigned the Rig Veda and Sringeri Matha at Sringeri hills in the South India was assigned the Yajur Veda. These four pilgrimage places in India are considered to be the most holy places in this universe for Hindus. They are Badrinath, Dwarka, Jagannath Puri, and Rameshwaram. The Char Dham defined by Adi Shankaracharya consists of two Vaishnavite, one Shaivite, and one mixed site. Geographically the Char Dham makes a perfect square with Badrinath and Rameswaram falling on the same longitude and Dwarka and Puri on the same latitude, representing the farthest north, east, west, and south points of India at the time of Adi Shankara. However, there is another Char Dham usually known as “Chota Char Dham” located in the close proximity of the Himalayas. As opposed to the predominantly Vaishnavite Char Dham coined by Adi Shankara, Chota Char Dham represents all three major Hindu denominations (Shaktism, Shaivism and Vaishnavism). It includes Yamunotri and Gangotri representing Shaktism, Kedarnath representing Shaivism, and Badrinath representing Vaishnavism. It is a common Hindu belief that Lord Vishnu takes his bath at Rameswaram (in Treta Yuga), meditates at Badrinath (in Satya Yuga), dines at Puri (in Kali Yuga) and retires at Dwaraka (in Dwapara Yuga).
Badrinath Temple in the north, the abode of Shri Badrinath is also known as “BhuVaikuntha”, which means earthly abode of Lord Vishnu. Badrinath is located in the Himalayas on the banks of river Alaknanda in the state of Uttrakhand.
Dwarka Temple in Gujurat, the abode of Lord Krishna, is also known as Jagat Mandir. There are two main gateways to and from this temple: the entrance is called Swarga Dwar and the exit is known as Moksha Dwar near the Gomati River.
Puri Temple in Odisha is the abode of Lord Jagannath, Balabhadra, Devi Subhadra and Lord Sudarsan. Jagannath means Lord of the Universe. Puri is also famous for its Rath Yatra (car festival) where 3 chariots are pulled in procession carrying Lord Jagannath, his brother Lord Balabhadra and their sister Devi Subhadra.
Rameshwaram Temple the abode of Sri Ramanatha Swamy (Lord Shiva), is located in the South, in the state of Tamil Nadu. It is situated in the Gulf of Mannar, at the very tip of the Indian peninsula. This temple is also one of the twelve Jyotirlingas of Lord Shiva in India.
According to Sanatana Dharma, life is divided into four stages called Ashramas that include Brahmacharya, Grihastha, Vanaprastha, and Sanyasa. The last stage of life is the real preparation for ultimate liberation. Pilgrimage and austerity are the most important characteristics of this phase of life. It is also a general belief that a journey to pilgrim locations will wash away one’s sins and can help one attain moksha. Therefore, Char Dhams are regarded as extremely sacred to all Hindus, and pilgrimage to Char Dham at least once in lifetime is a dream come true for many.
It is further believed that Adi Shankaracharya purposefully established these four temples in four corners of India during the 8th century, in an attempt to revive the Hindu religion and unify all Hindus across the country. The Char Dham Hindu Temple in The Woodlands, TX, will be a unique temple with all the four temples in one location and the only one of its kind in the Unites States and perhaps in the world.