SRI VENKATESWARA DEVASTHANAMU (SVD) – The Spiritual Arm of Telugu Association of Malaysia
Telugu Association Malaysia was established in 1955 to safeguard Telugu Language, Culture, Spirituality and to develop and maintain a healthy economic status for Telugus. Eventually, 28 TAM branches were formed throughout Malaysia. South Perak Branch (Now Bagan Datuk) was formed and registered in 1961. There was not even a single alayamu especially for Telugus to perform religious and cultural activities in any part of Malaysia. Even to celebrate Ugadi (Telugu New Year), we depended solely on other non-telugu oriented centers. Restrictions were laid and we could not celebrate Ugadi to our satisfaction. Realizing the critical nature of this situation, some Telugu youths determined to own a gudi (Alayamu) to preserve and pass our rich Telugu heritage in terms of its language, culture, spirituality and religion to our children and ensure that they do the same for its perpetuity.
INITIAL RESOURCES WERE RAISED TO BUILD THE TEMPLE
Sri. S.Nook Naidu accompanied by Sri. M.P Appalanaidu initiated the search for a piece of land. Finally on the 9th of October 1980, 10 Telugu samaritans Sriyuthalu, S. Nook Naidu, M.P.Appalanaidu, Appalanaidu Akiah, M.E Subramaniam, B.K. Simanchalam, D.V. Sreeramulu, Stepen Ramulu, K.S. Somunaidu, K. Krishnamma and Adaari Ramulu bought 4 acres of land, sub-divided it and sold as housing lots. The profit earned through these sales amounted to RM 29,000.00 and a lot measuring 95’ X 88’ was donated to build the gudi. Sri.S.Nook Naidu was the protem committee chairman.
SRI RAMA ALAYAMU TO VENKATESWARA ALAYAMU
Though, initially it was planned as a Sri Rama alayamu, Sri. S. Nook Naidu, Sri. M.E. Subramaniam and Sri. M.P. Appalanaidu approached Sri. Appalasamy of Kampar, who came forward to donate the Lord Venkateswara Statue. As there wasn’t any Lord Vengkateswara Alayamu in Lower Perak, it was finalized to be a Sri Venkateswara Alayamu. With the help of all the local TAM Committee Members, Temple Protem Committees, well wishers and generous devotees, Sriyuthalu Beesethy Nokiah, Konathala Ramanaidu, Budda Sri Ramulu and R.P Naidu assisted us in the collections at their areas and managed to raise all in about RM 100,000.00. On 14th February 1983 the First Maha Samprokshana consecration ceremony was performed. Sri Venkateswara Aalaya’s 1st committee members were Chairman Sri. Gummadi Subramaniam, Deputy Chairman, Sri. M.P.Appalanaidu, Honorary Secretary, Sri. S.Nook Naidu and Honorary Treasurer, Sri. P.M.Maraiah. Sri. Gummadi Subramaniam was the chairman till 1989.
Since 1983, Kirthiseshulu Sri. Appalasamy annually visited the temple during Sri Vaari Brahmosthavamulu and continued even after his migration to Bentong, Pahang, and generally donated RM 1,000.00 to RM 1,600.00 till his last breath in 2010.
2ND MAHA SAMPROKSHNAMU
In 1990, Sri. S.Nook Naidu was the 2nd Chairman till 1992. Under his leadership, the temple was renovated and upgraded. Again, funds were raised. On 16th June 1993, Maha Samprokshnamu was performed for the 2nd time. The Temple was extended with inauguration of Lords Ganapathy, Lakshmi Devi and Navagrahalu Vigrahams. New dining halls adjacent to the cultural halls were set up.
In 1993 Sri. B.K.Simanchalam was elected as 3rd Chairman. He served one term i.e from 1993 -1994.
Since 1983 to 1994, Brahmosthava Festival Chairmen were appointed annually to manage the festival. The festival chairmen elected were Sriyuthalu D.A Subramaniam, A.E Juval, B.K.Simanchalam, N.B. Subramaniam, M.E. Atch Babu, K.R Ramanaidu and N.A. Ramulu. Naturally, Sri. Nook Naidu, Sri. Appalanaidu Akiah, TAM Bagan Datoh committee and members were also actively involved in all the temple occasions.
From 1995 to 2006 Sri. M.E.Subramaniam was elected as the 4th Chairman. During his time, Sri. Enkatesulu Juval was elected as the Honorary General Secretary of SVD and subsequently it was unanimously decided to register the Alayam. The temple was registered as PERSATUAN PENGANUT-PENGANUT SRI VENKATESWARA ALAYAM on the 16th of December 1999.
TO MAKE SVD BRAHMOSTAHAVAMU AS AN ANNUAL CONVERGING PLACE FOR MALAYSIAN TELUGUS WITH INVOLVEMENT OF TELUGU ASSOCIATION MALAYSIA.
Sriyuthalu S. Nook Naidu, Appalanaidu Akiah and M.E.Subramaniam initiated to make annual Brahmosthava Festival as a common place to gather Telugus from all over Malaysia at one place with the involvement of TAM Head Quarters. Initially in small numbers, Telugus from Kulim, Rawang and Kuala Lumpur, attended the Brahmosthava Festival once a year under the leadership of Kirthiseshulu Dr. Paul Naidu.
In 1998, Sri. Appalanaidu Akiah (Branch chairman of South Perak Branch) and Sri. M.E. Subramaniam (TAM Assistant General Secretary cum Temple Chairman) initiated the idea of congregation in TAM EXCO. Over the period, when Sri. B.K. Murthy became the President, TAM HQ began to involve gradually. It was during his time that TAM Head Quarters took part in Sri Srinivasa Kalyanamu annually with the involvement of all TAM Branches which had contributed RM 100.00 to RM 200.00 each towards the Sri Vaari Kalyanamu expenses. Gradually, spiritual and cultural competitions such as Chirathalu, Kirtanalu and Bhajans were introduced at National Level. In the earlier days, only a few TAM branches i.e from Bagan Datoh, Kulim, and Rawang took part.
3RD MAHA SAMPROKSHANAMU
Sri. S.Nook Naidu was again elected as the Chairman for 3rd time as the 5th chairman in 2006. He lead a team to further renovate and upgrade the temple with an estimated cost of RM 120,000.00. Unfortunately, during the process of breaking, the whole structure of the temple came crumbling down resulting in demolishment of both halls, to give way for complete new buildings, costing RM 800,000.00. The Temple was extended with the extension of Sri Anjaneya Swamy, Sri Gotha Devi Ammavaaru, new dining hall and a new multipurpose hall.
The Malaysian Government, Tirumala Tirupathi Devastanam, Malaysian Indian Congress, National Land Finance Cooperative Society, TAM Head Quarters, TAM branches, Lower Perak Branch Youths, devotees and well wishers generously donated towards these noble cause.
Vigrahalu for the temple, imported with minimal cost through the cooperation of Tirumala Thirupathy Devastanam and Malaysia Telugu Sangamu which gave immense help for the shipment of these vigrahas. Our sincere thanks to Sriyuthalu G.T. Lakshmana, S.Sree Ramulu, S.Venkatesan, Akiah Appalanaidu and those personnel from Tirumala Thirupathi Devastanam, Kirthiseshulu Rajasekhar Reddy, Krishna Reddy, Karuna Kara Reddy and Rajasekar.
Sri. G. Anandha Rao became the 6th Chairman of Sri Venkateswara Devasthanam.
The maintenance of the Devasthanam and the compound of its size was never an easy task. On one hand we have a chairman who is committed and devoted to Lord Venkateswara. He and his able committee contributed immensely either through cash, kind or service. On the other hand we also have a very committed spiritual and religious devotee Datuk Dr. Achaiah Kumar Rao, current President of the Telugu Association Malaysia. With the combination of these two leaders together with the devotees of SVD and all TAM Central Working Committee Members and Branch Chairmen, we have been successfully conducting all the activities, festivals at the devasthanamu annually.
Venkateswara Devasthanamu became a hub and training centre, complementing Telugu Samskruthika Nilayam to cater for National Level Cultural, Spiritual, Religious Competitions, Telugu Language Workshops and mini-camps, participated by all branches. Every National Programme and road show will be initiated with prayers to Lord Venkateswara and after its success, followed by thanks giving ceremony. Even TAM Shah Alam branch, TAM Johore, TAM Simpang Empat, National Youth and Mahila Wings have their prayers here for launching and for success of their respective events, activities and efforts.
We sincerely thank the trust and faith all devotees have in Kaliyuga Daivamu, Lord Venkateswara of Sri Venkateswara Devasthanamu, Sungai Sumun, Perak.
The performance of chirathalu on the 4th World Telugu Conference at Tirumala Thirupathi Devasthanam, Bhajanalu and Daathu Bhajanalu during World Telugu Federation placed Sri Venkateswara Devasthanamu in the World Map, thanks to SVD Chairman as the trainer.
At present we celebrate 14 festivals annually, in addition to all the previously mentioned activities. Apart from Brahmosthavam festival being celebrated on a large scale, the number of devotees attending Srivaari Kalyanaamosthu is increasing year by the year, reaching to 3000 devotees in 2016. In view of the increasing devotees, TAM has, in addition to RM 100,000.00 fixed deposit for SVD, paid another RM 100,000.00 towards the purchase of lot measuring 198′ X 66’ with premises named as SRI SRINIVASA NILAYAM, costing RM 200,000.00 to extend parking spaces.
At present, the Nilayam is used to house Telugu Vidyaardhulu during Mini Moral Camps. Sponsors for turfing, new signboard and the new properties also poured in. We once again thank all noble donors towards this noble cause.
Today there are rooms for priests, office, cultural and dinner hall, spacious parking lots and even a house with 3 rooms to cater for outstation devotees to stay overnight. SVD serves as the spiritual arm of the Telugu Association of Malaysia.
For further enquiries on prayers/pooja and visits to the temple, kindly contact the temple chairman Sri. Anandha Rao garu at +6019 210 5404.
Honorary General Secretary
Sri Venkateswara Devasthanam (SVD), 17th Mile, Sg. Sumun, Bagan Datuk, Perak.