“Let the Kundrathu Kumaran Temple’s Ratham’s 72 holy bells be heard far and wide” has always been the dream of the Tamil Educational Cultural & Charitable Association (TECCA). And with the unveiling of the temple’s new ratham in February, it’s a dream come true.
The Kundrathu Kumaran Temple in Melbourne was completed in December 2011, the consecration held in February the following year, attended by thousands of Hindu devotees, religious scholars and political dignitaries from all across Australia.
The temple was built to cater to the spiritual needs of a growing population of Hindu migrants from Sri Lanka, India, Fiji, Malaysia, Singapore, Mauritius and South Africa. In the early 1980s, when the migrants settled down in Melbourne, there were no Hindu Temples in the region. Few years later, Hindu temples were constructed in the east of Melbourne. However Hindus from the North and West of Melbourne, particularly the elderly migrants, had difficulty reaching the temples to participate in poojas.
The Hindu population in the North and West of Melbourne increased rapidly from 1995. The creation of TECCA and its fascinating history came about from the community’s considerable concern for the preservation of their religion, culture and customs. TECCA was officially registered as an incorporated association in 2002, to fulfill the essential needs and requirements of the Hindu and Tamil communities living in the North and West of Melbourne.
TECCA identified building a Hindu temple together with other facilities based on agama shastras, in an appropriate surrounding, as their primary project. Land was secured in Rockbank and a temporary structure within the site constructed in 2003. TECCA finally received a planning permit from the Melton Shire Council to build a temple in April 2005.
Temple Foundation laying ceremony took place in April 2006 and it took almost six years to complete the construction of the Temple. After the consecration of the new temple, a temporary ratham or chariot was built in 2013 which has been used until now. However the temple’s management committee decided it was time to build an artistic Ratham in accordance with Hindu Agama Sastras for Lord Murugan. The ratham has been built by a reputed ratham sthapathi (or sculptor) in Sri Lanka, the partly assembled structure shipped in from the island recently. The sthapathi will complete the assembly of the ratham on site in February.
The new ratham will be used for the first time for the Ratham festival on 28 February 2018, the hope being that the Kundrathu Kumaran Temple’s Ratham’s 72 holy bells will now be heard far and wide.