The Maha Luxmi Mandir was founded in August 1966 by Widow Boodheea Parhlad, born Gokool. At the very beginning, it was housed in a small and modest building of about 400 sq ft at the site where the modern Temple stands at Eau Coulee to-day.
Historically, the 1960’s was characterized by a number of socio-cultural initiatives. But due to financial constraints let alone her advanced age, Widow Boodheea Parhlad decided in 1967 to donate the Temple to a group of inhabitants of the locality represented by Messrs Danilall Konglar and Bharat Chatoor. Thus the Maha Luxmi Mandir Association was born one year prior to the independence of Mauritius.
Like all spiritual organisations, the main objective of the Maha Luxmi Mandir was to perpetuate the socio-cultural heritage of our forefathers. The idea was to propagate, and thus keep alive, the traditions and values of the Hindu religion. This was achieved essentially through regular Sunday prayers, Ramayan recitals and the celebration of the major Hindu festivals.
2. Founder Members
Following a General Meeting held on the 9 July 1967, the following members set up the first historical managing committee of the Association:
3. 1967 – 1980
With the passage of time coupled with the ever increasing number of Deities, the Temple with an area of 400 sq ft proved to be exiguous. Gradually, with the collaboration of the members, two small rooms made of wooden poles and iron sheets were built to accommodate all the Deities. Those two rooms were later reinforced in concrete.
The celebration of the two most popular festivals namely the Maha Shivratree and the Doorga Pooja attracted many devotees. On these occasions, tents with bamboo frames had to be erected in front of the existing Temple to accommodate the devotees. Even this proved to be an inadequate solution as people were not properly sheltered bearing in mind the execrable weather conditions prevailing in Curepipe especially during the winter season and the rainy period. On top of this, the land was not level, so that it was quite impossible for anyone to be seated comfortably in order to follow the rites and rituals with devotion and concentration.
In the late 1970’s, the Association turned a new leaf of its history. Under the leadership of Messrs Sewparsad Ruhee, Ravishankar Chackoor, Lutchmeeparsad Bhoobun and Padaruth Hannoniaum, a handful of young and dedicated members brought new blood to the committee to give a new impetus to the Association. They were namely Messrs Satish Ruhee, Mukesh Dussain, Iswarduth Mohit, Premnath Rajcoomar, Dinesh Chackoor, Ashutosh Lutchmun and Soobiraj Burumdoyal. At the same time, the number of religious activities increased. Thus, the dream of erecting a spacious hall – to give a new dimension to the Mandir – took shape.
4. Construction of the Hall – 1981
In 1981, the Association embarked on the long cherished project of the construction of the hall. The foundation stone was laid in November 1981 by Professor B.S Uppadhaye, the then Indian High Commissioner. The works started with enthusiam but unfortunately shortly after, due to basically lack of funds, inadequate support and the absence of proper planning, the construction was brought to a standstill despite all the efforts made.
5. Jay Narain Roy Family
1988 marks a turning point in the history of the Maha Luxmi Mandir. Through the courtesy of Pandit Oodhaw Taiwaree, the then officiating Priest of the Temple, the Association had the priviledge and honour to be introduced to the Jay Narain Roy family.
With the generous financial assistance and blessings of Mrs Roheenee Roy and her three sons namely, Ashoke, Mrinal and Rajiv, the construction of the Hall started anew and was completed. It was later inaugurated by Sir Veerasamy Ringadoo, the then Governor General on Sunday 10 September 1989, a few days after the birth anniversary of Sri Jay Narain Roy. It was quite natural for it to bear the name of one of the most illustrious sons of the country. Thus the Shri Jay Narain Roy Memorial Hall became a reality. The presence and contribution of the Jay Narain Roy family proved to be a real boost for the Association.
5. Acharya Baldeo Mishra from India
In August 1999, as the twentieth century drew to a close, under the guidance of Mr Ashoke Roy, the Association, despite its limited means decided to recruit an Acharya from India. The coming of Acharya Baldeo Mishra from India opened another glorious chapter in the history of our Association. The main objective was to have recourse to a learned man of religion to guide and advise the growing number of devotees so that they practise Hinduism as it should be. Thus on 25 of August 1999, Acharya Baldeo Mishra landed in Mauritius. The arrival of this knowledgeable priest with vast experience has given a new lease of life and vigour to our members and devotees alike. Acharya Baldeo Mishra’s resourcefulness and magnetic personality opened a new era in our history. He manages successfully to cement our people in their quest for a better understanding of our holy scriptures.
Currently almost all the Vrats – kathas – puja in the Hindu Pantheon are celebrated with a lot of enthusiasm and devotion. Shiv-Abhishek is conducted every Monday. Similarly, Massik Shivratree and Satya Narayanan Swami ki Katha are celebrated every month. The mandir has thus programmed a tight schedule of activities throughout the year.
6. Reconstrution of the Maha Luxmi Mandir (May 2007 – Feb. 2008)
From its modest beginnings, the temple has grown over the years into a very important religious centre for the whole Hindu Community of Eau Coulee, Curepipe, Floreal and the surroundings with hundreds of devotees attending assiduously the various functions throughout the year.
In order to accommodate the ever increasing number of devotees, the Association decided to reconstruct the temple. The existing temple which had served the community for more than 40 years, was pulled down on 29 April 2007 and the laying of the foundation stone for the new Mandir was done on 12 May 2007. The temple was completed on 12 February 2008.
The temple with the contribution of its devotees and well wishes has been converted into an imposing site of about 5000 sq ft comprising an impressive praying area, with a modern hall. The latter was built with an important contribution from the Jay Narain Roy family.
7. Shreematee Roheenee Roy Memorial Hall
The reconstruction of the temple including the new wing and the renovation of the hall which is found on the ground floor was effected in a record period of nine (9) months. The latter shall henceforth bear the name of “Shreematee Roheenee Roy Memorial Hall” in memory of the lady whose contribution, devotion and support cannot be dissociated from the pages of our history. These contributions from the J.N.Roy family testify and strengthen once again the trust which started as far back as 1988.