Construction of Shri Lakshmi Narayan Mandir, Gandhi Nagar Jammu is connected with a unique episode. When Jammu’s first largest and planned housing colony Gandhi Nagar was still in its initial stage sometime in 1961, some children while playing near a pond saw an idol appearing in the pond. This news spread in the Colony like a wild fire and some of the residents held a meeting. The learned Hindus, especially, the learned Shastris, present in the meeting held a strong view that a temple should be constructed at this site. Accordingly, a deputation of the prominent persons of the locality approached the State Government and pleaded for the allotment of the site of the pond where the idol had appeared. After diligent efforts of the residents, the Govt. allotted 12 Kanals and 2 Marlas of land at the same site for the construction of the temple.
Initially, Shiv Mandir was taken up for construction by the committee constituted by the residents with the help of Shri Jethu Mal Ji who contributed whole heartedly for its construction. Then Shivalaya (Shiv Mandir) was constructed in 1964.
Following are some of the Sanatan Dharam devotees who worked as Presidents of Mandir Committees for the development of Mandir activities:-
On 20/06/1967, Ch. Bharat Bhushan Ji (IAS), then Divisional Commissioner laid the foundation stone of Shri Lakshmi Narayan Ji Mandir, the construction of which was completed in 1969. Thereafter, a special meeting of the residents was held in the Mandir premises, where it was decided to constitute a ‘Pratinidhi Sabha’ with Ch. Bharat Bhushan Ji as its Chairman. After that, a working committee ‘Karyakarni’ of ‘Pratinidhi Sabha’ was also constituted with Capt. Gurdev Singh as its President. The committee then decided to construct a ‘Dharmashala’ for visiting sadhus and outstation devotees for their short stay. Since then, a tradition has been maintained to hold a ‘Bhandara’ on every Sankranti in the Mandir premises, being managed by Mandir Management and sometimes by the devotees.
On April 12, 1970, a meeting of the ‘Pratinidhi Sabha’ was held and Th. Gurdev Singh was reelected as President, Pt. Dwarka Nath Shastri as Vice-President, Shri Khairati Lal Bali as Secretary and Shri Sita Ram Nagpal as Treasurer, and they were authorized by the ‘Sabha’ to nominate four other members in the ‘Karyakarni’.
During the year 1976, a temple of Durga Mata was constructed with the financial contribution of a devotee Er. Prithvi Raj Kohli. On the resignation of Capt. Gurdev Singh Ji, during the year 1981, Th. Gulchain Singh Charak was unanimously elected as a President of ‘Karyakarni’ on 9/2/1982.
Later, the construction of temples of Shri Ganesh Ji and Shri Hanuman Ji were completed with the financial contribution of Sh. Banarasi Das Gupta and Shri Om Prakash Gupta respectively.
After that, temples of Shri Radha Krishan Ji and Shri Shani Mandir were added in the Mandir complex with the financial support of Shri. Rajinder Singh Rana (C.E, Retd.) and Shri Suraj Prakash Arora respectively.
During the course of meetings of both the ‘Pratinidhi Sabha’ and the ‘Karyakarni’, need was felt for forming a trust which was legally constituted with 21 Trustees on April 18, 2002 duly registered in the court vide Registration No: 104, dated 18/04/2002. Since then, the Management of the Temple Complex is being run by the Trust, headed by Th. Gulchain Singh Charak, as its President along with other Trustees. The Trust in its meeting held on 2nd of August, 2012 decided to construct a unique temple of Shri Yantra and Navgrahas in the Mandir complex. Three devotees, Shri Ashwani Gupta and his mother-in-law Smt. Jayashree, W/O Late Er. P.N. Gupta and Shri D.V. Batra made handsome financial contributions for the construction of this temple. Technical help of some experts and Vastu-Shastra experts was solicited for the construction of this temple. Such type of temple is nowhere available in whole of Northern India. Shri Yantra, made of ‘Ashtadhatu’ along with Navgraha idols were installed by Th. Gulchain Singh Charak President, in the presence of Shri S.C. Rekhi Secretary and other Trustees/Special Invitees of the Trust on November 25, 2017 with full religious sanctity and fervor by renowned Pandits of Haridwar specially called for three-days Puja and Pran-Pratishtha.
As per the constitution, regular election of office bearers of the trust is being held after every 5 years since its inception. Presently, the trust is being run by Th. Gulchain Singh Charak as its President, Shri S.C. Rekhi as Secretary, Shri Deepak Gupta as Treasurer, along with other office bearers and member trustees.
Now, a beautiful Shani Mandir, a replica of Shri Shani Shingnapur Mandir has also been added in the Mandir complex exactly on the pattern of Shri Shani Shingnapur Temple with the financial contribution by Shri Devendra Khawle of Pune, Maharashtra in loving memory of his parents. The ‘Shila-Sthapna’ of the same was performed by 11 learned Pandits specially invited from Shingnapur on 10th of August, 2018 followed by ‘Pran-Pratishtha’ with proper religious rituals and the temple was inaugurated by Th. Gulchain Singh Charak, President of the trust in the presence of the Trustees and large number of devotees.
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