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Shri Jai Prakash Mahipatram Jani

Shri Jai Prakash Mahipatram Jani has started his duties, as our temple priest from July 16th 2012. He hails from Mehsana, Gujarat, India. He has been a Hindu Priest from the age 18. He has been working as a hindu pracharak and punditji in India with over 40 years of experience.

Punditji performs all types of Yagna (Havan), Abhishek, Bhagavat Katha, Ram Katha, Shiv Katha, Geeta Pravachan, Vedik Yagna, Satyanarayan Pooja and all Dharmic religious Karmakand. He was involved in performing Nav Chandi yagna, Vishnu Yag Yagna, Prathishta Mahostavs for various temples in India.

He is an Acharya in Sanskrit. He is a graduate in BA in Economy. He has learnt his priestly knowledge from Shrimat Bhagavat Vidya Peeth, Shola, Gujarat from for 5 years.

Punditji has a wife, a son and a daughter. Both the son and daughter are married.

Our priest is well versed with the following pujas , Punayahavachan,  Bheemaratha Shanthi, Gruha Shanthi, All Types Of Vratas, Namakaran, Annaprasan, Aksharabhyas, Upanayan, Vivah (Wedding), Shashti Abtha Poorthi (60th Birthday), All Types Of Havans, Gruha Pravesh, Bhoomi Puja (Ground Breaking),   Upakarma (Thread Ceremony), Nischitardh (Engagement), Mahanyas (Rudram & Chamakam), Abhishek & Archanas, Apara Prayogas (Tarpanams, Hiranya Shrartham).

Our priest can speak and understand Gujarati, English and Hindi.

Our priest is available for private pujas at Temple, devotees’ homes or places of business. To schedule his services both in and outside the temple, please call him on his cell number at 616-589-4511 or at the the temple (phone number 616-868-9909).

Sri Naga Girish Sharma Tharimela

Sri Naga Girish Sharma Tharimela has started his duties from June 5, as our temple priest. He hails from Tadipatri, Andhra Pradesh, India. He has been a Hindu Priest from a very young age.

He is a vedic scholar. He has BA in Krishnayazur Veda Smaratham (Shodasakarmantham and Dharmasastras) from SV Vedic University. He just recently finished his MA in Krishnayazur Veda Smaratham (Manasmruthi, Gruhyasutram, Dharmasutram and Jatakabhagam) - May 2015 from SV Vedic University.

Punditji can perform all different  Homas  such as  Nakshatra Homam (Shanti), Lalitha Homam, Kal - Sarpa Shanti, Vishnu Homam, Rudra Homam,  Sudharshana Homam, Ayushya Homam (Birthday Puja), Aruna Homam, Sri Lakshmi Homam,  Ganapati Homam, Maha Mrutyunjaya Havan,  Navagraha Homam & Chandi Homam.
Ganapati Puja, Surya Namaskaralu, Punyavachanam, Kalyanotsavam , Navagraharadhana, Sathyanarayanvratam , Mahanyasa Rudrabhishekam, Sahasranam Puja, Astothara Shathanama Puja, Gruha Pravesam, Shastipurti, Gruha Pravesh Puja ( Vastu Shanti ), Upanayanam, Bhumi Puja, Bramhotsavam, Car or Yantra Puja , Navagraha Puja , Business Opening Puja , Lakshmi Narayan Puja , Aksharabhyas etc

Our priest can speak and understand Telugu, Kannada, Tamil, English and Hindi.

Our priest is available for private pujas at Temple, devotees homes or places of business.
To schedule his services both in and outside the temple, please call him on his cell number at 616-802-7007 or at the the temple (phone number 616-868-9909).


Fred Stella:


In 2009 the West Michigan Hindu Temple ordained Fred Stella as Pracharak for our community. The closest translation of the word would be, in this case, "Outreach Minister."  The post has several duties and responsibilities, which include the organizing and leading of group tours, lecturing in schools, churches and other venues, pastoral care in hospitals and performing weddings for couples who are outside of our community but still are inspired by Hindu Dharma. The Pracharak also acts as temple liaison for our Nepali/Bhutanese refugees in the area.

Though not born into the Hindu tradition, Fred began studying and practicing at the age of 15. He has spent time in temples and ashrams in both the US and India; and is well studied in the philosophy of Sanatana Dharma. In 2005 he completed a 30 city lecture tour of 4 Indian states where he spoke on East/West relations. Fred is also President of Interfaith Dialogue Association, which is headquartered here in Grand Rapids. He hosts a weekly show on Religion and Spirituality that airs over local NPR affiliate, WGVU-FM.

All inquiries relating to temple tours, off-site lectures, educational projects and questions on Hindu Dharma should be directed to our temple Pracharak (Outreach Minister), Fred Stella.


Name of Deity    Sponsor
Sri Ganesha    Rekha & Sudhir Meesa
Padma & Shridhar Bhat
Smita & Amit Chandra
Sonia & Arun Dalmia
Bindu & Sanjeev Thamman
Hema & Munish Dogra
Jaya & Jayant Das
Tina & Rajesh Nagpal
Sri Murugan/Kartikeya, Devayani & Valli    Preetha & Ram Ramakrishnan
Jeeva & Surya Subramanaiam
Jayanthi & Pasupathy Vadivelu
Suganthi & Sridhar Sundaram
Sri Shiva Parivar    Rashmi & Girish Juneja
Sri Venkateswara Swami/ Balaji    Sobha & Prasad Reddy
Sri Lakshmi    Vasumathi & Vinoda Ponnuru
Sri Ram Parivar    Ritu & Sanjeev Mathur
Meena Advani
Sharma Family
Padmaja & Sashikant Sharma
Manjusha & Ashok Kumar
Sri Radha-Krishna & Sri Swaminarayan    Bhagvan    international Swaminarayan Satsang Organization (ISSO) - Acharya Maharajshri of Nar Narayan Dev Gadi
Sri Amba / Durga    Taru & Pravin Patel
Rajesh Patel
Ribha & Pradip Roy
Sejal Patel Bennett & Jason Bennett
Sri Lakshmi Narasimha Swami    Vinutha & VJ Desai
Surekha & Bhimsen Rao
Ranjan & Rani Desai
Sri Shirdi Sai Baba    Usha & Srinivas Bhagavatula
Rama Devi & Srinivas Bolla
Smitha & Ram Gadiraju
Vaishali & Jagadish Mukka
Dhanyasree & Vamsidhar Ravi
Anitha & Srinivas Reddy
Vidyulatha & Jayapal Talla
Sri Mahaveer Jain    Lisa & Jiten Shah
Navagrahas    Dhanyasree & Vamsidhar Ravi
Sarla & Suresh Puri
Vaishali & Jagadish Mukka
Usha & Kiran Kumar Reddy
Havan    Sarla & Suresh Puri
  Taru & Pravin Patel
Durga Badi    Bengali Community






Ritu Mathur

(CHAIRPERSON, Board of Trustees)

(616) 395-2902



Sridhar Sundaram

(616) 633-2352


Girish Juneja

(616) 868-0414



Vajendra J. Desai

(616) 676-9929



Prasad Reddy

(616) 365-0446



Vas Janardan

(616) 957-9266



Suresh Puri

(616) 956-5955



Jiten Shah

(616) 292-1803



Mahi Mahesh

(616) 292-1803



Vamsidhar Ravi

(616) 365-9871



Manibhai V. Patel

(616) 365-2149


Srini Reddy

(616) 575-0714


Jayapal Talla

(616) 855-2468


Sushila Rao

(231) 250-2306



Saritha Voruganti


Vinoda Ponnuru







Vamsi Ravi


(616) 365-9871



Manibhai V. Patel

(616) 365-2149


Rashmi Juneja

(616) 868-0414



Jayapal Talla

(616) 855-2468



Prem Panikunje

(616) 856-7410


Saritha Voruganti

Kiran Kumar Reddy

(616) 856-4445


Shridhar Bhat

(616) 540-8342








Forty years ago only few Hindu families settled in the Grand Rapids area and today there are several hundreds and still counting. For many years Hindu Devotees of Grand Rapids had Pujas and Satsang (religious gatherings) in various homes, Banquet Halls, and Schools. It was a long felt desire of the community to have a Temple in Grand Rapids. West Michigan Hindu temple was formed by a group of volunteers who took it upon themselves to build a temple in the community they lived. With the support and commitment of many long term residents of Grand Rapids, an organization quickly came into prominence to spearhead the cause for building the temple that you are seeing today. The Mission of the temple is to promote the values of peace, harmony and human values of truth, tolerance, forgiveness, respect for one another and sharing through the means of prayer, bhajans, and community spirit. The vision of the Temple is to create a centre for prayer and Hindu culture that serves the region of West Michigan. The center will promote Hinduism as a way of life through bhajans, Satsangh, prayers, community programs and cultural events.


The path to the present temple began in 2001. A few dedicated volunteers of the community got together and built a small Pole barn structure in Greenville for worship. The response of the community was overwhelming and people from Big Rapids, Holland, Muskegon and Grand Rapids started to come and pray at this Prayer Hall. Unfortunately, the prayer hall was not suitable for the harsh winters of the Midwest. Not to lose the momentum that was generated, the community wanted to continue the prayers and involvement of the children in Bal Vihar. The immediate goal was to find a place to continue our weekly prayers but with a clear vision and mission of building a permanent temple for the West Michigan Hindu community. Our short term needs were met by the availability of the Banquet Hall of GrandMark Lodge in Grandville for the biweekly prayers. But, to attain our long-term goal of building a temple we formed a non-profit organization.


On June 1st 2002 the name West Michigan Hindu Temple was incorporated (the State of Michigan Incorporation No 774-697).

It was during this time Srini Iyer took the lead and formed a committee. The committee’s main mission was to make the temple a reality for the West Michigan community. The first committee met and the following group of people were identified Renu Malhotra, V.J.Desai, Madhuri Acharya, Jiten Shah, Sridhar Sundaram, Ram Ramakrishnan, Sree Menon, Rashmi and Girish Juneja, Pravin and Taru Patel, JP and VP Vadivelu, Prasad Reddy, Rajinder Gautam, Sudhir and Naina Bora, Simha Magal, Arun Dalmia, Suresh Bhargava, Chunnilal and Narbada Raniga, Mahi Mahesh, Suresh and Sarla Puri, Jai Kishen, Bhaskar Gunda, Chandra Dommeti, Srinivas Voruganti, Satish Damodaran, Mahindran Balakrishnan, Vamsidhar Ravi, Renuka Gopinath and Ashok Premchandran. However some of the members left the town for better future and we were left with a core group of people who met regularly. The major task of this group was to raise money, buy the land and build the temple.


We started raising funds with seed money from the members and also from the community to become founder members by paying $2001 by the year 2005. The core group of members continued to raise money and met at various houses on an ongoing basis. Three main sub-committees were formed. The construction committee headed by Jiten Shah, fund raising committee headed by Rashmi Juneja and pooja committee headed by Jayanthirani Pasupathy. Communication to the community was through the website first started by Srini Iyer and later by Arun Dalmia. Website was maintained by Arun Dalmia, who was also responsible for all communications sent to the community.


The first draft of Constitution and bylaws was completed in 2002 and later amended in January 2005. Federal Tax exemption as 501(c) (3) as a non profit organization was established in August 2003( Tax ID 41-2090487).


West Michigan Hindu Temple Purchased 5.57 acres of land at 4870 Whitneyville Ave, SE, Ada, Michigan 49301 with the money collected at a total price of $115,000.00 on which the present temple and cultural center is situated. We performed the “Bhoomi-puja” at this site on September 19, 2004 which was attended by many families from various locations in West Michigan and it was a grand success.


In 2006 Board of Trustees were formed and first elections for the executive board was held. The Board of Trustees were Chaitanya Achrya, V.J.Desai (President), Girish Juneja, Vas Janardan, Ritu Mathur, Suresh Puri (Vice President), Prasad Reddy, and Vamsidhar Ravi. The Executive Board consisted of Alka Bhargava (Asst. Treasurer) , Jayathirani Pasupathy, Taru Patel, Ribha Roy, Jiten Shah and Sridhar Sundarm (Treasurer). The main goal of the board continues was to raise funds and complete construction of the Temple and Cultural Center.


Since inception of the West Michigan Hindu Temple we have raised about $724,916.14 until April of 2008. We still have a long way to go to complete the temple. By the time you review this article the first Prana Prathishta of the six Deities will be occuring. Sri Venkateswara Swami (Balaji), Sri Maha Lakshmi, Sri Ganesha, Sri Kartikeya, Navagrahas and Sri Shirdi Sai Baba.


We have scheduled the 2nd Prana Pratheshta in September for Sri Ram Parivar, Sri Radha Krishna and Bhagwan Swaminarayan, Sri Shiv Parivar, Sri Lakshmi Narashima, Valli and Devayani, Ma Amba Maata and Sri Mahavir.


We want to take this opportunity to thank each and every one of you who have made this dream for a temple in our community a reality by your continued support and contributions.


As Swami Bodhananda Saraswati writes “Temples are the centers of Hindu culture and spirituality. The community congregates around the temple to worship, to learn about their culture and to imbibe right values of living. A community with out a temple is like a rudderless ship, or like an assembly with out purpose. Temples are magnets that cohere divergent energies of individuals and groups for common good.”


On Behalf of the Board

V.J. Desai
President, West Michigan Hindu Temple