About – Ananda Mandir
Mission: Preserving and fostering religious, educational, and cultural heritage of the Bengali community in the tristate (NJ-NY-PA) area.
With limited funds but a dream of unlimited hope, leading members of the Bengali community in New Jersey got together in 1995 and incorporated Ananda Mandir as a non-profit, tax-exempt organization. Following intensive efforts to locate a suitable property that could accommodate a Temple as well as a Community Hall, we purchased a 7.5 acre property in December 1997 from a local farmer with a 2800 sq. ft. ranch-style, 4 BR home. We had to assume a significant amount of debt to finance the purchase of this property. Additional 2.5 acre of vacant adjoining land was later purchased, thus creating a 10 acre campus to meet our long term needs and aspirations.
We had to borrow money for the transaction, but became debt-free in 2001 due to the tremendous amount of financial support from an expanding base of members and friends. At that point, the leadership (Board of Trustee) undertook the construction of a Hindu Temple with a resident Bengali priest, with the dream of building a Community Hall to host cultural activities in the future. In 2004, we completed Phase 1 of our vision with a small temple with a paved parking lot to accommodate approximately 100 people.
Where are we today
Phase 2 of our growth started in 2012 with a construction budget of over $5.0 million (including a bank loan of $4 million). Now, we are almost at the end of this second phase of our expansion. We currently have an expanded temple with occupancy of over 350, a 12,000-sq. ft. concert/banquet hall with seating capacity of over 400, and a parking space for 325 cars.
Each day, a wide range of programs and activities are being made possible due to active participation and financial support of the Bengali community from the tristate area. We welcome you to come and visit our expanded temple and our beautiful, new heritage center. Please call Biswabhai, our resident priest, at 732-873-9821 or Mr. Surinder Singh, our resident hall manager at 732-873-8300, or visit us at www.anandamandir.org and www.tagorehallnj.com.