SHREE SHANKAR MANDIR
The Shree Shankar Mandir is among the oldest of the Hindu Mandirs in Trinidad and Tobago. Its earliest recorded history begins in the 1960s when it was all but a small kuthia, serving the spiritual needs of the Hindu community in Felicity. Built on lands donated by Mr Harbance Tewarie, it was a far cry from the structure that stands today. The Spiritual Leader of the then Shree Shankar Mandir was Pt. Jankee Persad Sharma, who was more of an absentee leader, not getting very involved in the day-to-day functioning of the Mandir.
In 1974, Pt. Ramsumasar Maharaj assumed the position of the Spiritual Leader of the Mandir, building a legacy that would last a lifetime. During his tenure as Spiritual Leader, he oversaw two reconstructions of the mandir; first in 1977 and then in 1999; each time expanding as the needs of the mandir's devotees grew. He was an active leader, seeking donations for the mandir wherever he could, contributing to the mandir in any possible way and advancing the cause of the mandir wherever he went. He attempted during his time to read the entire Shiva Maha Purana and Bhagavata Maha Purana, from its first page to its very last respectively. Sadly, life and Bhagavan would have different plans for him and the mandir. On March 10th 2001, while on pilgrimage to India with family and members of the mandir, he passed away, throwing the entire mandir, community and country into despair.
With the death of Pt. Ramsumasar, a void was created in the position of Spiritual Leader, one that would be quickly filled. Pt. Deodath Vyas was appointed Spiritual Leader of the Shree Shankar Mandir by the board and management of the Sanatan Dharma Maha Sabha (SDMS) of which the mandir is a proud member. Since then Pt. Vyas has steadfastly and unwaveringly executed the functions of Spiritual Leader, by inspiring, directing and motivating devotees towards Bhagavan.
The Mandir today is headed by Pt. Deodath Vyas and has grown tremendously from its humble beginnings. The 1999 reconstructed mandir building currently stands today as a towering emblem of the faith and devotion of the people of Felicity and environs. The mandir is sealed, fully air-conditioned and pray-conditioned; a term coined by our very own Pt. Vyas. Our holy and sacred altar is adorned with a multitude of marble murtis, depicting the various forms of Bhagavan including our very own Naramadeshwar Shiva Lingam and a very rare Shree PanchMukh Hanuman murti.