Map & Directions

Address

The Sri Vidya Temple is located just outside of Rochester, NY:

Sri Vidya Temple
6980 E River Rd
Rush, NY 14543

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Dress code & Etiquette

At the Sri Rajarajeswari Peetam, our mission is to promote the traditional culture of Sanatana Dharma, to enable all devotees to come closer to Divine Mother Rajarajeswari, and to encourage spiritual values like modesty and respect. Recognizing that the way we dress and the way we act has a huge impact on ourselves as well as others around us, we ask that you follow our dress code and etiquette guidelines. These guidelines have been created to help you have the best possible experience and also to help everyone enjoy their experience at the Temple.

When entering the Temple, please observe the following dress code:

  • No loose hair; all long hair must be tied securely.
  • No shorts or short skirts.
  • No leggings.
  • No tank tops or tube tops.

Please be aware that this dress code applies equally to both men and women. Men are required to wear either veshti, kurta pajamas, or long pants (extending below the calf muscle). Ladies are required to wear either pants or a long skirt (extending below the calf muscle), sari or salwar kameez.

At the Sri Rajarajeswari Peetam, many of our customs are different from those at other Temples, so we understand that some visitors might not know what to expect. Please review our etiquette guidelines, so that we can help everyone enjoy their experience at our Temple.

  • Please keep noise/talking to a minimum when pujas or homas are in progress. Excessive talking is distracting to the volunteers as well as for the devotees. Please help us to maintain an atmosphere of devotion and respect.
  • Please do not allow your children to run or play unattended. In particular, children must not run anywhere inside the Temple. Not only is this distracting for the volunteers, it could also be dangerous for the children. Not only are there many exposed lamps in the Temple, there are many sacred murtis that could be damaged or knocked over. To ensure a sacred atmosphere as well as everyone’s safety, please do not allow your children to run in the Temple or play unattended.
  • Please silence your cellphones while in the Temple. Cellphones often interfere with our sound system, so please try to limit their use.
  • Please touch the murtis only on their lotus feet. In our Temple, we encourage everyone to feel close to Devi and all the deities, so we allow everyone to touch the murtis, including the mula murtis of Ganapati, Rajarajeswari and our main Siva Lingam. However, we ask that you limit yourself to touching only the lotus feet.

If you have any questions or concerns about our dress code or other policies, please feel free to contact us.

FAQs

The Temple is open 7 days a week, 365 days of the year. Please visit the Hours and Timings page for more information. We also have extended hours on festivals and certain special holidays. Please refer to our Events Calendar for more information on festivals and special events.

Yes, we serve lunch and dinner every day, free of charge. Lunch is served after the noon puja, generally around 2:00 – 3:00 PM. On Saturdays, lunch is served at the end of the Abhishekam & Homam Program, which is generally around 2:30 – 3:30 PM. Dinner is served after the evening puja, generally around 8:00 or 8:30 PM. Unfortunately, we are not able to provide meals at other times, so if you will need to eat at a different time, we suggest that you bring some snacks or plan to visit a local grocery store or restaurant.
Unfortunately, we do not have food available for sale at the Temple. We serve lunch (2:00 – 3:00 PM) and dinner (8:00 – 9:00 PM) every day for free, but if you need to eat at a different time, we suggest that you bring snacks or visit a local grocery store or restaurant.
Yes, there is a dress code that must be followed if you wish to enter the Temple. Please review our Dress Code & Etiquette guidelines carefully and plan accordingly. Please note that this is the dress code for entering the Temple. If you are participating in a puja or homam in the Temple, Western-style pants and skirts are not permitted. If you have any questions or concerns about our dress code, please don’t hesitate to contact us for help.
Every public establishment has a dress code, indicating the appropriate attire required for entering. Whether it is a courthouse, school, workplace, church, mosque, temple, or even a common restaurant, there will be a dress code that must be followed. It is no different for our Temple.

In order to create an atmosphere of sanctity, respect and devotion, we ask that everyone dress according to common principles of modesty. When people are dressed in a very revealing way, this is a distraction for those who have come to worship, pray or meditate. We ask that you help us in maintaining a respectful and sacred atmosphere.

Not only that, we are a Teaching Temple, and part of our mission is to teach about the authentic cultural traditions of Saivism and Sanatana Dharma in general. The best way to teach is by experience, so we invite you to experience the ancient culture of Sanatana Dharma by coming to the Temple in the traditional way.

As part of our dress code, any man or woman with hair longer than shoulder-length will be asked to tie their hair when they enter the Temple. It is most preferable that long hair be in a braid or bun, but a ponytail is also acceptable. The main reason for this is that we run our Temple in a very open and accessible manner. We allow everyone to come into the main sanctum and to come quite close to the murtis. This means that you may be coming quite close to the naivedyam, or food, that will be offered to the deities. Just as you would not like to eat food that contains someone else’s hair, we do not wish to offer food to God if it contains hair in it.

In addition, we allow everyone to come near the homa kunda. During certain events, everyone will be invited to make offerings into the homa fire. It is very inauspicious if any hair falls into the homa fire. Not only is it inauspicious for the homam, it is also not auspicious for the person whose hair fell in. So for your sake, as well as for the purity of our homas and pujas, we ask that you tie your hair if it is longer than shoulder-length.

You are most welcome to bring offerings for Divine Mother Rajarajeswari. Fruits and flowers are wonderful traditional offerings. Milk is another item that we use in abundance, since all devotees are allowed to perform milk abhishekam for free during the Saturday Homam and Abhishekam program. Many gallons are used during the public abhishekam, especially during the summer months, so your donation of milk is very welcome. Another item used in abundance is sesame oil for the Temple lamps. If you would like to offer these items, please bring them to the Bookstore counter, and we will store them appropriately for use in upcoming pujas.

If you are interested in making a donation of food items, we suggest that you speak with the Kitchen Coordinator the next time you come to the Temple, or contact the Temple. We may already have certain items in storage, and the Coordinator can suggest the food items that would be most helpful at that time.

If there are any other special items you would like to donate or sponsor, please contact us.

You are most welcome to bring a sari for offering to Devi. If you bring a sari to offer, please bring it to the Bookstore counter. You will have two options. If you would like to see the sari on Devi that day, we will make every effort to accommodate your wish. According to your schedule and the puja schedule for that day, we will offer the sari by draping it like a shawl on Devi.

The other choice is that you can simply leave the sari with us, to be offered to Devi at any time in the future. Please be aware that we are not able to schedule a day when Devi would wear a given sari.

We do allow lime garlands to be offered to Devi, but please note that all lime garlands must be strung inside the Temple. If you wish to offer a lime garland, please bring the required number of whole, uncut limes to the Temple. You can also bring a needle, string and other supplies, or we will provide them for you. Please bring the limes to the Bookstore counter, and a volunteer will guide you in making the garland.

If you bring a lime garland that has already been strung, we will ask that you unstring the limes, wash them in our facility, and then restring them. Once this is done, the garland may be offered. We understand that this policy may be different from what you are used to, but the policy has been set by the Temple Peetadhipati, Sri Chaitanyananda Natha Saraswati. We respectfully ask for your kind cooperation.

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