Established as a non-profit religious and cultural organization in 1980, the Hindu Community Center is said to be the first Hindu mandir to have come into existence in New Jersey. The initial property located on 1 Gaston Avenue, in Garfield, New Jersey was purchased to house a Sanatana Mandir for the Indian community. Following a year of renovations, the murtis (idols) of Shri Ambaji, Shri Krishna, Hanumanji, Ganeshji, and the Shiva Lingam were installed in Garfield.
As parents and elder members of the community participated in bhajan (devotional singing) and listened to discourses called kathas, it became rapidly evident that a forum for the children was also a necessity. With a vision of developing a facility where children could develop an understanding of Indian culture and heritage, the sanstha established a Vidyakendra. Initially the Vidyakendra was a sort of one-room school located in the mandir itself.
In 1993 the Hindu Community Center expanded the Vidyakendra by establishing a new location for it in Kearny. It is called it Vaikunth Dham (celestial home of the Lord Vishnu). The community purchased a building large enough to allow space for eight classrooms, a banquet hall, a kitchen, and a hall dedicated to a display of murtis. These include Shri Ambaji, Ganeshji, a Shiva Lingam, Laxmi-Narayan, Vedmata Gayatri, and Hanumanji.
Welcome to Hindu Community Center - Ambaji Mandir in Garfield and Vaikunth Dham temple in Kearny