The early years of the 20th century saw a wave of migrants to this country (then British Malaya) from North India in search of greener pastures.
They were the forefathers of the present North Indian (mainly Punjabi, Gujerati, and Sindhi) community of Kuala Lumpur. Most of them came as traders and businessmen and became successful entrepreneurs.
To meet their religious and cultural needs, the new migrants set up the Sanatan Dharam Sabha of Kuala Lumpur and established the Shree Lakshmi Narayan Temple in 1919. The Temple had its humble beginnings in a small single-storey terrace house on the banks of the Gombak River in a settlement known as ‘Gombak Lane’ in the heart of Kuala Lumpur (present-day City Hall building).
The founding pioneers of the Mandir were Shri Kesarrmal Khanijow, Shri Amar Nath Bhandari, Pt. Rakha Ram Sharma and Shri Paras Ran Goel.
The Gambak Lane Mandir was located at 6 Gombak Lane. Later, a Hindi School was set up in the adjoining premises under the management of the Hindi Parchar Sabha. Pt. Hem Raj Shastri the teacher was the teacher at the Hindi School.
The current smaller deities of Shree Lakshmi Narayan were already in the Gombal Lane Mandir in the 1930s. The residing priest was Pt. Shiv Sumpat Sharma.
The Shree Lakshmi Narayan Temple inevitably become the centre of all religious and cultural activities of the North Indian community in Kurla Lumpur. The weekly highlight would be the Sunday morning programme culminating in the “open air” langgar or lunch on the banks of the Gombak River.
In 1971, the Government acquired the whole area for development in line with the KL City Plan. The Temple had to be relocated to a small rented house in Kampung Kasipillay whilst ambitious plans began to unfold to construct a new grand Temple for Kuala Lumpur. In 1975, under the leadership of Dato Makhanlal Saigal, a plot of land was purchased in the Kasipillay area. With large-scale efforts to raise funds, the construction began thereafter and was completed in 1982.
The dedicated efforts of all devotees bore fruit with the relocation and opening of the new premises in March 1982 in Jalan Kasipillay. The Pran Pratista prayers were conducted for the staphna of all moorthis amidst much pomp and splendour to mark the joyous opening.
The past 40 years have seen much expansion in the activities of the Mandir, and improvement in the area of management.