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Char Dham Hindu Temple Grand Opening Ceremony

Bird’s eye view of four temples (taken from a drone).

Bird’s eye view of four temples (taken from a drone).

Prana Prathistha & Maha Kumbhabhisheka Mahotsav March 8 to March 11

THE WOODLANDS: Gods were kind enough to bless us with great weather from March 8th thru 11th for the Grand Opening of Char Dham Hindu Temple in the Woodlands. Devotees, mostly from the Greater Houston area but quite a few from different parts of the country witnessed a once in a lifetime event of Prana Prathistha and Maha Kumbhabhisheka Mahotsav (ceremony).

The four temples are a symbolic representation of the Holy Char Dhams in India. Char Dham are the names of four pilgrimage sites in India that are widely revered by Hindus. It comprises of Badrinath Dham in the North, Dwarkanath Dham in the West, Jagannath Dham in the East and Rameswaram Dham in the South.

Kumbhabhisheka ceremony (Priests getting ready to give bath to the deities outside the temple)

Kumbhabhisheka ceremony (Priests getting ready to give bath to the deities outside the temple)

Prana Prathistha, literally meaning establishment of the life force in the idol, is the practice of energizing the idols (Vigraha). Kumbhabhisheka is the process of homogenizing, synergizing and uniting the mystique powers of the idol of the Lord in all four temples at the same time. The Prathistha ritual began with Karshana, ploughing done when the temple site is selected, followed by Vaastupooja and finally Kumbhabhisheka.

The Kumbhabhisheka ceremony consisted of the erection of japas, chants of Vedas, sanctifying Kalasaas (pots of water), Homas and Yagnas. The finale was the pouring of the sanctified water from the kalasas over the stupis (steeple) on the top of the central Vimaana or the sanctum sanctorum, the gopurams and the main and other deities, by the priests.

Members of Char Dham Temple Seva Group

Members of Char Dham Temple Seva Group

The Mahostav started on March 8th, Thursday at 9AM and concluded around noon time on March 11th, Sunday. More than twenty priests from all over the country came to perform the rituals needed for the ceremony under the supervision of head priest, Pandit Srikiran Narayanam.

Jagannath Dham has Lord Jagannath, Lord Balabhadra, Devi Subhadra and Sri Sudarshana in the main sanctum, Lord Ganesh in the sanctum to the left and Mahalakshmi in the sanctum to the right.

Rameswaram Dham has Sri Ramanatha Swamy in the main sanctum, Sri Venkateswara in the sanctum to the left and Sri Rama parivar in the sanctum to the right. Navagraha with their wives and symbolic 22 wells also are present in this Dham. Also present in this Dham are Sri Ayyappa and Sri Vikhanasa Maha Muni.

Kumbhabhisheka ceremony (priests getting ready for pouring of the sanctified water from the kalasas over the stupis (steeple) on the top of the temples)

Kumbhabhisheka ceremony (priests getting ready for pouring of the sanctified water from the kalasas over the stupis (steeple) on the top of the temples)

Dwarkanath Dham has Sri Dwarakadheesh in the main sanctum, Sri RadhaKrishna in the sanctum to the left and Sri Satyanarayana and Laxmi in the sanctum to the right. Also present in this Dham is Sri Shirdi Saibaba.

Badrinath Dham has Sri Badrinarayana in the main sanctum, Mata Saraswati in the sanctum to the left and Devi Durga in the sanctum to the right.
Panchamukhi Hanuman sits in the courtyard just outside Jagannath Dham and Naga Devata is present in the pathway to the four temples.

A lot of sweat and tear have gone into building these temples over the last few years. It was the culmination of the dream seen by Dr. Surya Sahoo and his wife Kabita Sahoo. This would not have been possible without the vision of Dr. Sahoo or without the efforts of Head Priest, Srikiran Narayam and the CharDham Temple Seva group, who worked tirelessly for months.

Volunteer and Sponsorship opportunities are available.
Please contact Pandit Srikiran Narayam by dialing 832-299-5172 or 832-663-8799 or sending an e-mail to srikiran@chardhamhindutemple.org or by visiting the website www.skaifoundation.org.

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