Auspicious Groundbreaking Ceremony for Unique SDKKM Temple

By Sanchali Basu

HOUSTON: It was an auspicious and glorious hot summer day in Houston, fourth largest city of United States, when the groundbreaking ceremony of the Shiv Durga Krishna Kali Mandir (SDKKM) was held on the hallowed grounds, adjacent and east of 16628 Kieth Harrow Blvd home for Sri Govindaji Gaudiya Matha temple in Bear Creek, TX. This temple is the brainchild of Dr. Bishnupada Goswami who was the former priest of Houston Durgabari Temple. It has been his vision to open this temple for a long time and soon it will be coming to fruition.

The ceremony started around 9:30 AM when emcee Ms. Sanchali Basu welcomed dignitaries and devotees in the makeshift canopy where all arrangements had been beautifully done for the Groundbreaking Ceremony (Bhoomi Puja). In Hindu tradition, Groundbreaking Ceremony or Bhoomi Puja is a ritual performed in honor of Goddess Bhoomi (Mother Earth) and Vastu Purush, the god for construction of structure and building fit for dwelling of gods, avatars and humans. The Puja is believed to eradicate all the ill effects and Vastu doshas in the land and pave the way for a smooth construction. This ceremony was followed by Bipadtarini Puja to dispel evils currently plaguing the World.

Beautiful lady volunteers in their gorgeous ceremonial saris with Dr. Bishnupada Goswami.

The dignitaries in attendance included Dr. Arun Verma, Judge Lina Hidalgo representative Ms. Ashley San Miguel, Consul General Mr. Aseem Mahajan representative Mr. Girish Mehta, Pandit Suman Ghosh, Mr. Narinder Sehgal, and Mr. Bal Sareen. Beautiful lady volunteers in their gorgeous ceremonial saris with baran samagree plates welcomed them with ceremonious sacred chanting, tilak on the forehead, thread around the wrist, and an auspicious lamp to ward off all evil. Each distinguished guest was presented with designer silver salver, uttariya (shawl), and a plaque as mementos of this auspicious celebration. In the Hindu tradition, all guests are considered to be divine: Atithi devo bhava.

Ms. Ashley San Miguel, who was representing Judge Lina Hidalgo of Harris County, read the proclamation that highlighted the mission and vision of this unique temple SDKKM. The excerpts from the Proclamation included, “WHEREAS, the mission of SDKKM is to provide the best central facility for worship by devotees and a resource center to perform various Hindu religious rites and ceremonies, including 16 sacraments and SDKKM also sustains and expands roots of Hindu heritage and Hindu culture along with the understanding of true Indian history and Hindu philosophy, including assisting charitable organization across the globe during the times of need; and…..”. The Proclamation was handed over to Mr. Champak Sadhu- one of the founders of this Organization.

Volunteers for Bipadtarini puja preparation on July 1st.

Pt Suman Ghosh created a divine ambience with his invocatory Bhajan. Chief Priest Dr. Bishnupada Goswami started the Bhoomi Puja while associate priest Dr. Debashis Bandhyopadhaya performed the Chandipath and Havan. Ms.  Sanchali Basu introduced all the dignitaries. They were then requested to participate in the Bhoomi Puja activities. The intoxicating accompanying beat of the dhaak by Mr. Shyamal Bhattacharya, dhol by Mr. Arup Karmakar, and kansar ghanta by Mr. Smaran Das made the Puja complete.

Offerings were made in the construction pit that was dug in the ground. It started with haldi, kumkum, kalash (small metal pots), flowers, milk, honey, incense, sweets, and water that were all offered in worship of Goddess Mother Earth along with the breaking of the coconut. All dignitaries were handed bricks to be laid in the ground to make the foundation of the temple, symbolizing the creation of a strong base for all members of the community to bond and come together to worship in a place that promotes harmony, peace, and tranquility. Finally, the dignitaries were handed a golden shovel to cover the pit with dirt as a marker for leveling the site. The puja concluded with the symbolic homa ceremony, also known as havan or votive ritual, where offerings are made to the sacred sacrificial fire in an open pyre.

(L to R) Mrs. Shashikala Ghosh, Pt. Suman Ghosh, Mrs. Ashley San Miguel, Mr. Champak Sadhu.

Mr. Champak Sadhu, the chief organizer, offered a vote of thanks expressing his heartfelt gratitude to all the dignitaries, contributors, donors, Gaudiya Matha for their collaboration, well-wishers, attendees, and most importantly, volunteers. Without their devotion, dedication, and commitment this ceremony wouldn’t have been a success.

This was followed by the Bipadtarini (considered as one of the 108 Avatars of the goddess Durga, Bipadtarini is prayed to for help in overcoming troubles and dispelling the evils) Puja was performed in the main Gaudiya Matha temple.

Arrangements had been made for breakfast and lunch on the temple grounds. The lunch was sponsored by Narin’s Bombay Brasserie. Approximately 300 people attended this auspicious celebration despite being the long July 4th weekend.

(L to R) Dr. Debashis Bandhyopadhya, Mr. Sanchali Basu. Mrs. Aparna Goswami, Dr. Arun Verma, Mr. Champak Sadhu, Mrs. Vinodini Verma, Smt. Vrinda Didi of Vrindavan, Mrs. Ashley San Miguel.

All are excited and looking forward to the smooth successful completion of the temple design and construction soon. Should one need any additional information, Dr. Bishnupada Goswami 832-367-6646 is the contact person.


Golden shovels used for the groundbreaking ceremony.