Bhoomi Puja at Sri Meenakshi Temple


Photos: Lakshminarayanan Setty, Srini Sundarrajan and Milind Patil

By S. Narayanan

PEARLAND: Sri Meenakshi Temple Society (MTS) celebrated on Sunday November 6, the Bhoomi puja (Ground breaking ceremony) for the Corner Temples renovation Project (CTRP).  The CTRP project includes expanding and connecting all the four Corner Temples, as well as connecting the Rajagopuram and the Main Temple. The project includes South and North connecting Mandapams that will house Hindu saints Alwargal and Nayanmargal. The CTRP Project is expected to be completed by August of 2017 and upon completion will have both Nayanmargal and Alwargal under one roof which will be a unique feature for our Temple in the World. The divine blessing was already felt with an unbelievably perfect weather through the ceremony prior to turning into a rainy day.

On the previous day (Saturday November 5th) MTS saw the celebration of the final day of Skanda Shashti Utsavam. The Puja was done at Murugan Sannidhi with a beautiful alankaram. It was an awesome sight to watch the Murugan procession with the Mayil (Peacock) Vahanam. MTS board thanked the coordinators of the Skanda Shashti event T.A. Dorairajan and Murugan Selvan.



The evening prior to the Bhoomi Puja day, November 5th also marked the invocatory Anugnai puja which was conducted at the Ganesh temple. Early morning of Sunday November 6th the devotees gathered to participate in the Ganapathi Homam, invoking Lord Ganesha, the remover of all obstacles.

After the Homam and Abhishekam for Prasanna Ganapathi, Devotees took procession to the auspicious Northeast corner of the Main Temple complex to start the Bhoomi Puja. The Puja commenced with Sankalpam, Vigneswara Puja followed by Punyahavachanam (sprinkling of Holy water) followed by the Bhoomi Puja. MTS’s own Vedic Heritage School children provided a beautiful addition with the rendition of songs and slokas.   

The families of Sri Meenakshi Temple priests initiated the start of the Bhoomi Puja.  The distinguished visitors,  Honorable Indian Consul General (CG) Sri Anupam Ray, Honorable Pearland Mayor Tom Reid were at the top of the queue of the gathered devotees. Upon participating in the Puja, the CG and the Mayor thanked the gathered devotees for inviting them to be part of the historical occasion, while congratulating the growth that MTS has seen over the years and its important role in Houston. The atmosphere was very festive with the hundreds of devotees gathered, all very Happy to be part of this historic project with plenty of photo opportunities. 

After all the devotees took part in the ceremony, the Utsava Murthy Ganesha was carried by devotees on a procession to all four corner Mandapams and to the Main Temple.  Aarati was done at Maha Ganapathi, Ayyappa, Murugan, Ramar Parivar, Anjaneya, Radha Krishna, Durga, Jothi, Kannika Parameswari, Nataraja, Bairavar, Navagraha, Siva, Meenakshi, Venkateswara and Padmavathi.

Hon Consul General Anupam Ray and Mayor Tome Reid released the 2017 MTS calendar. The calendar came out very nicely thanks to the MTS team made up of Vice Chairman Padmini Nathan, Secretary GN. Prasad with C. Vijayarajan coordinating the publication; the beautiful photos were by Srini Sundararajan. Treasurer Sasidharan Pillai announced the impressive fundraising total of eight hundred thousand dollars to date.  All the devotees were happy to participate in the puja for all the twenty five deities in Meenakshi temple on a single day. The Chairman thanked all the priests, Staff, Board and Advisory Council Members and Fundraising Committee Members for their hard work and enthusiasm clearly felt already for the commencement of the project. After the Puja, delicious lunch was served to all the devotees at the youth center.