Grand Diwali Bazaar Celebrations at Sri Meenakshi Temple on Saturday October 14


By MTS Board members

PEARLAND: Diwali (Deepavali) festival was celebrated at Sri Meenakshi Temple Society (MTS), Pearland on October 14, 2017 in a grand manner. With an estimated attendance of over 5,000 people of all ages from around the Houston metro area and over 42 vendor booths, the visitors came throughout the day in a steady stream in spite of two other diwali bazaars in the area. Sri Meenakshi temple has grown by attracting more and more people from all the diverse communities, with the divine blessings of Goddess Meenakshi to all.


Deepavali, the festival of Lights, is considered as one of the most important Hindu holidays. It symbolizes celebration of the victory of good over evil. It is a day of festivities that transcends the borders of age, language, and religion. Sri Meenakshi temple is the shining jewel of worship, and this year it was especially meaningful to seek the divine blessings and enjoy the camaraderie of fellow devotees after experiencing many hardships from the unusual natural disasters. This was the unanimous thought among all the visitors.


The day started auspiciously with clear fall weather skies. This is the day when it is believed that the sacred Ganga river flows throughout the world and an early morning bath is equivalent to a dip in the holy waters of Ganga where all our sins are washed away. The priests started the pujas at the break of dawn and worked tirelessly till late evening, attending to the devotees needs. The traditional Lakshmi puja was conducted in the Main Temple at 11am and 6:30 pm by the priests with incredible decorations for the mother goddess and an ambience filled with devotion and traditional prayers. It was a sight to behold, with the highlight of the religious event being the elaborate Lakshmi Puja with sahasranama (1008 names) archana was performed by the priests and witnessed by the thrilled devotee audience with tremendous enthusiasm and devotion. The final Aarthi accompanied by vedic chanting enthralled the hearts of all present. Goddess Lakshmi was taken on a procession around the temple with great fanfare and pomp in the beautifully decorated and shining silver Ratham (chariot), stunningly lit up with blue lamps. Hundreds of devotees took part in pulling the chariot rope to the resounding drumbeat of “chenda melam” (traditional drums of Kerala).


Among the many attractions organized by MTS for the young devotees were the children’s cultural program, carnival, and arts competition. Brightly clad children entertained the visitors by displaying their wonderful talents in traditional Indian dances and songs. Children were seen having lots of fun at the carnival. The arts competition had 3 age groups aimed at art, writing, and oral presentation. The participants showed great talent, and some of their art work will be displayed in the temple premises. The winners in the written and oral presentation competitions will be showcased in the MTS radio program soon. Many young kids had fun time bouncing around at a special playground setup for them. Many of the colorful rangoli displays by the local talented artists showed the amount of talent in our community, and provided a visual feast to the attendees in the Kalyana mandapam.


The 22nd MTS Annual Free Health Fair was a phenomenal success. It was well attended and had the highest attendance so far. Over 150 people received free blood tests: Complete Blood count, Metabolic profile, Lipids, Thyroid profile, EKGs, Vision, Dental, Urologic, and General medical checks. Volunteers poured in to support from local physicians, nurses from Memorial Hermann South east, Kindred Hospitals, San Jac School of Nursing, UH Pharmacy School, and Medical students from Dan Arnold Center for Vision Rehab. MTS Chairman Narayanan welcomed every one and Pearland Mayor Tom Reid, CEO Mr. Kyle Price, and COO Mr. Mario Garner of Memorial Hermann Southeast and Pearland Hospitals, Kindred CCO Joanne Barrett cut the ribbon and inaugurated the Health Fair. Dr. P. Vaduganathan, the coordinator of the Health Fair recognized the Health care providers for their valuable contributions.

Honorable Mayor of Pearland Tom Reid, and Kyle Price, CEO of Memorial Hermann Southeast Hospital cut the ribbon and inaugurated the Fair. Over 45 vendors displayed their exotic jewelry, saris, costumes, art works, pictures, books etc in the grand bazaar that filled up the entire Youth Center. Honorable Mayor of Pearland Tom Reid, and John Kelley, Superintendent of Pearland Independent School District cut the ribbon and inaugurated the Bazaar. Large number of visitors were seen thronging the bazaar shopping their hearts and wallets out. The busiest place was unsurprisingly the food tent. Six local restaurants set up shop and served authentic Indian dishes non-stop till midnight. MTS Chairman Narayanan thanked the Deepavali Bazaar coordinator Joint Treasurer Kamala Raghavan for a job well done.

The MTS board members thank the community for their support and extend our invitation for everyone to attend the Maha Kumbhabhishekam celebration on Thanksgiving Day November 23rd, 2017. Our temple will have the unique honor of being the only North American temple housing the “Nayanmargal and Azhwarkal” along with the 3 “Acharyas”. We humbly request every devotee to attend and get the divine blessings.