Grand Spectacular Diwali Celebrated at Sri Meenakshi Temple

mts-in01By Bhargavi Golla

PEARLAND: Diwali, the festival of lights was celebrated with exhilaration at Sri Meenakshi Temple on November 3.   The festive look of the temple with colorful lights, huge tents and filled parking lots with thousands of people was all set for the celebration of grand spectacular Diwali.   Diwali, or Deepavali, is a Sanskrit word meaning “rows of lighted lamps. The significance of the festival is the victory of light over darkness, good over evil, knowledge over ignorance, and hope over despair.


The day started with 23rd annual free community Health fair coordinated by Council Chairman Dr. Vaduganathan and was inaugurated by dignitaries Hon. Mayor Tom Reid, Pearland, Kyle Price, CEO, Memorial Hermann, Kelly Ochoa Chief, Nursing Officer, Memorial Hermann, Rebecca Lilly Memorial Hermann, Joanne Barrett, Chief clinical officer, Kindred hospital.  Services provided were Blood Pressure, EKG, Blood tests, Complete Blood Count, Metabolic Profile, Thyroid test, Lipid Profile, Dental Check, Eye Exam, Prostate Exam, Women’s wellness check and general Medical advice.  Dr. Vaduganathan thanked the Kindred Hospital for the generous support for the lab tests, Dr. Subhadra for diabetic screening, Dr. Saranathan and Dr. Mukesh for EKG, Dr. Bhavani Iyer and residents and students for the vision screening, Dr. Vijaya Kaila, Dr. Priti Palvadi, Dr. Hema Salvady, Dr. Ramarao Denduluri and Dr. Jay Patel for consulting services and Taylor for amazing organization.


Honorary President of MTS Sam Kannappan requested many dignitaries to inaugurate and attend the Diwali Bazaar. Honorable Mayor Tom Reid, Pearland,  UH Dean of Humanities, Dr. Antonio Tillis, President UH Clear Lake, Dr. Ira K. Blake, Ms. Kim Howard, Sr. Director of Development, UH System, Satya Gudipaty, Staff Assistant, UH Pearland campus,  Texas State Representative Hon. Ed Thompson, Kim Sinistore, Pearland Convention & Visitors Bureau, Hon. Stacy Adams, Brazoria County Commissioner, Consul Amit Khanna, Consulate of India at Houston, and Lisa Weller of Chase Bank cut the ribbon and inaugurated the Diwali Bazaar 2018.


About 45 vendors had their beautiful items for sale, jewelry, saris, costumes, art works, paintings, handicrafts etc that filled up the entire youth center and lobby.  Under the food tent we had seven local restaurants serving authentic Indian food from morning 10 AM till mid-night.   There was a steady stream of devotees with families through out the day to pray, shop and participate in many activities organized by MTS simultaneously for all age groups.


This year MTS Chairman Dr. Padmini Nathan took great effort to design and setup the stalls in Raja Veedhi to mimic the stalls in front of Temples in India.  Devotees experienced little India while buying Temple sarees, Pooja items and sweets and savories from these stalls. Among the many attractions organized by MTS are the children’s cultural program. Brightly clad children entertained the visitors by displaying their wonderful talents. Budding artists participated in art workshop and rangoli competitions.  This year Kumon, West University, sponsored the art workshop.   VHS kids had a booth selling cookies, Tulasi plants, and origami workshop, VR activity, which made it a big hit for kids and adults as well.  Carnival coordinated by Aakash Srikanth and Adhi Gopal kept the children engaged and entertained.

The traditional Lakshmi puja was conducted in the Main Temple both morning and evening.  Sri Lakshmi was then taken on a procession around the Temple in a silver chariot.  Several devotees took part in pulling the chariot rope to the resounding drumbeat of chenda melam.


Around 8:30 p.m. the grand professional fireworks show began with beautiful fireworks lit up the night sky in a blaze of glory.  The crowd then joined in Garba and Dandia with live music in Kalyana Mandapam.

This wonderful free event is a great voluntary effort. It takes a lot of work and even more planning to make it happen.  MTS Chairman Dr. Padmini Nathan thanked this year coordinator Bhargavi Golla, the board, volunteers and employees of MTS for organizing such a flawless festival year after year.

We thank TV Asia Correspondent Manisha Gandhi and Cameraman Gautam Jani for morning event coverage and the link for TVAsia telecast   and evening Program highlights can be found at

We pray to Sri Meenakshi, Sri Sundareswara, Sri Padmavathi and Sri Venkateswara for a year of happiness and welfare to all.