Houston Hindus Brave Chill to Celebrate Ram Mandir Prana Pratishtha

By Kapil Sharma

HOUSTON: Despite the frosty bite of winter, Houston’s Hindu community embraced warmth and devotion on Saturday, 27th January, celebrating the momentous Prana Pratishtha of the Shri Ram Mandir at Blalock Rd in Houston. Over 600 devotees from diverse backgrounds filled the venue, hosted by the Shri Sita Ram Foundation USA, proving that a little chill couldn’t dampen the fervent spirit of faith and celebration of Houston’s Hindu community. 

The day began with the soulful chants of ISKCON’s kirtan, setting the stage for a vibrant atmosphere of prayer and song. The sacred recitation of the Sundarkand followed, resonating with auspicious beginnings. As the morning unfolded, the venue came alive with a rich display of cultural programs. Captivating Ram Leela performances brought the epic Ramayana to life, each scene a tableau of devotion and artistry. Graceful songs and dances in Lord Ram’s honor painted the stage with colorful vibrancy, while the melodious strains of Ram bhajans played on the flute wove a web of divine serenity through the air. 

An elaborate havan ceremony, with its specially designed vedika, stood as a centerpiece of the festivities. Amidst the crackling flames and fervent chanting of mantras, the air hummed with an electric devotion. The spectacular Aarti was accompanied by a helicopter showering fragrant petals on the crowds, further elevating the spiritual fervor, and the helicopter’s impressive maneuvers in the wind added a touch of mesmerizing wonder. 

Taking to the streets, a vibrant parade pulsated with music, vividly depicting different phases of Lord Ram’s life. Young and old devotees danced and sang with unbridled enthusiasm, their voices merging in a melodious chorus of “Jai Shri Ram,” echoing through the venue. 

A particular highlight was the 4’x8’ authentic replica of the Ram Mandir, that captured the hearts and attention of our devotees. 

Adding to the celebratory spirit were esteemed guests like Judge Julie Mathews, Shri Surendran Pattel, Dr. Dasika from Shri Sharadamba temple, Umang Mehta from Deep Foods, and priests from several temples, all gracing the occasion with their presence and blessings.