Houston Hindus Join the World in Celebrating the Consecration of Sri Ram Idol in Ayodhya

Children create a tableau of Ramayan at the celebration hosted by the Hindus of Greater Houston on Sunday, January 21 at the Gujarati Samaj of Houston (GSH) auditorium.

HOUSTON: In a jubilant celebration by Hindus of Greater Houston bringing faith, culture, and the triumphant return of Shri Ram to his home after 500 years. Over 1500 devotees gathered in Houston for the Sri Ram Prana Pratishtha Mahotsav on a cold windy day. The event, organized in view of the Prana Pratishtha of the Ram Temple in Ayodhya brought together the community in joyous festivities. The evening commenced with the divine Shankh Nadh (sounding of the conch shell), by a priest, setting the sacred tone for the event. A vibrant energy with a high-powered Dhol Tasha and Band performances commenced the procession by the Houston Maharashtra Mandal. This lead the way for the “Beautifully adorned Murti of Shri Ram on the chariot, that was brought from Sri. Meenakshi Temple Society in Pearland. With the Chanting of “Jai Sri Ram” the procession of over 500 people began moving to the front entrance of the hall, as the deities were brought inside the hall and young children dressed as Ram Parivar were leading the deities to the altar, with “Jai Shri Ram” chanting by all inside the Hall.

Standing in the back row Board of Advisors: Girish Naik Event Chair, Thara Narsimhan (HGH President), Narsimha Dasika, Ashvin Dave, Jugal Malani, Ramesh Bhutada, Rasesh Dalal (Chairman BOA), Dr. Randeep Suneja, Suresh Patel, G N Prasad (Vice Chair BOA), Rachana Shah (BOD). Sitting in the front row: Board of directors: Hemant Jadhav, Bijay Dixit, Shital Rathi, Parathasarathy Krishnaswamy, Somansh Agarwal, Vinod Mantri, Bhagwan Bhutada, Ipshit Chopra (Youth co-ordinator), Vijay Pallod.

Somansh Agarwal as the Emcee introduced the chanting of Vedic Mantras and Agastya Gurukulam. The youth were particularly engaged, fostering a connection with heritage, on three key topics: “Lord Ram, Epitome of righteousness”, “Homecoming of Lord Ram after 500 years”, and “Relevance of Ram & Ramayana in our life”.

HGH welcomed all the Houston area Hindu Temple priests and 30 of them were honored. Representatives from 16 countries where the Ramayana is a part of their tradition, emphasizing that Lord Ram’s influence transcends borders. Houston is very fortunate to have very special prominent leaders in the community, who are ardent devotees, “Ram Bhaktas”, who are dedicated to serve the community and to contribute to furthering the message of Lord Ram and the Rama Janmabhumi movement.  Beth Kulkarni, Suresh Patel, Vijay Pallod, Surya Sahoo, Somansh Agarwal and Dr.Narasimham Dasika and Dr. Kusum Vyas. Hindus of greater Houston set up a Billboard on the major Freeway intersection. The Historic Houston Car Rally organizers were recognized. The cultural program highlights were “Angadh Prasangh”, skit by Houston BAPS Mandir members. The skit was a chosen from an episode in Ramayan.   The grand cultural program of the evening was presented by Abhinaya School of Arts, students who performed “Sita Swayamvar”. Choreography by Indrani Parthasarathy, Artistic Director. The dance culminated with the traditional wedding song with auspicious ending, which was grand finale program of the Hindus of Greater Houston event, “Sita Kalyana Vaibhogame” that was followed by Maha Aarthi.

The procession started with Houston Maharashtra Mandal’s dhol-tasha troupe. The 20-dhol group also performed on the stage (above) with high energy that raptured the devotees.

Also noteworthy to mention was the breathtaking Rangoli by Sangita Bhutada, drawing admiration and attracting a crowd eager to capture the intricate art in their pictures.

Sangita Bhutada created the Rangoli depicting Sri Ram.

The Shree Ram Photo Booth witnessed a constant stream of attendees capturing moments with their favorite deity was added attraction. There were very interesting artistic exhibits provided by VHPA that displayed the story of Ram. The MahaAarti, with everyone holding lighted candles in a dimmed hall, and chanting Sanskrit verses, invoking Lord Ram, provided a spiritual and enchanting culmination to an incredible event.

Interfaith Leaders: 1. Dr Desika Narasimha, President from SVBF South, 2. Dr Ghasem Bayat, Baha’i Faith, 3. Shri Vijay Das from ISKCON, 4. Jan Pappert from Jewish community of Beth Yeshurun, 5. Dr Frank Parigi, Representative of Eminence Gala Tulku Rinpoche, Buddhist community, 6. Tasnim Vadva, President of Indian Muslims Association of Greater Houston, 7. Bhupender Singh, Sikh community from Gudwara Sahib of Southwest, 8. ⁠ Nazneen Khumbatta from Zoroastrian Association of Houston, {not pictures) Joyesh Porwal.

Priests from various Temples of Houston. Back row left to right b1 – Acharya Bramdeo – Arya Samaj Greater Houston , b2 – Pandit Bhawani S Shastri – Hindu Worship Society Temple, b3 – Tarun Krishna Das – Shri Govindaji Gaudiya math (SGGM) , b4 – Bhakti Vedant Van Maharaj – Shri Govindaji Gaudiya math (SGGM), b5 – Veda Raman – Meenakshi Temple Society (MTS), b6 – Sridhar Raghavan – Meenakshi Temple Society (MTS), b7 – Laxman Rajgor – Vallabh Priti Seva Samaj (VPSS), b8 – Janardhana Chalamacharla – Shirdi Sai Jalaram Mandir, b9 – Samani Jigyasa Pragya – Jain Vishwa Bharati (JVB) Preksha Meditation Center , b10 – Samani Madhur Pragya – Jain Vishwa Bharati (JVB) Preksha Meditation Center b11 – Hashmukhbhai Pandya – Vadtal Dham Houston b12 – Muralidharbhat Kodli – Sri Sharadamba Temple, b13 – Dilip Shastri – Shree Pashupati Nath Temple, b14 – Vijaya Dasa – International, Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON) , b15 – Sri Mayurbhai Rao – Center for Gayatri Consciousness. Front row left to right f1 – Jaya Hari Dasa – International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON), f2 – Sooraj Mangathaya – Sri Guruvayurappan Temple, f3 – Madhusudan Dasa – Shri Govindaji Gaudiya math (SGGM), f4 – Patita Pavana Dasa – International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON), f5 – Krsnapriya Dasi – Shri Govindaji Gaudiya math (SGGM), f6 – Partha Sarathi Chatterjee – Houston Durga Bari Society, f7 – Sriram Ramanujam – Sri Aishwarya Srinivasa Perumal Temple Manvel, f8 – Ajit Purohit – Independent, f9 Madammohan Patel – Vadtal , Dham Houston f10 – Abhay Dasa – International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON)