Hundreds Throng Mata Di Chowki by Puneet Khurana at HWS


The congregation hall was packed for the performance and the late night parshad and dinner.

By Jawahar Malhotra

HOUSTON: It must have easily been among the busiest days this year for the Hindu Worship Society and the crowds kept coming, despite being hampered by parking. The main congregation hall was standing room only, well into the night as the faithful came in to be part of the adulation for the Goddess Durga, in a late night ecstatic performance in true Punjabi style.

The occasion was the Mata di Chowki performance by New Delhi-based religious artist Puneet Khurana who held the audience spell-bound by his high-volume delivery just in front of the deities this past Friday, August 26 at the temple complex on Wirtcrest Road. Khurana’s backup musicians were seated on a dais just off to the side while the faithful were seated on the floor in full view of the deities.


Puneet Khurana and his group performed at the Mata Di Chowki at the Hindu Worship Society on Friday, August 26.

Puneet Khurana is a well-known religious singer who has shot to fame with his vibrant delivery and performances and has three best-selling CDs –  Maa Mere Bhi Ghar Aana, Jai Ganga Maiya Ki and Sai Ji Meri Jholi Bhardo. Khurana and his group are on a 30-day tour of eleven states in the US and started it off at the HWS Houston with the Friday night performance.

By coincidence the Chowki was celebrated coming alongside Janamashtami this year. In North India this special Mata di Chowki and Jagran poojas are usually offered anytime towards invoking the strength of the Maa Durga. These are among the highest attended religious functions, and apart from temples, many people may hold them to receive blessings of the Goddess for special projects or functions they are going forward with.

Temple organizers of this Mata di Chowki performance by Khurana and his group were delighted by the outpouring of support and the estimated 400 people who attended the single-night event. There was the late night parshad and dinner (catered by Bombay Brasserie) as the Chowki came to a resounding conclusion around 11pm.

The Hindu Worship Society was formally established in 1980 by the oldest Hindu families, mostly Punjabis from North India, then in Houston. The present worship hall, adjoining facilities and house for the priest on Wirtcrest Road blends into the area north of I-10 and close to the center of the city.

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