OCC Lays the Foundation Stone for Sri Jagannath Dham


An Orissa Culture Center Publication

HOUSTON: Orissa Culture Center (OCC) celebrated Akshya Trutiya on April 29, along with many religious and cultural organizations from Houston to mark the beginning of the preparation towards Shree Jagannath Ratha Jatra (Yearly Chariot Festival of Houston). This year’s celebration was special as OCC also laid the foundation stone for the creation of “Shree Jagannath Dham” on a 10 acre land at 3101 Fuqua Street, Houston, Texas 77047. Dr. Anupam Ray Consulate General of India, Houston, accompanied with his wife Dr. Amit Goldberg were the chief guests for the occasion. Among the other dignitaries were Abeezer Tyebji, Swpnil Agarwal, Dr. Arun and Vinni Verma, Dr. Swaminathan and Yamini Iyer, Cherian Cherian and James Wade a US Military veteran and African American activist.


The Rituals of Akshya Trutiya including the “Shilanyasa Puja” was conducted by Pundit Bibhudutta Mishra, Pundit KV Doraiswamy Bhatter and Pundit Atchuta Mahankali. The president of OCC, Dr. Debananda Pati coordinated the ceremony.


The evening cultural program included classical dance presentation by students of Kalangan School of Oddissi dance and Abhinaya School of Performing Arts. Besides, a spectacular Kathak dance was presented by Ragini Das. The evening cultural program included an instrumental ensemble of Gayatri Chanting by children and Bhajan recital by Yudhisthira Nayak of Orissa Dance Academy.

Welcoming the audience, Dr. Anupam Ray applauded the efforts by OCC in establishing a religious and cultural organization to propagate traditional cultural values of our subcontinent among the people of Houston and neighboring cities. He also urged participating organizations and all people of Houston to provide support in building the “Jagannath Dham.”


People from across different faiths and religious beliefs attended the program. Among the participating organizations were “Brhma Kumaris”, ISKON, Sri Govindaji Gaudiya Matha, Namadwara, Sri Minakshi Temple, Houston Durgabari Society and Sanatan Shiv Shakti Mandir. The members participated with the chanting of Holy names by singing Kirtans and Bhajans.

OCC is proud of the support of so many diverse organizations in Houston. OCC is a charitable non-profit organization with an aim to propagate the core philosophy of universal brotherhood and religious tolerance. At the center of this philosophy lies the “Jagannath Dham” located in the state of Orissa on the east coast of Bay of Bengal. For thousands of years, people of all religious faiths have visited the shrine at Puri to discover the oneness that binds all humanity. The yearly chariot festival that attracts millions from India and around the world to Puri is a testimony to the power this core philosophy.

While we start our preparation for “Shree Jagannath Ratha Yatra of Houston, 2017”, we invite all individuals and organizations to join us during the day long celebration of the yearly chariot festival of Houston. Plans are underway to show case traditional dance, music, food and arts. This year’s celebration will be held on June 25, 2017.

For details, please visit http://orissaculturecenter.org/index.html. You may connect on https://www.facebook.com/HoustonRathYatra