Shiv Shakti Mandir Celebrates 8th Ganesh Utsav with Gaiety & Fervor

shiv_in01HOUSTON: “Ganpati Bappa Morya!” shouted temple priests Virat Maharaj, Hardik Rawal, Prakash Adhvaryu, Pralay Pandya and Temple Trustees along with hundreds of devotees as the Ganpati Visarjan Yatra commenced from the front of the temple. Due to weather, Shiv Shakti Temple made the decision to not take out the procession in the streets of Hilcroft but keep it within the temple premise, but that did not stop the devotees to have the fun as they bid farewell to their Lord Ganesha.  

There were Dhol, Lezium based folk dancer spearheaded by enthusiastic dancers from Kalakriti Performing Arts and temple devotees who led the procession and crowd with gaiety and fervor. The temple had created it’s own lake in the back of the temple where Lord Ganesha was immersed with grandeur and excitement among chant’s of “Pudhchya Varshi Lavkar Yaa” or “Come Early Next Year” devotees urged Lord Ganesh. Ganesh Chaturthi festival in Houston is a 10-day celebration and a big ritual ceremony is performed every year at Shiv Shakti Temple Houston where thousand’s of devotees participate in the rituals and pay their respect to Lord Ganesha. This year during the 10 day celebration it is estimated that over 10,000 devotees from Houston and surrounding areas visited the temple and participated in the Ganesh Utsav celebration.  

Ganesh Utsav starts on Chaturthi with Ganesh Sthapna (statue installation) in home and temple and ends on Anant Chaturdashi with Ganesha Visarjan. Devotees of Lord Ganesha offer prayer, offerings (especially Modak), sing devotional songs, recite mantra, do Aarti and seek his blessings of wisdom and prosperity. It is celebrated separately by the families or group of people in the Pandals, temples or community. Ganesh Visarjan (means idol immersion into water) is a special and most important part of the puja. It is performed according to the Mahurat of the Ganesha Visarjan and is marked as the end of the ten-day long festival where devotees bid adieu to Lord Ganesha.

Ganesh Utsav this year was on Saturday Sep 22, and the day started early with hordes of devotees started to visit Sanatan Shiv Shakti Temple from morning and through out the day. In the evening a spectacular cultural programs was presented by local Houston non-profit Kalakriti Performing Arts and students of Kusum Sharma’s Shri Natraj School of Dance that presented an enlightening and memorizing show highlighting episodes from Bal Ganesha’s life. The stage was built inside the temple and accommodated seating for 1000+ devotees. The characters, dialogues and the powerful presentation along with the colorful costume display left the audience enchanted and applauding. Virat Mehta and temple trustees thanked Kusum Sharma who choreographed the show and all the performers & volunteers of Kalakriit Performing Arts for an amazing and powerful rendition of Bal Ganesha’s life. Temple trustee also gave vote of thanks to all sponsors, volunteers and supporters of the temple through out the year and requested everyone to donate generously for the new parking they are building.

Following the cultural program, there was Maha Aarti and Ganesh Visarjan followed by prasad distributed to everyone making it a happy and sweet end to the celebrations. Shiv Shakti temple would like to thank all the volunteers and sponsors who have supported them throughout the year with special thanks to all the sponsors who sponsored Prasad during the 10 day Ganesh Utsav:- Tandoori Night (Wed 12 ), Maharaja Bhog (Thu 13), Bombay Sweets (Fri 14), Nirmanz (Sat 15), Indian Spices and Snacks (Sun 16), Shiv Shakti volunteers (Mon 17), Biryani Bistro (Wed 19), Honest & Bhojan (Thu 20), Shiv Sagar (Fri 21), Udipi Cafe, Deep Foods- Umang Mehta, Volunteers & Amiralli Dodhiya (Sep 22). Darshak Thacker from Krishna Sounds Productions provided live sound.

Sanatan Shiv Shakti Temple ( is located at 6640 Harwin Dr, Houston and open daily from 8AM – 8PM with evening Aarti at 7 PM

Kalakriti Performing Arts Foundation ( signature event Ramleela 2018 is on Sunday, October 7, tickets can be purchased online @ or by calling Vipin Sharma at 832-202-9877.