Siddhivinayak Temple Now Open in Houston

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Photos: Vanshika Vipin

By Vanshika Vipin

HOUSTON: The newly opened Gauri Siddhivinayak Temple of Houston celebrated its grand opening with the Pran Pratishtha Mahotsav (idol installation ceremony). The event was held from Friday, October 17 through Sunday, October 19 at the temple located at 5645 Hillcroft Avenue, Suite 701, Houston.

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Priest Pradip Pandya

The temple idol in Houston is replica of the Ganesh idol in the Siddhivinayak Ganapati Mandir located in Mumbai, India, which is dedicated to Lord Shri Ganesh. In India, the temple glory was bought not only by the politicians who frequented the temple but also Bollywood film stars who continuously visit to seek the blessings of Lord Ganesha. Siddhivinayak is well known as “Navasacha Ganapati” or “Navasala Pavanara Ganapati” (Ganapati grants the wish whenever humbly genuinely prayed) among devotees.

The festivities started with the Pran Pratishtha Mahotsav on Friday, October 17. As the idol was being installed, devotees surrounded Him, being a part of the magical occasion and welcoming the god Ganesh at His new home in the heart of Hillcroft’s Little India.

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The day continued with chanting of the shlokas and later mahaprasad in the evening. The following day on Saturday, October 18, the Siddhivinayak maha abhishek was held that took place from 3 pm to 7 pm, followed by maha aarti and mahaprasad. The final day of the grand opening ceremony on Sunday, October 19, the temple organized a maha yagna with 108 modaks (favorite sweet of the God).

For founder member and chief priest at the temple, Pradip Pandya, the mahotsav is a dream realized. “ I would like to thank all Houstonians, for their support in making this a successful event. We had about 700 people who came forward and supported this event. The temple welcomes everyone as Ganesh is not limited to any one part of the country, He is worshiped by everyone,” said Pandya.

The temple also has idols of Lord Krishna, Gauri Mata, Shiv Ling,  Hanuman, and Ram darbar. The temple is open daily from 8 am to 8 pm and everyday aarti is performed at 7:30 pm.  The Gauri Siddhivinayak temple is a non-profit 501(C) 3 organization and all donations are tax deductible.

For further information or to participate in pooja, sponsorship or volunteering call Pradip Pandya at 832-466-9868.