Spectacular Deepavali Bazaar Celebrations at Meenakshi Temple

Sri Meenakshi Temple Society in Pearland Photos: Arun Narayanan

Sri Meenakshi Temple Society in Pearland
Photos: Arun Narayanan

By M.K. Sriram

PEARLAND: Deepavali festival 2016 turned out to be a most unforgettable experience in Sri Meenakshi Temple Society (MTS). It is estimated that over 7000 people of all ages from far and near of the Houston metroplex visited the temple throughout the day, from early morning till midnight. Year by year, Sri Meenakshi temple has grown from strength to strength, attracting more and more people from all the diverse communities. The Goddess indeed magically showers her blessings to all.

Deepavali, the festival of Lights, is considered as one of the most important Hindu holidays. It symbolizes celebration of the victory of good over evil It is a day of festivities that really transcends the borders of religion. Meenakshi temple is the shining jewel of worship, so what better place to enjoy this day other than Sri Meenakshi Temple – this was the unanimous thought among all the visitors.


The day started auspiciously with a few sprinkles early morning. This is the day when it is believed that the sacred Ganga river flows throughout the world and an early morning bath is equivalent to a dip in the holy waters of Ganga where all our sins are washed away. The priests started the pujas at the break of dawn and worked tirelessly till late evening, attending to the devotees needs. The traditional Lakshmi puja was conducted in the Main Temple late morning and was followed by the Deepavali Katchi. It was a sight to behold. The highlight of the religious event was an elaborate Lakshmi Puja with sahasranama (1008 names) archana was performed in the evening to a packed devotee audience. There was tremendous enthusiasm and devotion among all who participated. The Arathi accompanied by vedic chanting enthralled the hearts of all present.


Sri Lakshmi was then taken on a procession around the temple with great fanfare and pomp in a most beautifully decorated and shining silver Ratham (chariot), stunningly lit up with blue lamps. Hundreds and hundreds of devotees took part in pulling the chariot rope to the resounding drumbeat of chenda melam (traditional drums of Kerala).

Among the many attractions organized by MTS are the children’s cultural program. Brightly clad children entertained the visitors by displaying their wonderful talents in traditional Indian dances and songs. Budding artists competed in art and rangoli competitions. Children also had a fun time bouncing around at a special playground setup for them.


This year, the 21st Health Fair was yet another successful event. Participants lined up long before the registration opened. Sri. S. Narayanan, the temple chairman gave the welcome remarks. Dr. P. Vaduganathan, the coordinator of the Health Fair recognized the Health care providers for their valuable contributions. Honorable Mayor of Pearland Tom Reid, and Kyle Price, CEO of Memorial Hermann Southeast Hospital cut the ribbon and inaugurated the Fair. 

The services provided were: EKG (Memorial Hospital) , Blood tests including Fasting Lipids, Comprehensive Metabolic profile , Complete Blood count and Thyroid test ( Kindred Hospital) , Vision screening ( UT McGovern Medical students) Dental screening, urologic. Gastroenterology and a rheumatology advise and Flu shots (Cypress Spring Family clinic). There were about 150 people registered and received screening tests.

Over 50 vendors displayed their exotic jewelry, saris, costumes, art works, pictures, books etc in the grand bazaar that filled up the entire Youth Center. Honorable Mayor of Pearland Tom Reid, and John Kelley, Superintendent of Pearland Independent School District cut the ribbon and inaugurated the Bazaar. 

Hundreds and hundreds of visitors were seen thronging the bazaar shopping their hearts and wallets out. The busiest place was perhaps, unsurprisingly the food tent. Five local restaurants set up shop and served authentic Indian dishes non-stop from noon till midnight