Sri Guruvayurappan Temple: Auspicious Inauguration Ceremonies (April 2015)


By Biju Pillai

HOUSTON: Inauguration ceremonies of the newly-built Sri Guruvayurappan Temple in Houston, TX were held from April 18 to May 2, 2015. Thousands of devotees from nearby cities of Greater Houston and across the nation participated in the consecration of deities and Maha Kumbhabhishekam. The rituals exclusively included chanting of Vedic mantras, slokas, Kalashabhishekam and sanctification of deities with the sacred water held in brass, silver and gold plated pitchers. In addition,  Prana Prathishta, the infusion of divinity into Vigrahas was performed. The celebrations were also marked by traditional chenda melam by the famous chenda artists led by Pallavoor Sreedharan from Kerala, India. In Kerala temples, chenda melam is a requirement as well as a prominent attraction for many rituals and other auspicious festivals. Chenda (big drum) along with other accompanying drums and wind instruments are blended to create a  mesmeric crescendo that are believed to generate and conserve potential energy within the Vigrahas as well as bestow an ecstatic devotional ambiance for the devotees.

The rituals formally began on April 18 with Acharya varanam,  honoring the chief priest. The installations of the deities (Prathishta) were held between 10:30 am and 12:30 pm on Thursday, April 23, 2015. Following the consecration of deities, the Sreekovil (Sanctum Sanctorum) was closed  as per traditions. The temple auspiciously re-opened on Sunday, April 26 before sunrise to all devotees.

On Sunday, April 26, Kumbhabhishekam and Sahasrakalasham  were performed with an elaborate and ceremonial bath with various sizes of pitchers containing holy water, milk, curd, and other auspicious pooja items . Thantri Divakaran Namboothiri, artisan Sabareeshan and Kanippayyur Krishnan Namboothiri were lifted up on to the top of the temple with a specially chartered crane. The thantri (chief priest) performed the much-awaited ceremonial kumbhabhishekam by pouring on the kalasam, the sacred water brought in the silver pitcher. From the top of the temple, the priests sprinkled sacred water and showered flower petals. As if the gods were blessing the event there was a momentous view and divine intervention. In the setting of a  clear sky and  light breeze  the devotees witnessed the golden eagle circumambulating in the sky during  the kumbhabhishekam ceremony.  The Lord  Guruvayurappan was elegantly dressed, brightly decorated with glittering ornaments and surrounded by garlands made of colorful flowers. The idol of Sri Guruvayurappan was then anointed with sandalwood paste, dressed ritualistically and decorated inside of the sanctum sanctorum for devotees to  have dharshanam. Thousands of devotees joined to witness the poojas and circumambulated the temple with ardent devotion.

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The six-day festivities associated with Kumbhabhishekam began on April 27 evening by hoisting the temple flag. The festival appeared to be never-ending with ongoing cultural programs including Carnatic music and  traditional dance programs by professional dance schools. The final day (May 2) program continued till midnight. Cultural program was coordinated by Anil Janardhanan, Jayan Aravindhakshan, Sathyan Pillai and Biju Pillai. The final day of festivals was concluded by procession, melam, traditional cultural programs and spectacular fireworks.

Secretary Gopalakrishnan Nair acknowledged the grand success of these great events accomplished by many volunteers’ dedicated hard work for several months.  Rajagopala Pillai (President)  and Thankappan Sankaran (Treasurer) thanked all  priests, donors and the devotees for making the celebration a grand success. Temple construction chairman, Shanmugan Vallulissery and Trustee board chairman Madhu Cherikal expressed the grand accomplishment and dream of many devotees to have a traditional Krishna temple in Houston.
The temple administrators (Raman Panangadan and Sadasivan Parayil) trustee board members and board of directors are working together to preserve the divinity and holy atmosphere of this unique Krishna temple, Sri Guruvayurappan temple, Houston. The temple symbolizes Hindu spirituality and culture. To imbibe youths and children  in the temple activities, education committee is taking the efforts to organize several activities including Bhagavad Gita contest, religious classes and other educational activities.

For more information, please call the temple at 713-729-8994 or visit the temple at