Sri Meenakshi Temple Celebrates the Arrival of New Year 2017


By Akilan Gopal & S. Narayanan

PEARLAND: Long before the dawn of the New Year, devotees were gathered at Sri Meenakshi Temple Society (MTS) to bid farewell to 2016 and to welcome 2017. The special midnight pooja has become a regular feature at MTS with many devotees braving the winter cold for the occasion. The auspicious Dhanur Masa (Marghazhi) which falls from mid-December to mid-January is significant for the early morning Thiruppavai and Thiruvempavai recitations that reverberate at the dawn hours to awaken the Gods, and set the scene for the New Year on January 1st.


It was a Grand New Year’s Day celebration at Sri Meenakshi Temple. From the early morning to the late night the main temple was filled with devotees. The weather was great and more than 8,000 devotees visited Meenakshi temple, Pearland, Texas.


The Ganapathi Homam, Venkateswara Laksharchana, Pallakku procession for Venkateswara in the morning Pallakku procession for Meenakshi in the evening, Special Archana for Mahalakshmi all went remarkably seamlessly, with the large number of devotees participating. The Priests did an excellent job with the throngs of devotees coming to pray and seek blessings from the God. The décor and the ambience of the inside main temple greatly complemented the expanded precincts of the Main Temple.


Meenakshi Temple started the New Year off with a cultural extravaganza, hosting the talent of local and international artists alike. The occasion was organized by Mala Gopal, who enlisted the help of high school teens Harish Ganesh, Aakash Srikanth, and Gopinath Senthilkumar to run the show. Adhi Gopal and Kishore Ayer began the event with a prayer followed by a classical performance honoring the recently deceased legend M. Balamuralikrishna, who was also the guru for Adhi’s mentor P. Sekar.


Soon the hall filled up with guests, looking forward to a magical afternoon of singing and dancing. Magesh, Kishore and Maya Iyer never missed a beat as they gave a violin mini-concert. Sinthuja and Priya, students of Manjula Palivela, sang beautifully. As the program progressed, we experienced delightful classical dances from students of Sreepadham School, Tatvam School, Sunantha Nair School, Anjali School, as well as students of Indrani Parthsarathy. The highlight of the day was a superb dance showcase by the Samarthanam Trust for the Disabled, a non-profit that now supports over 9,000 persons with auditory, visual, or vocal disabilities to help them engage socio-economic-cultural fronts. The specially talented performers truly left the audience in awe, as they showed us how perseverance and determination will overcome all odds – a fitting message to begin the New Year.


Devotees witnessed the construction of the Corner Temple Renovation Project (CTRP) already began and generously donated for the project. Food booths were always crowded, and the vendors did an awesome job serving all the devotees.

Thanks to Deputy Consul General Mr. Surendra Adhana for his presence. We thank the Dr. P. Vaduganathan, Dr. Suresh Reddy, Dr. Saraswathi Reddy, Dr. Venugopal Menon, Dr. Siva Bodgala, Dr. Saranathan, Dr. Hema Salvady, Dr. Visalakshi Annamalai for their valuable time to be on call at the Temple for any first aid need by the devotees. Thankfully there was no incident. MTS thanks the event coordinator Joint Secretary Ramachandra Reddy, all the volunteers, board members, council members, and staff for their hard work and dedication in putting on such a wonderful New Year’s Day experience at our Temple.