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The Hindu temple at Woodlands holds a grand MahaShivratri celebration

Magnificent celebrations for MahaShivratri and Holi held at a Hindu Temple in Woodland following traditional rituals

The Shiva Lingam (representative); Source: Pixabay

Woodlands, Texas, Mar 11, 2017: A magnificent MahaShivratri celebration was organised by a Hindu temple of Woodlands, Texas; on February 24 – the night of Shiv Puja – continuing till Saturday morning at 8 a.m reported the Indo American news.

At 8:30am on Friday morning, the MahaShivratri festivities commenced with the Rudra Abhishekam. The Abhishekam, which is the bathing of the lord was done by the presiding priest using traditional substances. Following the bathing, was the adorning of the Shiva Lingam or the Alankaram.

The Shiva Lingam (representative); Source: Pixabay

A smaller Murti of Lord Shiva was temporarily added on a platform between the idols of Lord Ganesha and Maha Shiva. The devotees who had come to witness the Maha Abhishekam were able to carry out a small abhishekam of their own, pouring water and milk on the small murti. This opportunity was again open to the devotees starting from 6:00pm throughout the night.

After the first Abhishekam of the day, the Tirtham (liquid prasadam) and fruit prasadam were distributed among the devotees and the temple was closed for some time till evening.

Tirtham (representative); Source: Pixabay

At 6:30, the next type of Abhishekam, the Ekadasa Dravyam ( eleven materials, eleven fruit juices in this case) began. A traditional Tamil banana puree and dried fruits along with other items were also used during this ritual. The alankaram after this abhishekam consisted of the Shiva Linga draped in different kinds of fruits and vegetables.

The chants of Vedic Mantras and different Bhajans of lord Shiva echoed in the temple in the evening.

At 10 pm, Bhasma (Ashes) Abhishekam was carried out, succeeded by Chandana (Sandalwood) Abhishekam on Saturday Early morning. After each, the priests did a beautiful and colorful alankaram, using bhasma and dried fruit for the respectively. The final Abhishekam was of cooked rice which was served as prasadam for devotees on Saturday morning. The final alankaram for the celebration was of many different types of beautiful flowers.

The celebration for all was one of great beauty, devotion, and religious fervor, to be long remembered.

The next main festival after MahaShivratri at the Hindu temple was Holi – the festival of colours. The festivities were carried on today, from 11 a.m. in the morning to 3 p.m. within the temple premises. It included playing with Colored Powder, Music, dance and Indian snacks and sweet prices moderately. The festivities were open to all to attend, participate and enjoy.

-Prepared by Nikita Saraf, Twitter: @niki_saraf

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Copyright 2017 NewsGram

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Narendra Modi to Inaugurate Abu Dhabi’s First Hindu Temple

As of now, there is only one Hindu temple located in UAE, which is situated in Dubai

will also hold a meeting there with the Indian community. Wikimedia Commons
will also hold a meeting there with the Indian community. Wikimedia Commons

On his next visit to the United Arab Emirates as part of his West Asia tour starting 9 February, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be inaugurating first-ever Hindu temple to be constructed in Abu Dhabi as reported by Economic Times.

During Modi’s visit to the oil-rich nation in 2015, around 20,000 square metres of land was allotted for the construction of a temple in Abu Dhabi’s Al Wathba.

According to the records, UAE is home to as many as 2.6 million Indians, who form around 30 percent of the total population of the country. As of now, there is only one Hindu temple located in UAE, which is situated in Dubai.

Prime Minister Modi visit to UAE will kick start on 10 February. After landing in Abu Dhabi, he will be travelling to Dubai the next day. On a three-day event in Dubai to which India has been invited as the guest country, Modi will be addressing a large gathering of Indians in Dubai Opera on 11 February sixth World Government Summit.

After the Prime Minister’s visit in 2015, India’s relations with the UAE have seen some remarkable advancements. On India’s 68th Republic Day celebration, Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyanthe was honoured as the chief guest. Just after that visit of Zayed Al Nahyanthe, UAE initiated a USD 75 billion sovereign funds for India.
Interestingly, UAE remains to be India’s number one trading partner and the current annual trade between the two countries stands at around USD 53 billion.

Following UAE’s visit, Prime Minister Modi will be visiting two other countries in West Asia – Palestine and Oman. The visit to Palestine will be first Indian Prime Minister to the country in seven decades. Last year, Modi had visited Israel, the arch-rival of Palestine and hosted Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on a six-day visit to India between 14-19 January.

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