Global Indian Viewpoint
Indian Temple Architecture in USA
A report by Dr. R. Nagaswamy
Entrance Gopura of Meenakshi Temple at Pearland, Texas, USA
Of the biggest Hindu temples in
Besides the shrines and temples, the complex houses two halls as a Kalyana Mandapam dance theater that can accommodate thousand spectators and the other huge research hall which houses a library. There is also an annex in which devotees could eat tasty South Indian prasadams which remains always crowded during the week end. Priests from Tamilnad and Andhra who have specialized in Vedas and Agamic rituals codes, look after the daily worship and periodical and annual festivals. There is a strict following of temple ritual codes combined with a happy blend that goes
beyond any sectarian divide. Within the past twenty years, what was a small Hindu temple area with vast open fields around now has grown into a big town with all marketing facilities cropping up, so much so, the temple identified as the temple of the city of Houston is now called the temple of Pearland. One of the frequent visitors to the
Recently the temple celebrated the 27th annual festival of the temple consecration, that latest for nine days with flag hoisting rite. On the 8th day, the festival of coronation of goddess Meenakshi was performed. On the final day over 1000 devotees congregated to witness the marriage festival of (Kalyanam) goddess Meenakshi with Sundareswara, and Venkateswara with Alarmel Manga and Bhudevi thayar. It was a grand festival where most women and men in Indian costumes thronged to the marriage hall. At the end, the women joined hands and danced in traditional South Indian Kummi mode.
The temple is now building a silver chariot for the gods annual festival. Among many social prospects four scholarships annually (value $750s – around Rs. 40,000) to high school seniors based on merit and need, deserves special mention.
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