‘Navodaya 2004’ At HTA Draws 5000
Every year, on New Year's Day, thousands of devotees visit the Hindu Temple at Riverdale (HTA), to start the year with the blessings of Lord Venkateswara. This year, the temple organized a fair called ?Navodaya 2004' at the temple premises on January 1. The fair drew around 5000 people through the day.
The daylong fair included several events, beginning with a puja to the main deity, Lord Venkateswara. All the deities in the temple complex were specially decorated for the occasion.
Besides sale of a variety of food preparations specially made by volunteers, garments, jewellery, terracotta, appliances, house construction material, art exhibition and stalls of non-profit institutions were present at the exhibition. Gift items collected from devotees were sold at the mela to raise funds for temple projects.
Also, as part of ?Navodaya 2004', two seminars were conducted. The first seminar was on health in which Dr. Srini Gangasani, a prominent Atlanta based cardiologist gave various details of cardiac problems and ways to minimize heart related problems. He also touched upon the need to monitor cholesterol levels.
Gita Mehrotra, weight loss and image consultant was the second speaker at the health seminar. She stressed the need for maintaining a balanced lifestyle and the importance of exercise. She exhorted the audience to take up walking, which she said, would certainly help keep them fit.
The second seminar was on Indian scriptures. The moderators for the event were Vasudev Kulkarni, Manhar Valand and Sridar. The threesome clarified several doubts put forth by the youth with regard to Indian culture and other practices in daily life.
Many people were also drawn to an art exhibition put by Sivananda Nyayapati, a local software consultant who is an amateur portrait and natural painter. The exhibition consisted of temple paintings on canvas, oil paintings of natural scenes/fruits and portraits.
To raise funds for the on going construction of the Siva temple, the temple also launched a brick sponsorship scheme. Each individual who sponsor's a brick will have his name engraved on the bricks of the new Siva temple.
?Navodaya 2004' was not only a mela, but also a congregation of community members who had gathered to exchange New Year's greetings with their kith and kin. The fair was a phenomenal success and drew in more crowds than expected, in spite of parking problems.
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