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Spectacular Navodaya celebrations at the Hindu temple

February 2008
Spectacular Navodaya celebrations at the Hindu temple

Thousands of devotees thronged to the Hindu Temple of Atlanta (HTA), Riverdale, Georgia, to celebrate a spectacular 5th annual Navodaya 2008 Festival on January 1st.

All the deities in Balaji and Siva Temples were adorned in the finest and devotees gathered to offer their prayers.

The vendors in the education building sold jewelry, saris, costumes, kitchen gadgets, CDs and DVDs, while booths of not-for-profit organizations including Isha Yoga Foundation, SRIM Center, Jeeyar Educational Trust and others disseminated information about their activities and forthcoming events.

Dr. Sujatha Reddy, who organized a free bone density screening test commented, “I wish to thank Dr. Madhusudhana Reddy, Endocrinologist Dr. S. K. Naidu and volunteers Elizabeth Allen and Madhusiddagunti, for volunteering their services and conducting over 65 bone density screenings.” One of the proficient teachers from Isha Foundation, Sheela Rajdev, gave an enlightening talk on life-enriching and empowering ‘Inner Engineering’ program, to a rapt audience in the HTA auditorium.

A riveting two hour cultural show included a play, classical dances and songs organized and emceed by Lakshmi Vedala. Young students performed an engrossing play, directed by Smt. Devi Selvakumar, on Lord Karthikeya. A scintillating Kuchipudi dance by students of Smt. Revathi Komanduri’s Shivani Kuchipudi Dance Academy, and another enchanting dance on Lord Krishna, by the students of Smt. Uma Muralidhar were presented. Several Bharatanatyam dances with live orchestra performed by students of Smt. Padmaja Kelam’s Kalaivani Dance and Music Academy kept the audience spellbound. Amritha Varshini, Smitha Yellamraju, Venkat Chennubhotla and emcee Lakshmi Vedala further enriched the entertainment with their mellifluous singing. At the end of the show, HTA President Dr.Ravi Sarma congratulated all the teachers and participants for a magnificent performance.

Ashok Kumar, Usha Kumar and Hema Malini with Bal Vihar students had arranged games and quizzes on Ramayana and Mahabharata, magic show, mehendi, face painting, art competitions, and Ravana’s head balloon pop for the children. The attendees were seen relishing South Indian vegetarian splendors planned by the food committee and prepared by HTA’s new cook Sri Rama Krishna and his assistants Sri Ghanshyam Patel, Smt. Vijaya, Smt. Lakshmi and several volunteers.

The chief architect of Navodaya 2008, Smt.Kusuma Kotte, was lauded for her efforts. The Executive Committee, Trustees, sponsors, volunteers, performers, priests, and devotees were thanked. Temple Sthapathi, Padmasri Muthiah, the artisans, and shilpis, who have worked tirelessly for over two years were much appreciated.   

Dr.Ravi Sarma added, “Devotees can look forward to the Siva Temple consecration on March 23. The celebrations will start on March 19 and continue through March 23. Sri Karunamayi (Amma), will grace the occasion and preside over the celebrations. In May, we will have Kumbhabhishekam and Brahmotsavam celebrations at the Balaji Temple which will be graced by Sri Chinna Jeeyar Swami.”

~Mahadev Desai

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