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Padi Puja is the worship of the holy 18-steps at the world famous Sabarimala Ayyappa Temple in Kerala. On Saturday, November 13, 2010, 2010 at 6.00 pm, in the presence of 400+ devotees, Shiv Mandir of Atlanta performed the Padi Pooja at the Global Mall, in the midst of sacred chants of Ayyappa Bhajans which filled the air with spiritual vibrations. This is the first public Ayyappa Pooja in Atlanta being celebrated on a grand scale and was supported by Shiv Mandir of Atlanta.
“Shiv Mandir of Atlanta is overwhelmed with the participation of devotees and is encouraged to perform Ayyappa Pooja every year,” said a press note sent to the NRI Pulse news desk. “Shiv Mandir of Atlanta is a place of worship for all devotees of Sanatan Hindu Dharm and it preserves and embellishes Hindu traditions and cultural heritage by conducting and sponsoring religious, spiritual, charitable, educational, social and cultural activities for the benefit of the young, adults, women and senior citizens of Hindu community. In 2005 Shiv Mandir of Atlanta acquired 11.4 acres of land which is located at 890 Peachtree Industrial Blvd., Sugar Hill, GA 30518.”
The Ayyappa Pooja was performed by Guru Swamy Kiran Mudigonda and Ravi Kumar Medicharla. The program started with Ganesh Pooja, done by Pandit Gyan PrakashJi, priest of Shiv Mandir, followed by Ayyappa bhajans, Padi Pooja, Shoba Yatra, Aarthi at Shiv Mandir, Aarathi to Ayyappa and the 18 steps and Mahaprasad was served.
Surinder Dhar, President of Shiv Mandir of Atlanta was quoted as saying; “Swami Ayyappa Pooja brought back the festivities and fever of Deepavali back that we just celebrated last week. Once again Shiva Mandir of Atlanta demonstrated its commitment to serves all sections Atlanta Hindu community and people love it. We need to maintain our unique character I n this regard. I want to congratulate you all for such a successful program. My special thanks go Kiran Mudigonda for under taking the responsibility to conduct this pooja and giving all the credit to Shiv Mandir. We are proud to have you on our team. “
Valmiki’s speech was inspirational. “It was wonderful to know that Shiv Mandir is perhaps the only temple in Atlanta that has gone beyond being a north or south Mandir,” added the release.