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 <<CityNews Main Send Flowers to India!

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Thousands Attend HTA Navodaya Celebrations


More than 6,000 devotees and visitors from all over South-East thronged the Hindu Temple of Atlanta (HTA) Riverdale, Georgia on crisp sunny morning of Thursday January 1st to celebrate a joyous and spiritually suffused 5th Navodaya 2009 festival.

All the devotees in the Balaji and Siva Temples wore a dazzling look in their ornate fineries and colorful garlands. The dedicated priests performed archanas throughout the day blessing all the devotees who came to offer their prayers. Just before noon, the Chief Priest Sri Gopal Bhattar performed a ceremony chanting shlokas and conferring his blessings on the newly elected HTA President, Hyma Mikkilineni and her Committee. As the day progressed more devotees arrived inside the temples and after offering prayers, went around visiting and shopping at HTA Gift Shop and also at various booths selling sarees, household appliances and gadgets, jewelry, beads, artwork, devotional music CDs and DVDs. Service booths also kept busy helping with immigration and legal advice or travel bookings or auto insurance. Some prominent not-for-profit Organizations had also set up their booths to disseminate information about their Organization and forthcoming events. 

Festivals and food go together! The varied menu of South Indian vegetarian splendors like spicy idli sambhar, masala dosas, tamarind or curd rice, upama, boondi ladoos, prepared in the Temple’s kitchen, under the supervision of Food Committee Chairperson ,Dr.Sujatha Reddy and served in the spacious banquet Hall, by volunteers including some Bhutanese refugees, was relished by all.

Usha Swamy, Anjali Kumar, Chetan and Chandan Hebbale and Amala Malladi had ensured plenty of fun and frolic for the kids, hosting activities like popping balloons, painting, quizzes and competitions.

The past President, Dr.Ravi Sarma who just completed his two year term, congratulated and complimented the current President Hyma Mikkilineni and her team. “During the last two years the Temple made substantial progress Momentous events like the consecration of Siva Temple- Siva Mahakumbhabhishekam and Balaji Pushkara Kumbhabhishekam were performed. This year, the proficient silpis will complete the remaining architecture of the Siva Temple and start construction on Yagashala which will enable 100 to 150 devotees perform homas and other religious rites. On the service side, last year, the HTA was able to give significant moral and material support to the Bhutanese families. The Temple not only initiated but also led the relief operations and support structure for these unfortunate people. I am very confident and optimistic that that these humanitarian services will continue under the leadership of B.K.Mohan, Chairperson of the Community services. The Temple’s website has also been redesigned under the guidance of Sri Jaishanker and I request all to check it out for upcoming events. My best wishes to everyone for the New Year.”

The current President Hymavati commented,’ I am very happy with the massive turnout of devotees today. I wish to thank all the sponsors, trustees, Committee vendors, devotees and volunteers for their incalculable support. My special thanks to one of the trustees, Mrs.Phani Thummala for her tireless services in arranging varied food items. The Temple Manager Lakshmi Narasimhan and Kusuma Dronavalli too deserve pats on the back for overseeing detailed execution of the entire event. I am happy that the surplus from food proceeds will be donated to non-profit organizations. On behalf of the Executive Committee, I wish all a happy, healthy and prosperous New Year. 

The Hindu Temple, an iconic landmark in Riverdale, Georgia, is well known for its spiritual, cultural, and educational services to the Indian community. The Temple has played a sterling role in enriching the religious diversity and enhancing the multi-cultural image of Georgia. .  


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