Hindu temples in Houston
Some of the famous Hindu temples in Houston are:
Hare Krishna Dham
Sai Baba Temple
Swami Narayan Temple
Jyothi Hindu Temple
Sri Saumyakasi Sivalaya is the first free standing Siva temple of its kind in Houston. The Chinmaya Mission of Houston, Texas, called Chinmaya Prabha, has established a Shiva temple at its premises in Sugar Land. The temple has an imposing dome, a replica of the Shivalinga, the main deity of the temple.
The most important puja in the inauguration of a temple is the Kumbhabhishekam. Kumbha is the kalasa with divine water from the Kalasa puja. This kalasa is carried on the head to the temple. Holy water is used to bathe the deity — transferring its divinity to the murti (idol).
The Swaminarayan temple is a masterpiece of intricate design and workmanship, with its towering white domes and pillars. The construction of the temple was started in the year 2003 and the temple was opened for public on the auspicious day of July 25,2004 by divine holiness Pramukh Swami Maharaj.
The main temple has the most beautiful full size golden statue of Swami Sahajanand. The statue of great Saint Pramukhswami Maharaj is also placed in this main temple.
This is the largest Hindu place of worship in Houston. Meenakshi temple was built in stages starting in the 1970’s. The temple layout is based on the world renowned Madurai Meenakshi Temple in India. This temple was inspired by that one and is a good place for the Hindu community in Houston to pray, meet and socialize.
Navarathri–the 9 days and nights, dedicated to the three forms of the Divine Mother – was celebrated with great fervour and joy in the Sri Meenakshi temple at Houston. Sri Meenakshi temple, is indeed a haven for peace and meditation. The place is always clean and the priests there are reallly helpful to newcomers. They also have a peacock shelter and marriage halls and other youth centers for Hinduism related studies. The library is wellstocked but almost always crowded and disorganized and understaffed. But has a wonderful collection of music and video and book rentals not available anywhere else in Houston.
Rath Yathra in Houston:
Many of the devoted Houston Indian Americans pull the holy chariot called the Jagannath Rath Yatra, in Houston. This festival was made possible with the support of the Orissa Culture Center (OCC), ISKCON, Hindus of Greater Houston, India Culture Center (ICC) and many other prominent Indian Americans.
It is considered a matter of great pride to be able to pull the chariot. Hindus of Houston enthusiastically participated in this festival, dragging the beautifully decorated 22-foot tall Rath (chariot) with a flag at the top.
The main purpose of this Rath Yatra festival is to unite people in its festivity. All people, rich and poor or of any religious beliefs come together under one umbrella and participate in the religious as well as cultural activities.