Thursday, April 11, 2013

Happy New Year .....

The first day of the first month, Chaitra, of the Indian Calendar, is celebrated all over India  , in different regional names. It is known as Gudi Padwa in Maharashtra, my state. This day is considered one of the 3 most auspicious days of the year. 

It is customary to erect what is known as a Gudi in each house. This is simulation of what the citizens of Ayodhya did thousands and millions of years ago, when Lord Rama returned home victorious after defeating Ravana  in Sri Lanka, and rescuing Sita from his clutches. The citizens raised decorated silks, mango branches, flowers and sweets on rods to welcome their king. Sweets were prepared and shared with neighbors and friends. Houses were decorated.

We have a very ancient temple on our Campus which dates back thousands of years ago, as per inscriptions that have been unearthed . This Devi Padmavati Temple celebrates all the Indian festivals, and is a place for community activities. 

A few clicks from my visit today .  

A huge almost 12 x 12 feet rangoli done by enthusiastic members of the Marathi Sanskrutic Mandal on Campus, to wish everyone a happy new year, at the entrance to the temple gates. 

The tree shaded pathway, leading to the temple,  Heavily wooded, some of the trees here are probably as old as the temple.  The temple lies on the banks of the Powai Lake.

The temple, impressive in its simplicity. The idol was found  under the soil, and was installed with great devotion. The temple surroundings have evolved over the years, and include a Ganesha temple, a Shiva temple , along with the main Devi Padmavati temple, which can be seen  (with a porch like structure in front) where many discourses, community activities et al are held. One can see the Gudi (Orange silk) at the end of a huge bamboo, in the photo. The courtyard of the temple has an ancient banyan tree, several coconut palms and a large variety of fruits and flowering trees.

A close up of the Gudi at home.  The figures on the inverted pure copper pot, are those of the Ashtavinayakas.