Lord Ram, Sita idols placed at Wellington temple
Idols of Lord Ram and Sita brought in from India as part of Ayodhya Pran Prathistha celebrations in New Zealand were placed at Gita Mandir in Wellington on Tuesday.
The idols made of pure white marble were taken to the national capital after rituals and ceremonies in Auckland, where they were open for darshan to thousands of Kiwi-Indians who paid their respects.
India’s High Commissioner Neeta Bhushan was among those in Wellington who received the idols, which have now been placed at Gita Mandir inside Bharat Bhavan, Kilbirnie.
A day earlier, the Wellington chapter of Shri Ram Janmabhoomi Celebration Committee, which organised a grand ceremony in Auckland on January 21, hosted an event to commemorate the inauguration of Ram Mandir in the northern Indian city of Ayodhya.
A heaving Wellington Indian Association hall hosted hundreds of devotees who turned up to watch a live telecast of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurating the temple in Ayodhya.
Neeta Bhushan described the event as “a landmark event in the history of India”. “Today, the temple of Lord Sri Ram is being inaugurated in Ayodhya. The sacredness and centrality of this temple for our civilisation is something that has been passed on from civilisation to civilisation, and from generation to generation.
“Lord Ram remains a uniting force for all Indians all over the world,” the high commissioner said.
She pointed out stories of Lord Ram are deeply embedded throughout the length and breadth of India. “He [Lord Ram] had toured the country extensively and everyone of us has heard his stories from different parts of the country.”
The celebration in Wellington was marked by chanting of Sanskrit shlokas, dance performances by Mayur and Mudra dance academies, and soulful rendition of Hanuman Chalisa.