Mandir Mahotsav – The Grand Opening of Shri Hari Mandir

Mandir Mahotsav was a fourteen-day ceremony organised for the inauguration of Shri Hari Mandir on February 1, 2006. It is an event that is etched into the history of Sandipani. The celebrations began with a grand Shobha Yatra and fireworks.

Read further on what took place during this colourful Shobha Yatra here.

Grand Shobha Yatra during Mandir Mahotsav on the streets of Porbandar

Consecration rituals of Shri Hari Mandir deities during Mandir Mahotsav

On the following day, the consecration rituals of the deities in Shri Hari Mandir began in the presence of many highly revered saints and culminated on 4th February at 12.30pm. Thousands of flower petals were scattered onto the shikharas of the Mandir from a helicopter flying high above the Shri Hari Mandir. Pujya Bhaishri, Gurusharanandaji Maharaj and Swami Chidanand Saraswatiji then proceeded to the roof of the temple where the shikhara flags (dhwajas) were released after. Read further details on the consecration ceremony here.

Once the doors of the Mandir were officially opened, thousands of devotees flocked to the gates of the Mandir to have darshan of Shri Lakshmi Narayan, Shri Ram Darbar, Shri Radha Krishna, Shri Shiv Parivar, Shri Karunamayi Maa, Shri Ganeshji and Shri Hanumanji.

The first aarati conducted by Pujya Bhaishri along with Shri Narendra Modi, Karshni Guru Sharananandaji Maharaj, Swami Chidanand Saraswatiji, Shri Devprasadji Bapu, Shrimati Kokilaben Ambani, and Shri Mukesh and Smt. Nita Ambani took place at 7.00pm and was one of the highlights of the day.

5,000 small aaratis were specially made allowing devotees to do aarati both inside and outside the temple doors. Thousands of voices reverberated throughout the precincts as all sang the age old famous aarati, ‘Aum Jai Jagdish Hare….’

This evening view of the Mandir showed its wonder, beauty and grandeur as it shone in the light of thousands of diyas.

From left to right – The then Chief Minister of Gujurat, Shri Narendra Modiji, the then Honorable Vice-President of India Shri Bhaironsinghiji Shekhaway, Smt. Kokilaben Ambani, main sponsors Smt. Sarlaben and Shri Tansukhbhai Ganatra, Pujya Bhaishri and Shri Mukesh Ambani inaugurating the Shri Hari Mandir on 4th February, 2006

Pujya Bhaishri narrating Shrimad Bhagavat Katha during Mandir Mahotsav

From 5th to 12th February 2006, Pujya Bhaishri narrated a Shrimad Bhagavat Katha whilst 1,153 Brahmins recited the verses of the entire Bhagavat. Read further on Shrimad Bhagavat Katha by Pujya Bhaishri here and details on other activities alongside the Katha here.

Revered saints from all over India including Pujya Karshni Gurusharananandji Maharaj, Pujya Morari Bapu, Pujya Swami Chidandand Saraswatiji, Pujya Ramdev Baba and many others congregated to share their wisdom. Read further on who graced the Mahotsav and the wisdom they shared, here.

1,153 Bhagavat path during Sandipani Mandir Mahotsav

Revered saints and devotees listening to Shrimad Bhagavat Katha by Pujya Bhaishri during Mandir Mahotsav

On 12th January 2006, The Auditorium and Science Gallery was inaugurated by His Excellency the Honourable President of India, APJ Abdul Kalam on 12th January 2006. Read further on this memorable event including Dr. Kalam’s speech, here

The Mahotsav brought some of the country’s leading musical artists to Porbandar for the first time between 2nd and 13th February 2006 who gave soul stirring dance and musical performances. Read further on the Indian culture and its varied arts and artists that was seen in all its glory by thousands at Sandipani during the Mahotsav, here.

Opening of the Science Gallery by His Excellency APJ Abdul Kalam

Pundit Jasrajji performing furing the cultural programs at Sandipani Mandir Mahotsav

The event was also graced with dignitaries such as Shri Anil Ambani, Smt. Kokilaben Ambani, Shri Amitabh Bachchan and his family.

The ceremony ended on 13th February with a divine Lakshminarayan Yagya and on the 14th February with a trip to Dwarka for the raising of the divine flag atop the Dwarka Mandir of Lord Krishna.

Pujya Karshni Guru Sharananandji Maharaj and Pujya Bhaishri performing dhvaja pujan at Shri Dwarkadhish Mandir in Dwarka

More than 900,000 people in total visited Sandipani over the two weeks. Sandipani became a town in which more than 7,000 people stayed on the campus and over 50,000 people had daily meals. Read further on: Sandipani Campus became a town during Mandir Mahotsav, here.

Thus concluded Sandipani Mandir Mahotsav which was by far one of the grandest events ever to take place in Gujarat and one that will be remembered for many years to come by all who attended it at Sandipani as well as those who watched it on television from all over the world.