Australia: Thousands attend Hindu temple’s restoration ceremony

Tens of thousands of devotees attended a traditional ceremony held once in two decades at a prominent Hindu temple in Australia to celebrate its restoration, according to a media report. 

The ceremony to celebrate the restoration of the Sri Venkateswara temple in Helensburgh, a small suburb on the outskirts of Sydney, was attended by more than 20,000 Hindus, including 15 priests and visitors from Singapore, Malaysia and Mauritius, ABC News reported on Monday. 

The consecration ceremony, kumbhabhishekam, is believed to bring prosperity to the entire community. 

The temple, one of the largest of its kind outside of India, started renovations worth AUD 3 million in June last year. 

During the event, sacred fires were lit, and priests climbed to the temple’s roof, where holy water was poured into golden pots. 

“The significance of that is purifying not only the temple and deities but also the devotees who are watching the ceremony,” temple director Subra Iyer was quoted as saying. 

The construction and repair of the dozens of stone deities in the temple were done by 10 specialist masons and painters brought out from India. 

Hundreds of volunteers also spent their weekends working on the temple alongside local contractors, the report said.   

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