Hindu Mandir Celebrates 22nd Anniversary
After a long hiatus of Mandir’s annual anniversary celebrations, the community returned with full vigor to propitiously celebrate its 22nd anniversary on the newly constructed festival grounds. The newly appointed Mandir Board’s Co-Chair, Gopi Latpate, and Pravin Bakrania were instrumental in conceptualizing, expediting, and completing the project on time and within the budget.
Attendees started pouring in around 5 PM under the clear afternoon Las Vegas sky and were delighted to experience the newly constructed spacious festival grounds. Celebrations began with a short prayer by our revered Panditjis’ Brijesh Ji and Vishnu Ji. The celebrations marked an Indian dinner buffet, Chat Corner & multiple vendor stalls, and children’s activities. The mediocre, bland buffet included essential Indian dishes – Dal, Chick Peas, Mixes Veggies, Nan, Rice, and Gulab Jamun for desserts. Chat Corner appetizers included freshly made Aaloo Tikki, Bread Pakora’s, and Dahi Bhallas.
Scores of diligent volunteers tried to keep the crowd entertained with yesteryear Bollywood songs and some dancing. “The local community members of singers were way better than the recently held EKAL entertainment program,” said one attendee. Children enjoyed jumping in the bounce houses, playing on the green felt, and loved the bountiful candy run. EKAL Vidyalaya Youth Group volunteers provided soft drinks and water. There was ample parking and enough space with proper seating arrangements for attendees to enjoy the festivities.
As per the volunteer group of organizers, there were over 400 attendees from a few of the attendees who were there back in 2001 when Mandir opened its doors to mostly the recently moved members of the growing Hindu community in Southern Nevada. However, the past celebrations were free to attend; this year, the management charged $20 per person to join the festivities. The consensus among the attendees was that the nominal ticket amount discouraged many families from participating in anniversary celebrations. However, one volunteer blamed the low attendance on crucial exam week at the local schools. Multiple vendors selling costume jewelry and ladies’ clothing were ravenously disappointed by the low turnout and meager sales.
“Moving into the future, the management looks forward to improving the grounds with a children’s play area, repainting the temple façade, and covering the newly built east side patio. And most importantly, bringing the diverse Hindu community together for their spiritual and religious needs,” said newly elected Co-Chair Gopi Latpate. “Thanks to Gopi and Pravin for their volunteering spirit. Long awaited anniversary celebrations were the first step to bring the Mandir back to its glory days,” said a long-time resident of Las Vegas.
The newly constructed festival ground is fabulous. It was clean, well laid out, and brightly lighted. There were plenty of volunteers. The food was horrible, and the people who served at the Chat stall were rude. The music was too loud.
I, Pravin Bakrania, need to clarify that I am not a contractor. Neither a licensed architect. Although I have a master’s degree in architecture, legally I am a licensed Residential Designer. I just volunteered to help with the project. I thank each and every one who helped this project’s success. There is more to come. Temple direly needs storage space. Any financial contribution is welcome.
We appreciate the Mandir committee for undertaking the improvements and enjoyed the anniversary evening function. The community volunteers that sang performed well and the audio was good. We thank the volunteers that ran the event as the event was conducted smoothly. Always something to improve on and this time it was the buffet dinner that could have been better but the chaat stall made up for it. Overall, an evening well spent at the temple.
Thanks Pravin Ji for the clarification. Deleted “local architect & contractor” from the article. Thanks for your assistance with the mandir’s long overdue capital project.
To purchase cloths , you have to buy ticket is moronic idea. Temple charges cloth store and to purchase cloths-people have to pay $20 per person. idiotic to say the least.