A grand week of good food, fun, festival and fireworks culminated with the kumbhabishekam (inauguration ceremony) of the Sri Kalyana Venkateswara Balaji temple in Nairobi, Kenya, on April 29, 2002. Although other Hindu temples have been constructed in South Africa, this is the first one featuring Balaji, a form of Lord Vishnu or Venkateswara who stands on a lotus flower with consorts Lakshmi and Padmavathi placed to his right and left, respectively.

All ceremonies for the inauguration were performed in strict accordance with scriptural tradition under the able guidance of Dr. Malladi Satyanarayana and his five-member team from Tirupati, India, the home of Balaji’s most famous temple. These Vedic rituals included the “opening of the eyes of the Deities” conducted by Dr. V. Ganapati Sthapati, the temple architect. Hundreds of devotees enjoyed a variety of entertainment during the week, including expert musical performances by a four-member nadaswaram and tavil team brought from India just for the temple’s inauguration.

For more information contact the Sri Kalyana Venkateswara Balaji temple, Lower Kabete Road, Nairobi, Kenya.Email: sbharadia@kpmg.co.kg