DENVER, Colo. — A new Hindu Temple and Cultural Center that held four days of grand opening ceremonies from June 4 to 7 was opened here to meet the needs of the growing Indian population in Colorado.

According to a temple press release, over 2,000 people attended the functions, including Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper, Centennial Mayor Cathy Noon, and Colorado House Representative Dr. Janak Joshi.

The temple sits on a hill with a 360-degree view of the mountains and plains. The four-acre site includes attractive landscaping and two levels of parking. The main floor includes a large prayer hall with sanctums for various deities.

It also contains priest rooms, a reception area, office, library, classroom and restrooms and shoe rooms. The lower level, in a walkout basement, when finished will include a large hall with a stage and green room for cultural programs, as well as a kitchen for preparing and serving food.

The religious ceremonies included the installation of the main deities Shiva Parivar, Durga, Venkateswara, Lakshmi Narayana, Rama Parivar, Radha Krishna and Saraswati. The four-feet tall deities, made of pure marble, came from Jaipur.

The Venkateswara deity came from Tirupati. Seven priests from various U.S. temples joined the two Denver Hindu Temple priests in conducting the rituals, who chanted Vedic Mantras in Sanskrit and performed Archana, Abhishek and Havan (fire sacrifice) for various gods and goddesses.

A cultural program was presented on the afternoon of June 6 in the basement hall. It included a program of devotional songs and regional Indian dances, including Bharatanatyam and Odissi, performed by local artists.

Hickenlooper in his speech emphasized the contribution made by the Hindu community in the cultural diversification of the Denver metro area and the state of Colorado.

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