A three-day Mandir Mahotsav was held in the presence of Pujya Keshavjivan Swami (Pujya Mahant Swami) to mark the inauguration of the new BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir in Rotorua, located in the heart of New Zealand’s North Island.
30 April: Welcome Assembly
Hundreds of devotees gathered to welcome Pujya Mahant Swami on his first ever visit to Rotorua. Pujya Mahant Swami and other sadhus were honoured with a traditional Maori welcome. Pujya Mahant Swami then addressed the devotees in an assembly held near Lake Rotorua.
1 May: Sagar Yatra
A Sagar Yatra was held in which the murtis of the new mandir were placed on a boat and taken for a cruise around Lake Rotorua. Along with the sadhus, over 300 devotees were on board to celebrate the new mandir opening. Bhajans, dances and other performances by balaks and youths were presented during the joyous Sagar Yatra.
2 May: Murti-Pratishtha
Murti-pratishtha mahapuja was performed in the morning, with devotees and well-wishers taking part to pray for world peace and the well-being of the local community.
The murti-pratishtha rituals of the murtis to be installed in the Rotorua mandir had previoulsy been performed by Pramukh Swami Maharaj in Sarangpur on 24 November 2014. These murtis were consecrated in their respective shrines by Mahant Swami to the chanting of Vedic verses. Local and community leaders also attended this auspicious occasion to convey their best wishes for the Mandir.
Over 700 devotees participated in the Mandir Mahotsav over the three days.