With the blessings of Pramukh Swami Maharaj, the Tampa, BAPS Swaminarayan Mandir was inaugurated with great joy and jubilation. The two day murti-pratishta event commenced on Saturday, April 2 2005 with the largest Vishwashanti Mahayaag ever conducted in the area. The evening session on Saturday was an inspiring program of Kirtan Aradhana. A grand fireworks display concluded the day's events.
On Sunday morning, Pujya Yagnavallabh Swami joined by other santos, performed the murti-pratishta to consecrate the murtis of Shri Akshar Purushottam Maharaj, Shri Radha Krishna Dev, Guru Parampara, Shri Shiv Parvati, Shri Sita Ram, Shri Ganapatiji and Hanumanji. Following the murti-pratishta, a breathtaking annakut of various vegetarian items, prepared by the volunteers were offered to the newly consecrated murtis. Many volunteers spent months leading up to the opening ceremony, devoting their time and immense enthusiasm to ensure that the mandir was ready on time.
Many dignitaries attended the post-pratishta inaugural assembly. The Attorney General of Florida, Charlie Crist was the Chief Guest. He related his experience with Pramukh Swami Maharaj when the two met last year. The County Commissioner of Hillsborough Mr. Brian Blair also attended this ceremony and addressed the gathering. Pujya Yagnavallabh Swami welcomed and felicitated all the dignitaries and presented them with a memento. In his speech, he emphasized on the importance of mandir in our society. A special exhibition "Sanskruti" was exclusively planned, designed and displayed by the youths of Tampa Kishore and Kishori Mandal. The exhibition depicting the rich Indian culture inspired one and all.
Hindu worshippers throughout Tampa and the surrounding areas are now delighted to have a place to congregate, practice their faith and participate in colorful festivals and celebrations that will promote strong moral and spiritual values.