Cairns, considered the gateway to Australia's Great Barrier Reef, is a city in tropical Far North Queensland.
The two-day celebration commemorating the historic inauguration of the new BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir in Cairns, Queensland, Australia, took place in the presence of Pujya Doctor Swami, BAPS swamis, and devotees and well-wishers from the local and regional community.
On 30 September, around 300 devotees participated in the grand procession of Akshar-Purushottam Maharaj and other murtis on beautifully decorated chariots along a 1.5 km route through Cairns Esplanade. Local residents and passers-by welcomed the procession with great joy and interest. Also present on this occasion were Mr Destry Puia, Director of Lifestyle & Community, Cairns Regional Council, and his team.
That evening, children, youths, and adults presented a melodious program of devotional bhajans conveying the timeless traditions and values that the mandir instils in all.
On the morning of 1 October the Vedic murti-pratishtha and mandir inauguration rituals were performed by Pujya Doctor Swami. Devotees and members of the local Hindu community also took part in the preceding Vedic mahapuja ceremony. Thereafter, a grand annakut of vegetarian delicacies was offered to the murtis with great devotion.
Among the guests present were Mr Michael Healy, Assistant Minister for Tourism Industry Development, Queensland; Ms Cathy Zeiger, Councillor, Cairns Regional Council; and Mr James Mcpeake, Director of Mcpeake Town Planning.
The mandir will provide a focal point for cultural and spiritual and activities and community service.

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