Thousands celebrate Hanuman Jayanti

Statesman News Service

KALIMPONG, April 24. — Thousands flocked in today at the Deorali Dara, the venue for the celebration of Hanuman Jayanti. With the three-day prayer sessions ending today, devotees started assembling at the Hanuman Park from the early hours today.
A 31-ft statue of Hanuman was installed on this very day last year.
“The celebration has generated unexpected response with a large number of devotees coming in from all parts of the region,” former DGHC councillor and member of the advisory committee of the Hanuman Park Management Committee, Mr Dawa Sherpa, said. The puja started in this park, 7 km from here, on 22 April.
“The presence of local as well as foreign visitors has certainly made the day successful,” Mr Sherpa said. The park, built with contributions from the citizens here, particularly from the Marwari community, has now grown into a major tourist attraction in the Hills.
Set up at a cost of Rs 7 lakh, the park, spread out over an area of 3 acres, is at a height of 5,200 ft and is surrounded by a picturesque view.
Besides the setting-up of a botanical park, the management committee has also added three new sheds for visitor comfort.
As most of the visitors to the park are involved in religious sermons, bhajans and kirtans, a five-day spiritual healing method called Art of Living, is also being conducted at the park.
“Such gatherings surely are a boost to social harmony,” Mr Sherpa said. He said that lakhs of foreigners have so far visited the park. More than 40,000 people have attended the three-day puja, he added.
Major contributions were received from the Sai Samiti and Manav Sewa Uttam and Reuyika, an NGO, it was learnt.
Expressing satisfaction with the puja, Mrs Reena Poudal, a devotee from Sikkim, said: “This has been a beautiful experience for me and my whole family. I have already made up my mind to come here next year as well.”

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