The pandit setting the alter for the puja
The Staff beginning to gather before the ceremony
Jitender(the GM of the Hotel)performing parts of the ceremony
Members of the core management team placing rice into the fire pit
Garlands, offerings and sweets being distributed to the team
Yes, the hotel was officially opened to accept paying guests on September 1, 2009....and along with this "soft launch" came the tradition of blessing the hotel with a "PUJA".
For those of you who have been reading my blog for some time, you are aware that I have now been a participant of many puja's since arriving in India, almost one year ago now. I hope that you are not getting bored with the stories and reports of such happenings, as they are very much a part of my adventure......and with each puja I attend my appreciation, respect and understanding for the ceremony increases.
I have also learned that each one differs slightly.....this time was the first where fire was introduced (other than the Kitchen Puja)and played a major role in the ceremony.
This puja for example did not include any of the figures of the Hindu god's that are traditionally present, as this puja was to bless a "new venture" or in our case to commemorate the opening of the hotel.
The puja was held outside in the front of the hotel, under the porch, just outside of the front doors. Blankets were spread on the ground for everyone to comfortable sit down an surround the alter. As usual, the removal of shoes is required before entering the area.
The photographs I have shared in this blog entry do not capture the true essence of participating in a puja yourself.
Enjoy the pictures and for those of you from across the world who read my blog, if you have any questions at all about what it is like to participate in a puja, I would be happy to answer your questions.....
For those of you in Delhi, or other areas of India, please rest well knowing that this hotel has received it's blessings......it has a very warm, kind, and friendly staff that are eager to serve you.....the food is truly some of the best that I have had while living in India, and is cooked from the heart by our Executive Chef and his team of culinary experts. Our affiliation with Starwood Hotels and Resorts assures our potential customers and our guests of the highest levels of quality, cleanliness and service with a consistency unmatched by the competition.