Val Morin Hindu Temple Hosts Parade of 30,000

July 23, 2006

Source: The Gazette

On July 23, 2006 The Gazette reported, "An hour north of Montreal on Highway 15, via the quiet Laurentian community of Val Morin, one may find a passage to India. Home to a world-renowned yoga centre and a Hindu temple, one step through the Sivanada Ashram gates transports visitors to a world entirely outside of Quebec. Chai spices and roasted pine nuts sweetly beckon from an open door to the ashram's communal kitchen. Birds twitter as barefoot children run through butterfly gardens. The sound of om is everywhere. Founded in 1963 by Swami Vishnu-devananda, the ashram attracts people from all over the world to practice yoga, meditate or pray at the 11-year-old Hindu temple leading up from the ashram on a long wooden staircase. For two weeks every summer, the Subramanyam Aayapa temple is mecca for Hindu devotees from Montreal, Ottawa and Toronto. Some come from as far as Western Canada, the United States and Europe. They're here for the annual kaavadi ceremony, the largest Hindu festival in North America. This year's festivities culminate today with an elaborate parade, expected to draw 30,000 people. Hindus - mainly from the Sri Lankan diaspora - come to demonstrate their gratitude or ask a favour or forgiveness from Lord Subramanya, the temple's patron deity and commander-in-chief of god's army."