Around 30,000 people from across Australia and the world are expected to gather for the consecration of the Sri Venkateswara Temple in Helensburgh this long weekend.
The event usually occurs every 12 years, but COVID and international border restrictions for construction workers means it's been 18 years since the last one.
The consecration ceremony, known as the Maha Kumbabhishekam, occurs following extensive restoration works, and is the chance for the Hindu temple, devotees and visitors to be blessed.
The five-day event started on Thursday, with around 10,000 visitors expected to flock to the temple until Sunday, for cultural activities, Indian dance and classical music.
Monday will be the climax of the celebrations, with 20,000 people predicted to attend the sacred consecration, temple spokesman Narasimhan Parthasarathy said.
The ceremony takes place from 9-10.30am at the temple's entrance where much of the restoration has been undertaken. The entrance features many idols which had deteriorated in the weather.
"Holy water will be spilled onto the front structures, we call them gopuram," Mr Parthasarathy said. "They're something similar to the entrances of a church.
"It's a purification of the structure after all the construction works.
"Water will cascade down the gopuram and the devotees or visitors like to have it sprayed on their faces as it's seen as a blessing from the lords."
During the consecration a 4500-year-old practice will also take place.
"We will have five small vessels [called kalasams] that are painted in gold and are angled towards the sky. They'll be filled with rice, wheat and other grains, and cardamom spice," Mr Parthasarathy said.
"In case the temple got flooded or damaged by fire or a natural event, the grains will help us restore the culture."
At 1pm on Monday there will be a procession of deities within the temple perimeter, with chariots to be hand-pulled by devotees or visitors. At 6pm there will be fireworks.
Water will cascade down the gopuram and the devotees or visitors like to have it sprayed on their faces as it's seen as a blessing from the lords.- Sri Venkateswara Temple spokesman Narasimhan Parthasarathy
A free annadhanam (lunch) will be provided from April 7-10 between midday and 2.30pm for the community.
The restoration of the temple is such complex work that skilled workers who are trained in traditional Indian architecture are brought to Australia to complete the project, but COVID delayed their arrival.
This is only the fourth consecration the temple has had since its foundation stones were laid in 1978, and for many the chance to be blessed is an important one.
"They all want to be there, we're all concerned whether we'll have the chance in another 12 years," Mr Parthasarathy said.
Sri Venkateswara Temple is Australia's first Hindu temple built in the traditional architecture, it has been listed as a heritage item by the NSW Office of Environment Heritage.
The five-day event is free to attend and open to anyone in the community. It's open from 9am-7pm Friday to Sunday, with cultural events on from 10.30am-4pm. On Monday the temple will be open from 6.30am-8pm.
Sri Venkateswara Temple is located at 1 Temple Road, Helensburgh.
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