Ram Mandir inauguration: Indians in Houston spell “Ram” with Tesla Light Show

As Indians and Indian-origin people of Hindu faith around the world eagerly await the Ayodhya Ram Mandir pran pratishtha ceremony for the Ram Lalla idol on January 22, the Indian diaspora in Houston, Texas, United States, celebrated in advance with a Tesla Light Show.

Tesla Light Show on Lord Ram
The Tesla Light Show in Houston, Texas, on January 19, 2024, evening. The light show is made possible by a tech feature that allows Tesla car owners to synchronise their vehicle lights. Photo courtesy: X/@Seemahkachru

Enthusiastic devotees in the city of Houston arranged for an innovative Tesla car light show that spelt out the name “Ram”.

More than 100 Tesla car owners, calling themselves “Ramji ki Gilahariyan of Greater Houston”, gathered at Shri Guruvayurappan Krishna Temple for the light show on Friday evening, attracting hundreds of Ram devotees and passersby.

The Tesla cars had a giant-sized Ram Rath (chariot) in the backdrop. A life-size temple oil painting and loud music of “Jai Sri Ram” gave the place a divine look and feel of being at the Ayodhya temple in India.

Light shows organised with Tesla cars are made possible by a key technological feature: Tesla car drivers can programme their headlights to be switched on and off at the same time, making for a synchronised show.

Aarti follows Tesla Light Show

Soon after the beautiful light show, the Tesla car owners and all other devotees assembled at the temple for aarti, joined by other devotees who sang resounding bhajans dedicated to Lord Rama and Krishna (both avatars of Vishnu, who is worshipped in the Hindu pantheon as part of the triad formed with Brahma and Maheshwar).

At the end of the aarti, all the devotees received prasad at Shri Guruvayurappan Krishna Temple.

Lord Ram image for Tesla Light Show
Image of Lord Ram created for the Houston light show. Photo courtesy: X/@Seemahkachru

According to the organisers of the Tesla Light Show, participating car owners had to register for the event in advance.

“We requested all the Ram bhakts (devotees) to register for the show, acknowledge and sign the waiver form, to provide vehicle plate numbers for security reasons. Everybody who registered got a magnetic decal or sticker for their car along with a screen-printed T-shirt of Ayodhya temple,” said one of the organisers.

The Tesla cars were lined up in such a way that when the vehicle lights were on, and drones took bird’s eye-view pictures, the word “RAM” spelt out in car lights illuminated the surroundings.

Great enthusiasm across the US

“Despite chilly weather and a long work day, it was heart-warming to see the enthusiasm amongst hundreds of participants as well as attendees at the temple for this show,” said Achalesh Amar from Vishva Hindu Parishad (VHP), one of the organisers of the event.

“Throughout the USA, we noticed unprecedented enthusiasm for these events. Since mid-January we (VHP) have organised 51 massive car rallies in 21 states and 41 cities around the US, and participation has been at its peak,” he said.

Umang Mehta, one of the active volunteers, said, “The Tesla Light Shows in Houston, [Washington] DC, and San Francisco, or rallies and rath yatras are a small gesture of love for the beginning of the celebration of the Ram Temple inauguration in India. The Hindu community has waited for over 25 generations (495 years) for this moment.”