A FAMILY of businessmen performed a special ceremony on Monday to seek the earth's blessing for a new £10m care home in Monmouth.
Preyen Dewani has been running PSP Healthcare Ltd with his father, Prakash and brother, Shrien, for the past two years, and will run the new facility at Gibraltar House once it has been built.
As a Hindu family, they decided to conduct the traditional ceremony, which was led by Brahmin Priest, Raju bhai Mehta.
They invited local councillors, the town mayor and residents living in the current Gibraltar House which will be knocked down when the new one is available.
Mr Preyen Dewani said: "Bhoomi Pooja means Earth Prayer'. In Hindu culture you do it before you start constructing anything, because you have to ask the earth for its blessing.
"The first part of the process is to invite Ganesh to the ceremony, because he is the god that will remove any obstacle and clear the path for a hassle-free construction."
There were many other stages to the ceremony and the family chanted mantras and also made offerings of seeds and flowers.
Mr Dewani added: "Hinduism is very important to us, so we thought it would be nice to do the ceremony.
"We've been looking forward to the ceremony and the residents have been excited about seeing it too."
Now the foundation ceremony has taken place, building work on the new care home and accompanying close care village for the over 55s will get under way. If all goes to plan, the village should be complete in July 2009 and will have a range of facilities, including a sensory garden, a hydrotherapy pool, a cinema and internet cafe.