Swindon Hindu Centre celebrates Ganesh Utsav

The centre recently held a public event for the Hindu festival, Shri Jagannath Rathyatra

A Hindu celebration will see a Ganesh idol carried on a chariot in a lively procession of dancing and music.

Swindon Hindu Centre is celebrating Ganesh Utsav, a religious celebration commemorating the birth of the Hindu god Ganesha, from 18 to 23 September.

The idol will be taken from Wharf Green Square in Swindon town centre to the Swindon Hindu Centre, where prayers and activities will be held over four days.

Pratap Mane, from the centre, said the public event will be a Swindon first.

The centre recently celebrated Shri Jagannath Rathyatra, which also featured a procession where three idols of Jagannath and his brother and sister were taken through the town.

"This is one of the major festivals celebrated in India," Mr Mane said.

"People like me also celebrate this in their home with their friends and family.

"But there are a number of Indian expats here in Swindon so the idea is to share it with them and for the new generation."

The Hindu centre has gained support and permissions from Swindon Borough Council and Wiltshire Police for the event and also secured a grant from Nationwide to help with costs.

"We are trying to promote it and bring the culture to the community and share it with the public," Mr Mane added.

"We want to show the Swindon community that this is what we do.

"We are expecting a decent turnout."

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