Dancing in the rain

10:10am Friday 5th January 2007

By Sukhi Anand

THOUSANDS of visitors enjoyed a street parade marking the tenth anniversary of one of Harrow's largest Hindu temples.

Members of the Shree Kutch Satsang Swaminarayan Temple in Westfield Lane, Kenton, organised the huge celebration for worshippers on Saturday afternoon.

Bronze idols, usually displayed inside the temple, were paraded on floats, while dancers and musicians performed in the streets.

The temple was originally opened in Vaughan Road, West Harrow, in 1976 but was moved to Kenton in 1996 to accommodate the ever-growing congregation.

It was funded and built through donations and voluntary work.

As well as the procession, children from the temple's Ghanshyam Nursery and older children who attend weekly Gujarati classes and Hinduism classes took part in a cultural show to celebrate the opening of a new hall which will be used as a community centre for older devotees.

Throughout the week, worshippers turned up in their hundreds for early morning and evening prayers.

Harrow East MP Tony McNulty and a number of local councillors also joined in with the festivities.

Police set up road diversions along Roe Green Park, Kingsbury High Road and Kenton Lane to cope with the large crowds and the two-hour event passed without any trouble.

Naresh Savalia, a member of the temple's committee, helped to organise the event. He said: "Even though it was windy and raining, it didn't put people off. People came from all over the world to celebrate with us.

"Everything went very well. There were about 5,000 people there and ten different floats."

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