Candles were lit as communities paid their respects to those who lost their lives in the Nepal earthquake.

Members of the Shree Swaminarayan Temple, in Wood Lane, Stanmore, held a fundraising event on Friday evening to help those affected by the earthquake in Nepal last week.

More than 500 people attended an evening of prayers and hymns at the temple, and candles were lit in memory of around 7,000 people who lost their lives in the disaster.

Donations continued to grow throughout the evening and quickly surpassed £45,000, with the temple itself pledging the initial £5,000.

The money is already being used on the ground to order 500 emergency shelter tents and supply rice to thousands of affected families, being co-ordinated by devotees and saints from Shree Swaminarayan Mandir Bhuj Kutch and other sister Shree Swaminarayan Temples in Nepal.

Temple president Khimjibhai Khetani said: "The devotees of Shree Swaminarayan Temple, Dharma Bhakti Manor and its supporting organisations were very pleased with the donations gathered in the evening.

“It surpassed our expectations and many people are still contributing to the good cause.

"The money raised so far will be used to ensure that the Nepalese people have the right support needed and communities are rebuilt."

Invited guests included Harrow East candidates Uma Kumaran and Bob Blackman, Harrow West’s Hannah David and Councillor Kanti Rabadia, who all showed their support by lightening a candle.

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The International Siddhashram Shakti Centre, in partnership with Jaysam Builders and Law Partnership Solicitors, also held a special prayer ceremony to fundraise for the appeal.

Organised at the Premier Banqueting Hall, prayers were attended by more than 700 people who helped to raise more than £17,000.

Shri Raj Rajeshwar Guruji of ISSC recited the devotional hymn Hanuman Chalisa three times at the event, dedicating each recital to those who lost their lives in the earthquake, the survivors and the future of Nepal.

This was followed by Bhajans – or Hindu hymns- which were sung by Bhupendra Pandya and Mickey Sethi, and supported by various musicians.