This Article is From Nov 01, 2016

Diwali Celebrated At Neasden Temple In London

Diwali Celebrated At Neasden Temple In London

Neasden Temple, in north London was decorated with dazzling bright, intricate Indian pattern lamps.

London: Hundreds of people celebrated Diwali at the famous BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir London in the UK, with Europe's largest Hindu temple serving over 1200 vegetarian dishes to the devotees on the holy occasion of festival of lights.

The temple, also known as Neasden Temple, in north London was decorated with dazzling displays of bright, intricate Indian patterns and flickering lamps.

Hundreds of worshipers and visitors arrived at the temple throughout the day yesterday and offered their prayers. In the evening, a special ceremony for home and business owners was held.

The 'chopda pujan ceremony' is an occasion for business owners to close their existing account books and open new ones in preparation for the year ahead.

Worshipers were also captivated by the iconic Annakut, a sumptuous arrangement of over 1,200 freshly prepared vegetarian dishes offered in thanksgiving to God.

The current spiritual leader of BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha, Mahant Swami Maharaj had sent his (Hindu) New Year blessings.

The acting High Commissioner of India to the UK, Dinesh Patnaik, also visited the temple for the celebrations.

In his address, he said that it was "a proud moment" for him to be present on such an auspicious occasion.

He also talked about the "positive energy" created by the temple in "bringing the community together in prayer and service".

The worshipers also donated some money for the victims of recent earthquake in Italy.

Pooja Patel, a young volunteer at the temple, said, "What makes Diwali and New Year so special is the fusion of spirituality and culture. It is a time where one has an opportunity to reflect and give, and welcoming visitors to experience the vibrancy, the deeper religious significance of these Hindu festivals is a privilege that I look forward to every year."

Built in 1992 using Bulgarian limestone and 2,000 tonnes of imported Italian marble, the temple is famous with Indian tourists and diplomats.

The temple was also visited by London's first Muslim Mayor Sadiq Khan just days ahead of his election.

(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)