A grand procession at BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir, London – popularly known as Neasden Temple – over the weekend commemorated the birth centenary of His Holiness Pramukh Swami Maharaj, one of the world’s prominent spiritual leaders and the creator of the iconic Neasden Temple.
The ‘Nagar Yatra’, as the devotional parade is traditionally called, brought together thousands of men, women and children from across the country for a colourful, joyous occasion through the streets of Alperton and Wembley. The procession featured giant 3D decorative floats exhibiting various aspects of the forthcoming ‘Festival of Inspirations’, including the ‘Island of Heroes’, a children’s cultural adventure-land packed with fun shows and interactive games.
The celebratory gathering included devotional music and was flanked by traditional Indian folk dancing by children and youths dressed in vibrant costumes.
The procession concluded beside the ‘Pramukh Swami Maharaj Maha-Murti’ – a 27-foot image of Pramukh Swami Maharaj housed in the courtyard of Neasden Temple that has been created as a tribute to the Mandir’s creator. Here, the participants joined together for the aarti ceremony creating a vibrant, uplifting and spiritually charged atmosphere.
Pooja Barot, one of the lead organisers of the event, shared: “This wonderful, uplifting occasion invoked memories from 1995 when a similar nagar yatra was held from Trafalgar Square and travelled to Piccadilly Circus in the presence of Pramukh Swami Maharaj during the inauguration of Neasden Temple.
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“We are delighted to have brought together thousands of people once again in the glorious summer sunshine and share with the local community, the universal cultural values that Pramukh Swami Maharaj fostered during his many visits to the UK and on his travels throughout the world.”
The Festival of Inspiration, which opens on July 22, is a 10-day multi-feature cultural event at the internationally acclaimed Neasden Temple marking the centennial birth anniversary Pramukh Swami Maharaj.
This free-of-charge festival is designed as an offer of something for the whole family to enjoy and learn, from the ‘Island of Heroes’ children’s adventure-land, to the ‘Flavours of India’ food court; from live music and dance on the outdoor stage, to three indoor multimedia shows; from a free community health hub with interactive classes, demonstrations and workshops, to paarticipating in the daily maha-aarti ceremony in front of the 27-foot iconic maha-murti of Pramukh Swami Maharaj in front of the Temple.
*Info: Festival of Inspiration