In pictures: Thousands join Hindu procession to celebrate 25 years of Forest Gate temple

Hindi community celebrates the 25th anniversary of the SKS Swaminarayan Temple East London in a para

Hindi community celebrates the 25th anniversary of the SKS Swaminarayan Temple East London in a parade along Green Street. - Credit: Archant

Thousands of Hindus from all around the country joined a local temple for a parade through the streets to celebrate their silver jubilee at the weekend.

The SKSS Temple, in Shaftesbury Road, Forest Gate, marked their 25th year in the borough with a procession that snaked its way from Wanstead Flats to the temple itself via Green Street in Upton Park on Saturday.

The event, organised by young volunteers, was a roaring success as around 5,000 people danced in the streets to the sound of dhol drummers and traditional Indian folk music.

The SKSS Temple is a place for worshippers from a Hindu sect called Swaminarayan Sampraday which has over 20 million followers worldwide.

The celebration will welcomed guests from all over the world such as India, Kenya, Australia and America.


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Temples from up and down the UK also joined in from as far apart as Bolton, Cardiff, Oldham, Willesden, Harrow, Leicester, Crawley and Stanmore.

Kishor Varsani, who nearly lost his voice from singing at the weekend’s festivities, said: “It was a really brilliant event and it was really great weather as well.

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“We were really lucky. And the amount of people that turned up actually exceeded what we expected.”

So many people turned up for the temple’s anniversary celebrations that some visitors found themselves tucking into the buffet food in the playground of Shaftesbury Primary School next door.

In the evening, East Ham MP Stephen Timms attended a party at the temple along with Newham councillors Unmesh Desai, Rohima Rahman, and Mukesh Patel.

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