• Saturday, August 13, 2022

NEWS

Grand procession commemorates Pramukh Swami Maharaj’s centennial birth anniversary

By: Shelbin MS

A GRAND procession took place from Alperton to BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir, London – popularly known as ‘Neasden Temple’ – on Sunday (17) to commemorate the birth centenary of His Holiness Pramukh Swami Maharaj, one of the world’s great 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.

Swamis from Neasden Temple participate in the procession to commemorate the birth centenary of His Holiness Pramukh Swami Maharaj in London, the UK, on Sunday, July 17, 2022. (Picture: BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha)
Swamis from Neasden Temple participate in a procession to commemorate the birth centenary of His Holiness Pramukh Swami Maharaj in London, the UK, on Sunday, July 17, 2022. (Picture: BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha)

The procession featured giant 3D decorative floats exhibiting various aspects of the forthcoming ‘Festival of Inspirations’ (click here for details), including the ‘Island of Heroes’, a children’s cultural adventureland packed with fun shows and interactive games.

The celebratory gathering included devotional music and was flanked by children and youth, who dressed in vibrant costumes, performed traditional Indian folk dance.

Birth centenary celebrations of His Holiness Pramukh Swami Maharaj
Young participants present cultural dance during a procession to commemorate the birth centenary of His Holiness Pramukh Swami Maharaj in London, the UK, on Sunday, July 17, 2022. (Picture: BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha)

The procession fittingly concluded beside the ‘Pramukh Swami Maharaj Maha-Murti’ – a 27-foot statue of Pramukh Swami Maharaj housed in the courtyard of Neasden Temple that has been set up as a tribute to the temple’s creator. The participants assembled there for the ‘arti’ ceremony creating a vibrant, uplifting and spiritually charged atmosphere.

Birth centenary celebrations of His Holiness Pramukh Swami Maharaj
Young participants present cultural dance during a procession to commemorate the birth centenary of His Holiness Pramukh Swami Maharaj in London, the UK, on Sunday, July 17, 2022. (Picture: BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha)
Birth centenary celebrations of His Holiness Pramukh Swami Maharaj
The process to commemorate the birth centenary of His Holiness Pramukh Swami Maharaj on Ealing Road. (Picture: BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha)

Pooja Barot, one of the lead organisers of the event, said, “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.

“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 travels throughout the world.”

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