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Hundreds attend opening of Swindon's Hindu temple

2023-06-11 02:16:25 source:The Washington Post author:Press center8 click:638order

Some 400 people attended the opening of a Hindu temple in Swindon on Sunday.

The Hindu Temple and Cultural Centre will occupy two floors in Regent House, with the temple sitting on the second floor.

The space will also be used for cultural activities such as Bollywood dancing and Zumba.

Its opening comes nearly 18 months after Swindon's previous temple closed following safety concerns and a series of burglaries.

Pradeep Bhadwaj, chairman of the temple, said that having so many people attend the event was "overwhelming to say the least".

The opening ceremony was carried out by Gurukul Sudershan - the priest of London's East Ham Temple. He purified the temple with fire before blessing the devotees.

Harish Lakhani, who worships at the temple, said: "We are peace-loving and want to spread the good culture that we have."

Mr Bhadwaj added: "This is not just a place of worship - this is also a platform for the community to give back to the town, to do charitable acts.

"In our Hindu temple we take great pride in serving our society and community."

The temple closed in October 2021 after repeated break-ins caused significant damage which led Swindon Borough Council to determine that the building was unfit for occupation.

Finding a new location was not easy and it took almost 18 months to identify and move into a suitable site.

Mr Bhardwaj said electrical audio equipment and "lots of the religious artefacts" were damaged in the last break-in, with copper wiring and other items reported to be stolen.

He explained that statues were found thrown on the ground downstairs, with every room in the temple area "turned upside down".

The main statues of deities were stored in a secret location to prevent them from being damaged.

They were put back on display on Sunday.

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