Hindu community rededicates Thornton Heath temple
The Hindu temple in Thornton Heath is dedicated to the god Ganesh. I was honoured to be invited as the guest of honour at a ceremony to mark the rededication of the temple and its shrine following a major refurbishment.
The temple, vibrant and colourful, was full of devotees there to pay respects to Lord Ganesh with offerings of food, money, prayers and music. Ganesh, the elephant-headed god, is a great favourite among Hindus, renowned for his playful nature and revered as the overcome of obstacles. The Hindu community in Thornton Heath had to overcome many obstacles to complete the refurbishment of this temple, and it was a delight to join them for this very happy occasion.
Indian food is one of the finest cuisines in the world, and I joined the devotees and temple leaders for a delicious meal after the ceremonies had finished. Cows are considered sacred in Hinduism, and it was a delight to find a bull calf present at the ceremony – under the watchful eye of his keeper from a farm in Kent – to add further solemnity to the occasion.