Hindu temple celebrates reopening in new town centre home
SWINDON’S Hindu Temple is hosting an event to officially celebrate its reopening in a new location.
The committee in charge of the place of worship spent months working with Hindu Samaj Swindon and Swindon Borough Council to find a suitable new home for it after burglars repeatedly targeted the previous premises in Cheney Manor.
The sixth break-in happened in January 2022 on the first day of celebrations for Republic Day of India, and was described as a hate crime as ornamental deities and decorations had been thrown to the floor.
Before this desecration, other deities had been moved into storage because criminals kept returning to the industrial estate site to steal from the warehouse which adjoined the temple.
They have since been moved back into the Hindu Temple's new location in Swindon Borough Council's former offices.
Last August, volunteers transformed the space above Chaat Café in Regent House, Theatre Square into a temple which has a seven-year lease and welcomed its first visitors for community activities last September.
The formal opening ceremony will be held on 10am on Sunday, February 12 with three hours of food, worship, and celebration.
Swindon Hindu Temple manager Pradeep Bhardwaj said: “Our prayers to Lord Ganesha, the God of new beginnings and remover of obstacles.
“It would be exactly 479 days since we lost our previous home for the Temple and we are very excited to be able to start serving the religious, cultural, social and charitable needs of the community again.
“During this time, our countless volunteers have worked relentlessly to re-establish the Temple and transform the place into a colourful, vibrant and welcoming hub for the community.
“Now we look ahead with great vigour, excitement, renewed hope and determination.
“As we embark on this new journey and new beginnings, please join us with your full support and participation to make the most of the opportunities, overcome the challenges and rebuild a glorious future for the community.
The programme for the day will include Punyahavaachanam, Ganapathi homam, Sudharshana homam, Shuddhikaran Puja, Sankalpam, Varuna mantras to invoke the Lord of Water, and Shanti mantras.
Hot Indian vegetarian meals and prasadam will be served at the event.
The entrance to the temple is behind the bus stops opposite Swindon MECA. Parking is available at Princes Street, Granville Street, and Fleming Way.
For more information, visit vwww.facebook.com/groups/SwindonHinduTemple/