A grand procession took place in London on Sunday 17 July 2022 to commemorate the birth centenary of His Holiness Pramukh Swami Maharaj, one of the world’s great spiritual leaders and creator of the iconic Neasden Temple.
The ‘nagar yatra’, as the devotional parade is traditionally called, brought together thousands of devotees from across the country for a colourful, joyous occasion through the streets of Alperton and Wembley, suburbs near BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir.
Led by women carrying decorative kalash pots on their heads, the approximately 3-mile procession featured large 3D decorative floats exhibiting various aspects of the forthcoming ‘Festival of Inspiration’ (please click here
for further 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 traditional Indian folk dancing by children and youths dressed in vibrant costumes.
The procession fittingly concluded beside the Pramukh Swami Maharaj maha-murti – a 27-foot image of Pramukh Swami Maharaj housed in the courtyard of Neasden Temple that has been created as a tribute to the Mandir’s creator.
Throughout the journey, the devotees were kindly supported by police officers from local constabularies as well as by BAPS volunteers who not only ensured participants remained cool and hydrated amid the scorching summer heat but also cleaned the roads of any litter afterwards.
Pooja Barot, one of the lead organisers of the event, shared, “This wonderful, uplifting occasion invoked memories from 1995 when a similar nagar yatra travelled from Hyde Park to Piccadilly Circus in the presence of Pramukh Swami Maharaj during the inauguration of the Mandir in London. We are delighted to have brought together thousands of people once again and share with the local community the universal cultural values that Pramukh Swami Maharaj fostered during his many visits to the UK and on his travels throughout the world.”