A colourful procession was held through the streets of Leicester, UK, on Sunday 10 April 2022 as part of the year-long celebrations across the world to commemorate the birth centenary of His Holiness Pramukh Swami Maharaj.
The joyous occasion happened to fall on Chaitra Sud 9, the Indian calendrical date of Bhagwan Swaminarayan’s and Bhagwan Ramachandra’s divine manifestation on earth.
The procession was organised by devotees of BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir, Leicester, and attended by swamis from BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir, London, visiting swamis from India en route to North America, as well as hundreds of devotees, members of the local community and distinguished guests, including the Mayor of Leicester, Sir Peter Soulsby, and former MP of Leicester, Keith Vaz.
The colourful procession, flanked by traditional Indian folk dancing and devotional music began at the Mandir on Pramukh Swami Junction, and proceeded along Catherine Street, Doncaster Road and through the famous ‘Golden Mile’ to the Belgrave Roundabout.
A beautifully decorated peacock float carried the murtis of Akshar-Purushottam Maharaj, Nilkanth Varni, Sita-Rama, Shri Hanumanji, Pramukh Swami Maharaj and Mahant Swami Maharaj. Two large elephant floats also led the procession to honour the late Leicester City Football Club owner Khun Vichai.
Sanjiv Patel, a lead volunteer for BAPS in Leicester, shared, “Pramukh Swami Maharaj had visited Leicester on numerous occasions, promoting selfless service, interfaith harmony and peaceful living to the community. His teachings of peace, integrity, kindness and cooperation inspired thousands to live by his motto, ‘In the joy of others lies our own.’”