The 13th year of Slough Mitra Mandal’s (SMM) Ganeshotsav was celebrated with all fanfare, fervour and excitement at The Hindu Cultural Society’s Slough Hindu Temple in Slough, Berkshire, UK.
The 13 years of SMM Ganeshotsav celebration has brought together the Indian community, not only from Slough, Windsor, Maidenhead, Reading, but entire Southeast of England and parts of London.
During the 7 days of celebration, the Ganpati Bappa was adorned seated on a Chariot, Charioted by Mushak (Ganpati Mouse), with surrounding decoration from Mahabharat depicting Lord Krishna reminding Arjuna of his duty as Warrior.
The event started with Cultural Performances (Kids Fancy Dress, All age talent show). The welcome colourful procession was a grand announcement of Bappa’s arrival amongst Dhol-Tasha played by Slough Mitra Mandal team, with Lezhim play and Bhagwaa (Saffroon) Flags flying around the temple.
The Slough Mitra Mandal Ganeshotsav saw over 5000 devotees visiting their beloved Ganpati Bappa, including 3600 devotees who enjoyed the Mahaprasad over 5 days. During the festival, there was enthusiastic participation in Kids drawing competition and Community group Antakshari.
The last (5th) day of SMM Ganeshotsav was divine and heavenly, with Atharvashirsha (1000 time group recital of Ganesh Mantra) followed by a spiritual performance by National “Bal Shree” awardee (by Govt of India) Guru Vidwan Shri Sujay Shanbhag from India, presenting “Rang” a dance feature unveiling the shades of devotion on Lord Pandurang. The stories of Namdev, Tukaram, Gorakumbhar, Pundalika was enacted on beautiful Marathi Abhangs.
Ganpati Bappa was bid a final adieu by the 6 member Core Committee of Slough Mitra Mandal – Adhish Desai, Anand Pandit, Mandar Mirashi, Nilesh Deshpande, Sachin Nemane, Yogi Chavan and the ocean of team of volunteers, during the Visarjan procession attended by around 500 devotees.
The SMM Core Committee expressed their gratitude towards all volunteers, sponsors and donors of food items and Mahaprasad, without whom this community event would not have been possible, thus ensuring the local community and newly migrated Indian community in surrounding areas continue to celebrate Indian traditions and festivals beyond 7 seas.