Slough Mitra Mandal’s 12th Ganeshotsav was celebrated in association with Hindu Cultural Society at the Slough Hindu Temple, Slough, Berkshire, UK from Wednesday 31-Aug-22 to Sunday 4-Sep-22. The 5-day Ganeshotsav was attended by ganpati devotees from all around Slough. Devotees flocked from Langley, Hounslow, Maidenhead, Reading, Bristol, Newbury and other areas.
The Decoration theme for this year’s Ganeshotsav was based on India’s 75th Year of Independence (Azadi ka Amrit Mahostav), Queen Elizabeth platinum Jubilee marking the 70th anniversary of the occasion of Queen Elizabeth II and remembering our beloved India’s nightingale Lata Mangeshkar. Delhi’s Red Fort was the background decor of Ganpati Idol.
Slough Mitra Mandal (SMM) was founded by a small group of enthusiasts in 2010 with a view to bring the Indian community together. It’s aim is to take a lead in organising festivals and sports events thus offering a platform to the community to showcase their passion, talent and views. SMM’s mission is to sow and grow seeds of Indian culture in the young generation and engage the community in enriching values and importance of humanity.
This year’s Ganeshotsav was no different. Our youngest participant was a 2 year old in Fancy Dress and then a 65 year old lady melodiously singing during the Antakshari competition. Almost 4000 devotees visited the Ganeshotsav, some in very vibrant colourful traditional Indian dresses, kurtas and sarees which was a sight to behold. Such was the enthusiasm and devotion of the community, that SMM was proud to serve Mahaprasad (Langar/Food) to almost 3000 devotees across 6 meals that included Kheer, Suji Halwa, Moong Halwa and various varieties of Veg curries.The 5-day festival was celebrated with Ganesh Aarti (Prayers) twice a day, Cultural events like Kids Fancy Dress, Kids drawing competition, Kids and Grown-up’s Talent show (Dance, signing), Community Antakshari, Atharvashirsha Sahastravartan (1000 time group chant of Ganpati Stotra) and a Marathi Entertainment program by Mr Ashok Naigaonkar.
Fantastic Raffle prizes for all age groups, along with a 22 carat gold ring and lucky draw prizes offered by the event sponsors were one of the highlights of the event. There were free Mehendi and Make-up stalls on offer too.
On the 5th day (Sunday 4-Sep-22), Ganpati Idol Visarjan (Immersion in water) was observed with mixed emotions bidding adieu to our beloved Ganpati Bappa. With the Ganesh Visarhan, we all wished Lord Ganesha will always be there to shower his blessings and love on all of us and keep us safe.
SMM Committee of 6 core members, were thankful to commercial sponsors for the event,and all the volunteers who assisted in every aspect of planning & managing the 5 day event. The Ganeshotsav wouldn’t have been possible without the guidance and team work of The Slough Hindu Temple and Thames Valley Police.
Mandar Mirashifor SMM