Idols from Jaipur installed in UK temple
FOURTEEN marble idols imported from India have been installed in a prominent UK temple, in a ceremony attended by hundreds of people from across Britain.
People attended the 'consecration ceremony' of 14 marble idols imported from northern Indian state of Jaipur and installed in the Geeta Bhawan temple in Derby.
The statues cost £40,000 and were paid by donations from worshipers, who also contributed to the building of the new temple, which opened last summer.
Colourful procession were held through the streets of Derby to celebrate the occasion. The statues were installed after the procession and Madhu Shastri, from the National Council of Hindu Temples, addressed the gathering.
"We've never had anything like this in Derby before - it's been a fantastic day," Prem Shukla, who helped organise the procession, said.
The procession was the culmination of the four-day process of preparing the 14 icons, which represent as many different gods and goddesses.
Five priests washed them in holy water from the Ganga and stood them on wheat grain and rice to 'purify' them before they were dressed with traditional flowers and clothes.
At the forefront of the procession was 84-year-old Lalita Kanji Raithatha. Praising the fund raising by Derby's Hindu community, senior temple trustee Kanty Patel said, "We've had a good response from people from day one."
The Hindu community in Oxford has also started the process to build a temple in the ancient university town.
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