BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir (Hindu Temple) in Ashton-under-Lyne (Manchester) brought together members of the community for an inspiring four-day festival from Thursday 5 May to Sunday 8 May 2022 to commemorate the birth centenary of His Holiness Pramukh Swami Maharaj.

Pramukh Swami Maharaj was one of the world’s most influential spiritual leaders, and he visited Ashton-under-Lyne on nine occasions. During his visit in 1994, he presided over the opening of the temple and consecration ceremonies of the deities at the previously established temple on Russell Street.

His life and work fostered charity, goodwill and harmony, and his life’s credo was, ‘In the joy of others lies our own.’ Throughout 2022, hundreds of thousands around the world are honouring and celebrating his inspiring life of selfless service, devotion and spirituality through a series of uplifting programmes for the whole family.

The event in Ashton-under-Lyne included insightful talks, video shows, traditional Indian folk dance and devotional singing that were presented by swamis from India along with performers of various ages from across the country.

Voices from the local community also shared their personal experiences and explained how the work of Pramukh Swami Maharaj has supported the region.

Prominent guests and leaders from the community, including the Worshipful the Civic Mayor of Tameside, Councillor Janet Cooper, her Consort Mr Dennis Fitzpatrick, and Navendu Mishra MP joined the local congregation for this celebration.

Jasmine Patel said, “Pramukh Swami Maharaj has touched my life and so many others in this Greater Manchester, as well as millions more across the world. It was a memorable experience to celebrate his 100th birthday and learn from his extraordinary life and work and hear more about how he left his special mark on this part of the world.”

Pramukh Swami Maharaj travelled across the world to foster love, peace, harmony, righteousness and faith in God. Under his leadership, BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha (BAPS) flourished into an international spiritual and humanitarian organisation with more than one million members, 55,000 volunteers and 3,850 centres around the world.