A Ganesh idol being carried on a chariot in a procession of dancing and music was at the centre of Hindu celebrations as the Swindon Hindu Centre celebrated Ganesh Utsav, a religious celebration commemorating the birth of the Hindu god Ganesha.

The idol was set be taken from Wharf Green Square in the town centre to the Swindon Hindu Centre, for four days of prayers and activities. The centre recently celebrated Shri Jagannath Rathyatra, which also featured a procession where three idols of Jagannath and his brother and sister were taken through the town.

A first for the Wilshire town, Pratap Mane, from the centre, said the public event will be

"This is one of the major festivals celebrated in India. People like me also celebrate this in their home with their friends and family.

"But there are a number of Indian expats here in Swindon, so the idea is to share it with them and for the new generation." The Hindu centre has gained support and permissions from Swindon Borough Council and Wiltshire Police for the event and also secured a grant from Nationwide to help with costs.

"We are trying to promote it and bring the culture to the community and share it with the public," Mr Mane added. "We want to show the Swindon community that this is what we do.

"We are expecting a decent turnout."