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Record turnout for annual Sikh march from Barking to Seven Kings

PUBLISHED: 10:00 04 September 2019

The annual Nagar Kirtan procession was led by the saffron-robed Panj Piare (the five beloved of the guru). Picture: Gurpreett Bhatia

The annual Nagar Kirtan procession was led by the saffron-robed Panj Piare (the five beloved of the guru). Picture: Gurpreett Bhatia

Archant

Nearly 7,000 people took part in an annual Sikh march between temples in Barking and Seven Kings to mark the first revelation of holy scriptures.

A huge crowd paraded from Barking to Seven Kings Sikh temples via Ilford Lane and the High Road. Picture: Gurpreet BhatiaA huge crowd paraded from Barking to Seven Kings Sikh temples via Ilford Lane and the High Road. Picture: Gurpreet Bhatia

The annual Nagar Kirtan, held by Sikh movement Singh Sabha London East, took place on Sunday, September 1.

The custom involves the processional singing of hymns as the community march from the Gurdwara in North Street, Barking, to the Gurdwara in High Road, Seven Kings, via Ilford Lane.

The procession, which lasts up to four hours, was led by the saffron-robed Panj Piare - the five beloved of the guru - followed by the holy Sikh scripture on a float.

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The congregation followed behind singing hymns along the way and were joined by families on route to make a large procession.

The streets were thronged by worshippers, well wishers and Sikh families handing out food to people on the procession.

Balbir Singh, treasurer at the Singh Sabha Gurdwara, said: "It was a record turnout. I'd say we had nearly 7,000 people there.

"Everyone enjoyed themselves and the weather was great. People did an excellent job providing food and the volunteers did a great job too."

Sam Tarry, prospective parliamentary nominee for the Labour Party in Ilford South, said he was "delighted and honoured" to join the celebrations.

He said: "I have enjoyed attending this annual event for many years that brings out families and the whole community Sikh and non-Sikh alike to share food and watch as the saffron-robed and bare footed Panj Pyare led the procession through the streets."

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