A Hindu temple marked the end of 13 days of celebrations with a chariot festival.

The Tamil cultural event event took place in Bedford Road, Walthamstow, on Sunday, August 25, attracting hundreds of visitors.

Vinayagar is name for the Hindu God Ganesha and Karpaga refers to a mythical tree that has the power to fulfil all wishes.

The chariot is pulled by worshippers and is intended to show unity and strength, and give the message that if people join together, great things can be achieved. It is thought to contain a god or goddess, and the chariot is pulled around the area to bless it.

Wendy Smith, chairman of Waltham Forest Faith Communities Forum, said: “The chariot making its way around the streets of Walthamstow is an amazing sight.

“It enables the temple community to reach out and connect with their neighbours who might not have visited the temple and provides the local community with an opportunity for learning and understanding of Hindu/Tamil culture and religious traditions and the importance of preserving and passing on these traditions and practices to future generations.”

In conjunction with the chariot festival, there was also a Tamil cultural event by The Sri Karpaga Vinayagar Temple, at One Hoe Street, opened by the Mayor of Waltham Forest Cllr Christopher Robbins.

This event included a photo exhibition, an orchestra, dance and talks about Tamil culture. 

It was organised by Waltham Forest Tamil Sangam and Narthanakalayam, a dance institute with the temple.

There are around 200,000 Sri Lankan Tamils in the UK and the majority of them live in London.

The temple has an important role in supporting the Tamil community, providing support for charities in Sri Lanka for children whose parents were victims of war, a computer school and support for war widows and amputees.