A SPECTACULAR parade weaved its way through Bolton to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Shree Kutch Satsang Swaminarayan Temple.

Thousands of people joined the colourful line-up.

Some had flown in from abroad and others had travelled from across the UK for the anniversary.

The carnival parade was the highlight of the celebrations taking place all week.

Mandy Murji, aged 39, originally from Bolton who now who lives in Elton, Bury, said: “The celebrations have been amazing, the amount of people on the parade is just immense. We have people from Australia, Kenya and London who have come for the celebrations.”

She added: “The parade is about bringing people together and conveying our religion to people of other religions so they can understand it.”

The temple opened in 1973 and it was the first of its kind to be built in the UK and Europe.

It officially turned 40 on Friday.

Over the past few months, the temple has been completely redecorated The vibrant parade featuring traditional dancing and musical instruments travelled along Spa Road, past the University of Bolton, before going along Derby Street an on to the temple in Adelaide Street. A temple in London brought up 200 people by coaches.

Dhiral Patel, aged 32, from London, said: “It has been an amazing parade for everybody whatever their race and religion to enjoy.

“It has had amazing support and brought people together which is what we want —unite for the nation.”

Manji Wagjiani, aged 53, from London, added: “It is a very important event, it is a 40th anniversary.

“It is a very big occasion and one temple organised four coaches so we could be part of it.”

Ramji Ragvani, aged 53, from Bolton, said: “I am very pleased with the turnout for the parade, it is very nice. This is our temple and it is celebrating its 40 anniversary which is important.”