Crematorium makes history with ‘UK first’ Pooja Room

The Great Glen Crematorium held a service and dedication day on Saturday 2 February for the blessing of Shiva and its new Pooja Building, which is claimed to be the first in the country.

Hundreds of people attended to see the Pooja Room, the marble statue of Shiva – a Hindu deity – and to join in with the acts of blessing. Harvey Watson, the crematorium manager, opened the day’s proceedings with a welcome address.

The new Pooja Room

Gordon Dunn, the Westerleigh regional director said he was proud that the company was able to provide this new facility for the local area and thanked the local representatives of the Hindu community for their help and advice in bringing the Pooja Room project to reality.

Assembled musicians in the chapel

The marble statue of Shiva that has been erected adjacent to the Pooja Room was donated to the crematorium by local care home operator and musician, Sailesh Raja. The statue was brought from India and sits around 36 inches high on a plinth at the side of the building, facing towards the rising sun. It bears a plaque commemorating Raja’s late mother and brother.The Shiva is expected to become an important place of pilgrimage for the Hindu community.

Shaliesh Raja and crematorium manager Harvey Watson

Leicester City councillor Modi said: “Today Great Glen has made history, remember this date and put it in your diary. Nowhere in this country or even Europe do we have a facility like this and we need to thank Great Glen and Westerleigh for providing such a fantastic facility. Never before has music been played in a crematorium to bless Shiva as this is always done in a temple.”

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