PEOPLE from across the town will come together to honour the Hindu goddess of knowledge and wisdom next month.

The Swindon Puja Committee has organised the second annual Hindu festival on February 4 to celebrate Saraswati Puja, an event devoted to the goddess Saraswati, at The Platform in Faringdon Road.

More than 200 people attended the event last year, which was the first of its kind held in the town and organisers are hoping for an even bigger turn out this year.

The festival’s cultural secretary, Sujan Saha, 33, of Commercial Road, said: “Last year, we were really pleased that 200 people came to our festival.

“We arranged the multi-cultural event ourselves to provide free homemade sweets, food and drinks.

This year we are celebrating for the second time and on behalf of the committee, I would like to invite our Swindon people so that they can come and enjoy a different culture.

“Our Puja committee’s main aim is to celebrate Bengali social, culture and religious events throughout the year so that our next generation will learn and remember about our rich, colourful heritage.

“The festival will start at 10am and we will pray to our goddess Saraswati at 11am.

“The committee has also organised a multi-cultural programme in the evening.”

The event begins with various prayers throughout the day, followed by a cultural programme from 5pm where there will be sari tying facilities for women, henna art work for children and a photo shoot with the goddess.

Music and dance will continue into the evening, with performances from bass player Phil Spalding, Giorgio Mollo, and local artist Adam Hodges, and others.

South Swindon MP Robert Buckland, and Mayor Nick Martin will also be at the celebration.

Last year, a statue of Saraswati was shipped over from Calcutta and installed in pride of place in the venue. The community raised £6,000 to stage the event in 2013, but this year it is more likely to be in the region of £7,000. Call for more details 07946506747.