DAY OF CELEBRATION: Sikhs from all over Scotland gathered for a procession to mark the opening of the new gurdwara in Glasgow.

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More than 3000 people formed queues 10-deep to be among the first to see inside the spectacular new £4 million building in Pollokshields, Glasgow.

Volunteers prepared 10,000 chapattis, 3000 samosas and 15,000 cups of tea for visitors from all over Scotland and as far afield as London and Birmingham. Traditional drums were played as the congregation joined a procession from the old temple in Nithsdale Road to the new gurdwara, literally “teacher house”, in Albert Drive.

Glasgow Gurdwara officially opened as the sacred scripture Guru Granth Sahib arrived on a throne and decorated carnival float.

Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, Anas Sarwar MP and Glasgow City Council leader Gordon Matheson were among those at the event, along with representatives from other faiths. Ms Sturgeon wore a traditional headscarf as she joined the throng admiring the new place of worship.

She said: “The new gurdwara will serve the community through its various services in education, culture and heritage. It is a fine building and I am delighted to have it in my constituency. The project has captured the hearts and minds of Scots and I wish the gurdwara every success.”

The Sikh community bought the land for Scotland’s first purpose-built gurdwara in 2003, and it was designed to resemble the traditional temple in Punjab, India. It is equipped with a vast prayer hall, eight classrooms and a large langar – or free kitchen – which will serve thousands of meals each week.

The sacred scripture will be kept on a platform in the impressive prayer room, where up to 1000 people can gather for prayers or wedding ceremonies. Gurdwara president Surinder Singh said: “The opening of this gurdwara is perhaps the biggest step taken since the initial decision by my forefathers to settle in Scotland. The gurdwara is a spiritual home for the Sikhs, providing a special and sacred place that allows us to practise our faith, come together and learn.

“The facility will give us a huge amount of opportunity to share with the wider community the beauty of the Sikh faith, and we welcome everyone to pay a visit to the gurdwara.”

After the procession, crowds gathered to watch the huge Nishan Sahib flag raised outside the gurdwara. A display of fireworks and lanterns brought the celebrations to a close last night. The gurdwara started in a flat in South Portland Street in the 1950s, before moving to Nithsdale Road about a decade later. But the congregation outgrew the premises and the management committee decided to build a temple.