A TWO day festival celebrating the birth of Lord Ganesha, the Hindu god of good luck, ended with the traditional immersion of the idol in the Thames.

Thousands of people celebrated Ganesh Chaturthi, which is one of the biggest dates in the Hindu calendar, at the Laxmi Narayan Temple on Monday (September 9) and Tuesday.

They enjoyed music, traditional food and children's events, alongside hymns and prayers, at the temple in Neville Close, Hounslow.

The festivities culminated on Tuesday evening with a colourful parade through the streets to ASDA Hounslow, from where coaches left for Chiswick Boat House.

Hundreds looked on there as a statue of Lord Ganesha, a many-armed god with the head of an elephant, was dunked in the Thames in what is known as the Visarjan ceremony.

This is the sixth year the festival, which organising group the Hounslow Ganeshotsav Mandal claims is one of the biggest in the UK, has been held at the temple.

Co-organiser Sachin Mhapankar said people had come from as far afield as the Isle of Man to join in the festivities. He described the procession from the temple to ASDA as 'nothing short of a momentous sight'.