MORE than 3000 Sikhs took part in a colourful procession through Glasgow to mark the grand opening of Scotland's biggest Gurdwara.

They wore traditional Sikh dress to be among the first to see inside the spectacular £4million temple in Pollokshields.

Traditional drums were played as members of the congregation joined a long procession from the old temple in Nithsdale Road to the new Gurdwara in Albert Drive, half a mile away.

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

Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, MP Anas Sarwar and Glasgow City Council leader Gordon Matheson were among those at the event, along with representatives from other faiths.

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.

The Gurdwara includes a main area of worship, known as the Darbar Sahib Hall, and has space for 900 people. There are also rooms for educational workshops.

Ms Sturgeon, MSP for Glasgow Southside, said: "The new Gurdwara will serve the community through its various services in education, culture and heritage. It is a fine organisation."