AN ambitious plan to create the region’s biggest Hindu effigy is nearing completion.

Work began last weekend to build Ravana, a multi-headed demon-king in Hindu tradition.

The project is being overseen by Bolton Hindu Forum as part of a number of Hindu celebrations and festivals.

Paras Agravat, of the forum, said: “Ravana will later be burned to symbolise the destruction of evil, it’s similar to burning a Guy Fawkes.”

Bolton’s Hindu community will be hard a work finishing off the effigy this weekend at Shree Kutch Satsang Swaminarayan Temple, Adelaide Street, from 11am on Saturday and Sunday.

Mr Agravat said: “The temple and its youth groups have been kind enough to lead the project, and we hope everyone will come and get involved.”

He added: “Sunday is International Sewa Day, a day Hindus are encouraged to donate time to help others, so it’s a great opportunity to get involved and provide some valuable community service.”

It is a busy time on the Hindu calendar as the the festival of Navrati began yesterday.

“It’s all about energy and so there will be dancing for nine days at temples and other venues across Bolton,” explained Mr Agravat. .

On the tenth night - Dusshera - the effigy of Ravana will be burned.

This year’s celebration will take place at the new venue of Bolton Cricket Club, Farnworth, on October 21.

Beginning at 4pm, the free event will also include a spectacular firework display, vegetarian food and a children’s lantern parade.

The youngsters will be marching in Lord Rams’ army parade.

Lord Ram is a major deity of Hinduism. He is the seventh avatar of the god Vishnu, one of his most popular incarnations.

The festival also marks the start of preparations for Diwali, the festival of lights.

Then, on October 27 from 7pm to midnight, the festival of Sharad Purnima will be celebrated at Festival Hall in Bolton Town Hall.

Also known as Kojagiri Purnima, this is a harvest festival which falls on the first full moon day of the Hindu lunar month Ashvin.

Mr Agravat said: “There is a lot going on and we hope that everyone will enjoy the events.”