A SPECTACULAR Hindu ceremony celebrating elephant god Ganesh returned to Clacton for the ninth time.

The annual Ganesha Visarjan festival marks the end of ten days of prayer and celebration.

Offerings are made to Ganesh and a clay statue of the elephant god is carried into the North Sea and immersed in the water.

Hundreds of worshippers from the Shree Karphaha Vinayagar Temple in east London attended the colourful ceremony at the resort’s West Beach.

The event is supported by the Hindu Cultural and Heritage Centre in Clacton, which has been run from the home of Sushila and Dihrajlal Karia for almost 40 years.

Dihrajlal said: “It was an absolutely superb day.

“Not only did we have about five or six coaches and about 400 to 500 people come from east London, but a lot of local people came out for the ceremony.

“This is the ninth year and local people now really enjoy it - it’s fantastic.

“They also enjoyed the food - which was served to more than 700 people.

“The statue is made of straw and clay and when it touches the water it dissolves.

“It’s symbolic of nature returning to nature.”

Tendring Council chairman Dan Land joined the festival alongside councillor Chris Amos.