Charity Activities

British Tamil Hindu Last Rites

Vision: Every human deserves a right to a dignified disposal of their body. If each one of us took care of our last journey arrangements, our loved ones may have undisturbed time for grieving.

Objective: To provide a one stop portal of information pertaining to the British Tamil Hindus for performing last rites in the UK.

Introduction: Funeral arrangements appear cumbersome at the time of shock from the loss of a loved one in the backdrop of uprooted life in a home away from home, cultural taboos against mentioning the D word, less than ideal networking and sectoral differences amongst us.

Content-UK law sets out process and procedures to be followed at expected and unexpected deaths which can be found at Death and bereavement – GOV.UK ( to these procedures being followed, the family/GP/hospital inform the funeral directors for collection of the deceased. The family could get in touch with the specific funeral director in the event of an existing pre-paid funeral plan or any offering Hindu /Asian funeral directors in larger cities such as London, Manchester, Birmingham and Leicester, whereas in smaller towns the nearest temple would be able to direct.

Pre-paid Hindu funeral plans and Hindu funeral services are provided nationally by funeral services.Of these some as mentioned below cater specific to the Tamil diaspora , specifically the Srilankan Tamils , a more Saivaite way of last rites. Once you have chosen the funeral director, there are various options discussed with the family.The costs currently start from 999 £+ VAT. All of the responsibility of funeral including priest, funeral director, Thirumurai recitations and Florists, may be entrusted to them or hired separately. Most take a small down payment to cover third party fees and the rest is to be paid within a month of the ceremony. Most funeral directors now offer a choice of burial or cremation and there are questions on attire, appearance, ashes collection and disposal to name but a few. The family and friends are allowed viewing the deceased several times at the directors, should there be a long wait before the actual final date. Chosen rituals are usually performed at the funeral director’s office and occasionally at home , at the end of which the coffin /casket is shut, followed by transfer from the office on to the carriage of choice to transport to the crematorium. 4-8 people lift the coffin/casket at the crematorium from the carriage to the “chapel of rest” where we are but able to say a short prayer ,speech and bid farewell. The delivery into the “cremation retort “ is witnessed by at least 2 people for a fee and that concludes the ceremony. Any further rituals will have to be performed at home given sparse time allocated to spend at the crematorium, no more than an hour in total. Information on rivers / water ways where scattering of ashes is permitted can be found on the below website.

Summary: Funeral arrangements may appear scary and cumbersome but information sharing eases the journey and together we can do it.

Useful Information:

Official websites:
-, commission/Embassy

Other Relevant websites:,,
London:, southall- Tamil
Leicestershire: Tamil

Traditional Clothing-Men: Vetti, thundu -Dhotis (

Garlands by location:
Nationwide: , 020 8903 0888, 0208 514 7777,
Branches at East Ham and Wembley; Closed 90 cms garland is sufficient length, with option of local free delivery and nationwide courier service.

London, Luton, Milton Keynes:,
Contact: 0208 560 1645, 07859 915743

London and South East, select areas of midlands –; Postal delivery to rest of UK.

Scattering of ashes:

Priest contact: Saiva Munnetra Sangam -0208 5144 732
Oadhuvaar contact: Mr Manickam ,London,07735752295
Independent- Mr.Siva 0791 220 6171,London and South East

I created this as I had difficulties to organise a friend’s funeral.
Please note that I collected the information to the best of my knowledge and I am not liable for any misinformation.Please contact the services mentioned and use your discretion to avail the service.I do not personally benefit by any of the businesses.

If you want any further information, please email me at and I will aim to reply as soon as possible.

Dr Nirmala, London
Feb 2021

(If you have any relevant information, please let us know and we can update the webpage)

Writing and speaking on this topic has been a rewarding personal journal which is enforced by the feedback received. I see a greater reluctance to discuss this topic which means more work needs to be done to bring about culture change. To break these barriers, I am planning on producing discussion videos on this topic amongst our British Indian Tamil Hindu community. I have initiated discussions with my local hospital through pastoral care providers which you too might want to take up with your local hospitals.

Legally Financial conduct authority will be regulating funeral service providers and intermediaries from July 2022 to achieve good outcomes for consumers and offer fair value, the consultations for it closed in April 2021.

It would be worth finding out developments before committing to pre-paid funeral plans and those who have existing plans, do seek clarification with your provider. I will close this on a reassuring note that many individuals are keen to offer support for last rites. Thank you and will talk to you in 3 months time. In the mean time I am reachable via: