Monday, December 29, 2014

The Shri Sanatan Hindu Mandir

Alperton, where I am staying in London has a very large East Indian population.  To my surprise just a five minute walk from where I am staying (on my way to the tube station) is a beautiful Hindu temple.  This temple was opened in May of 2010 and is one of two Hindu temples in London.  It took fourteen years to complete and covers 2.4 acres of land.

We were lucky enough to be able to tour the temple and a very kind gentleman told us the history of it. No photography allowed inside but we were given a beautiful guide book to remember it  by.

Intricate forms of carving and moulds from various types of stones are inside and out.  The floor is made from marble imported from India.  The temple was built using ancient techniques based in Hindu scriptures.  Many of the component pieces were hand carved in India and flown over to the UK.

Each morning and evening there are prayers at the temple in line with the Hindu tradition - it also welcomes those of other faiths for repose.

While not a religious person AT ALL I did appreciate the architecture and gracefulness of this structure.  I also admired the dedication of those who worked towards making this dream become such a beautiful reality.  Having visited India I have seen many beautiful temples but as this one was so shiny and new it was really a unique experience for me.

Some basics about Hinduism...there are many "gods"in Hinduism but Hindus believe in one Supreme Entity who created the universe.  He created many devatas which are highly advanced spiritual beings which perpetuate the workings of the entire universe.  Why do Hindus worship the cow?  The cow is considering the embodiment of mother earth as she gives more than she takes - eg: she eats grass and gives milk.  The butter that is obtained from this milk is an essential element of all rituals. Hindus believe in reincarnation - through this process humans have experiences, learn lessons and evolve spiritually. 

So I hope you enjoy the following photographs - I wish I could post pictures of the inside as it was truly stunning.

I hope you agree that it is absolutely stunning and this is nothing compared to the inside. 

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