London – A visit to the Hindu Temple in Neasden

Visited the Baps Shri Swaminarayan Mandir, Europe’s first traditional Hindu Temple, at Neasden in North London. Because the inside of the temple is not allowed to be photographed, I don’t have any images to show you, just a few of the outside and they too had to be limited to certain angles – a bit annoying, but that’s how it is.

That said, I cannot begin to describe to you the beauty of the inside. The colour, the wooden and marble carvings, the architecture and design just takes your breath away.

Once again this experience taught me that essentially the major religions of the world all really believe in the same things, but they just have different vehicles of expression. Remove these mythological garments and we’re far closer together than we think.

I took the image of the flowers in the Men’s toilet at the Indian restaurant alongside the temple. I was having a wee and looked up and saw them on the wall. I’ve never seen anything like this in a men’s toilet before, so I just had to take the shot. Quite something peeing among the flowers.


About Don

I love life. Sometimes it makes sense, other times not. Discerning its underlying patterns and beauty always provides great reward and meaning and is a passion I ineptly follow. I feel deeply attached to nature and love the sea with its distinct moods and colour and find walking along its beaches wonderfully inspiring. Writing, sketching and photography is a sheer joy for me and the blog is one of the places I am able to express these pursuits.
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12 Responses to London – A visit to the Hindu Temple in Neasden

  1. Katy says:

    Re:- the flowers in the loo. It just shows you that there is beauty in the oddest of places, you just have to look for it. When Barry andI were in the U.K. in 2005, I went into a ladies in Hull, Yorkshire and couldn,t believe my eyes. It was like a beautiful conservatory, simply bursting with gorgeous flowers and plants . I was so surprised that I asked the attendant if I could bring Barry in to see it. Then he went into the gents and to his surprise it was exactly the same. It was a bit like an Alice in Wonderland moment! The Temple architecture is beautiful, but different to our Hindu temples here in S.A. They are much more colourful, but not as ornate. You and Jane are going to be positively “stuffed” with culture when you return home. Thanks for sharing.


    • Don says:

      Katy, I love your story about the loos. I can just see Barry going into that loo. Perhaps we should start adding a little more beauty to them. might deepen and enhance the experience. Lol.
      I’m just sorry that we couldn’t take photos inside. It was absolutely breathtaking. I must say that the cultural fusion here in London is wonderful and we will probably be “stuffed” with culture when we get back. Thanks for sharing Katy.


  2. nrhatch says:

    That’s some temple. Glad you enjoyed it . . . and your sojourn amid the flowers.


  3. Incredible! I would love to see the inside since the outside view is spectacular. Wonderful post.


  4. ladyfi says:

    All religions are much closer than people think… unfortunately, it’s the dogma that keeps people apart.

    Stunning shots – I can only imagine the beauty you found within.


  5. Hudson Howl says:

    I knew not of Baps Shri Swaminarayan Mandir, not really what I would expect.


    • lyn Stephenson says:

      Thanks Don for the photos. I was thinking how true it is what you say, certain architecture can literally take your breath away. Some structures jar the senses; while others have the ability to instill a strange feeling of reverence. I’ve experienced this a number of times.

      Then I came across something called ‘vastu shastra’, which is apparently an ancient science for designing and construction with the focus on creating harmony between building and dwellers. It seems the temple at Neasden was constructed in such a way. Isn’t that marvellous? Can you imagine living in such a dwelling?

      Enjoy your visit and hope you discover other interesting watering holes!


      • Don says:

        Thanks Lyn. I just love that concept you describe. Have never heard of it before, but it makes all the sense in the world. I find that kind of harmony whenever I look at Palladium architecture. Spencer house in St. James’ is built along these lines. I don’t know if you know it? Popping out to an interesting statue in a few moments. Caused quite a bit of controversy. I’m going to do a post on it. Thanks again Lyn – nice chatting.


  6. Don says:

    I also didn’t know of it, Hudson. Glad I found it though.


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