Our topic on India continued this week with a trip to Neasden Mandir. Having learnt in R.E, that Hinduism is the oldest religion in the world with over 900 million followers, it was a wonderful opportunity to experience first hand some of the customs.
On arriving we all took off our shoes as a sign of respect before going in to the Haveli to find out more about how this incredible building came to be in London! The children were impressed with the intricate detail of the wood carving which matched the carpet on which they were sitting.
We heard how 26000 pieces of stone and marble made their way from Bulgaria and Italy all the way to India to be hand carved before being shipped back to Neaseden to be assembled. Toby found it incredible that they managed to do this without breaking a single piece.
Harry remarked ‘When I saw them carving the stone I thought it was amazing, I didn’t think they would build all of it because it was just so big’. But build it they did, a team of over 1000 volunteers spent 3 years assembling the numbered pieces like a giant 3D jigsaw puzzle.
Leo was impressed that the craftsmen from India then came over to England themselves to add the finishing touches.
We were then lucky enough to attend an Arti ceremony the Hindu ceremony of light in which lit candles are waved before images of God. This was Clara’s favourite part. The temple itself is so beautiful and the children all loved looking at the carved pillars, trying to count them and finding the statues of some of the Gods we had been learning about, the Monkey God (Hanuman) and the Elephant God (Ganesh).