Religious Studies: Year 8 Trip to Neasden Temple and London Central Mosque

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On Thursday 5th December Year 8 went on a trip to Neasden Mandir (or Temple) and London Central Mosque as part of their Common Entrance Religious Studies Course.

They first visited the Mandir. The first traditional Hindu Mandir in Europe, the Temple is a magnificent construction with carved pillars and traditional architecture which looks like it should be in Southern India rather than London.

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An example of the work which came out of the trip.

It is a central focus for Hindu worship in this country (incidentally, the Cameron's celebrated Diwali there in November 2013).

The children went to an 'arti' service, making offerings to the dieties, in the beautiful carved marble central temple; with music, incense and the astonishing craftsmanship all around, it was an experience few of them will forget.

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Afterwards the children had time in the Temple to make drawings of the carvings and deities. We then went to an informative and lively question and answer sesssion, where the children were able to find out more about the practice and core beliefs of Hinduism.

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An illustration of the mosque's iconic minaret.

Following this, we then went to London Central Mosque, again, an iconic building; the first purpose built Mosque in the country, built in Islamic style, with a huge golden-domed prayer hall capable of holding over five thousand worshippers.

Here the children were given a tour of the Mosque, as well as a talk on the fundamental principles and beliefs of Islam.

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After spending some time looking at an exhibition about Islam, they witnessed afternoon prayers in the magnificent main prayer hall before stepping on to the coach back home.

It was a day full of different experiences; and one which certainly gave pause for thought and reflection, as well as providing much information and background to these two major world religions. 

Will Bryant

Head of Religious Studies