A visit to Bhaktivedanta Manor.
As a stay at home mum I have plenty of free time to help at my children’s school. This is something I love to do. Every week I listen to children read for a couple of hours and I’ve helped on a few school trips too.
Last term I was lucky to visit Bhaktivedanta Manor with my son and his year group. Their topic was religion and we had previously visited the local Church of England Church.
Bhaktivedanta Manor is a Gaudiya Vaishnava temple, just outside Watford. The Manor is owned and run by the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON), better known as the Hare Krishna movement. It is ISKCON’s largest property in the United Kingdom, and one of the most frequently visited Radha Krishna temples in Europe. This temple is vey popular with school trips as there is plenty to see and learn.
The Manor house is Grade II listed and stands in 70 acres of landscaped grounds. It was bought and donated by the former Beatle, George Harrison, in 1973. It’s a beautiful building and I felt very lucky to be able to visit.
Our visit started with a trip to visit the Dairy Farm to see the sacred cows, oxen and bull and have a ride on the tractor. We walked around the grounds and saw one of the temples. Then it was time to go into the house for dressing up and a talk by some of the women who worked there. Everyone had to take off their shoes before they went in the house, it was a very busy place with lots of shoes!
It was really interesting to learn a little about Hinduism and the children got the chance to dress-up in traditional dress. I was able to take a photo of my son as long as no-one else was in the picture. I was so glad I was able to see him like this! Then we went downstairs to see the amazing shrine of Krishna, the Deities and watch the arati ceremony. After this it was time for an amazing hot vegetarian feast which was the best meal I’d had in ages.
Our day went very quickly and the children just about had time to get their faces painted before we got on the bus and went back to school.
I think I must have learned as much as the children did and I would recommend a visit to Bhaktivedanta Manor. The atmosphere is amazing and the people were incredibly welcoming. There are lots of opportunities to visit Bhaktivedanta Manor from school trips, to attending one of the daily services, the Festivals or visiting the shop. Admission and parking is free!
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