Monday, 25 August 2014

A visit to the Buddhapadipa temple in Wimbledon

Who would have thought, a Buddhist temple in Wimbledon. Many people have no idea that this even exists and to be honest, why would they?! It is not something you would casually walk past. When you walk up to the location of the temple it feels like you are walking into someone's back garden. The temple is just behind a large house. There were a few other visitors coming to see this magnificent building out of curiosity. The only other people we saw were Buddhist nuns. I had no idea Buddhism had nuns, I thought it was only monks, probably very naive of me to think that! I went to see the architecture of the building and to just see what this was all about. I had seen photos on the internet but nothing could prepare me for the scale of the building. The size just does not come across in these photos or any photos I have seen. You have to see it for yourself to really grasp the size. It's not bigger than a standard church, but it is not a garden shed. I have tried to get as many photos that help you to understand the size, e.g. with the benches and then a shot where the house is in view.

The temple was the first Thai Buddhist temple to be built in the UK. It was originally located in Christ Church Road in Richmond in 1965 but was moved to Wimbledon in 1976. There are lots more photos on their Flickr group.
There is also a garden and a lake in the temple grounds. We stumbled upon this circle with what looked like Peter Rabbit in the centre.

When you leave the temple you can walk around the roads of Wimbledon village and take in some spectacular views of London.

I really recommend making a day trip to the temple, but perhaps ring in advance to see if you can visit inside the temple. When I visited there was a service going on so it didn't feel right to go in and have a nosey around. Also, the bluey-green thing in the middle of the photo above is part of the Wimbledon tennis grounds. Do let me know of any hidden gems you have found in your area!

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