Bradford Lakshmi Narayan Hindu Temple

Bradford Lakshmi Narayan Hindu Temple

341 Leeds Road

Bradford

BD3 9LS

Telephone: 01274 395603

Fax: 01274 395603

Email: info@bradfordmandir.org

Website: http://www.bradfordmandir.org/

On 24th May 2007, Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Phillip opened the brand new £3 million Lakshmi Narayan Mandir in Bradford.  According to the official website, this Mandir has an overall congregation of 2000-3000 worshippers and is attached to a community centre which provides hot lunches for elderly people, religious education classes, cultural activities and mother tongue classes.  The organisation responsible for building the new temple, the Hindu Cultural Society of Bradford still maintain a building in a nearby street, St Margaret’s Terrace.

2015-07-07-10-58-11

The Lakshmi Narayan Mandir, Bradford

Unlike many religious institutions which only allow male priests, the priestly duties in Bradford are managed by a male and a female, husband and wife team.  Our interviewee thought that this arrangement worked “really beautifully because then they understand as a married couple the challenges of the worshipers who come here.”

As well as regularly hosting school visits from as far afield as York, activities which take place in the mandir include an elderly day centre, yoga classes and a children’s group. The mandir also caters for important life cycle rites including weddings and funerals.  Its role as a polling station also means that visitors who may not have visited a Hindu mandir previously will also come and have a look around.

Our interviewee explained that the busiest days for worship are Mondays and weekends. As Monday is a dedicated day of Shiva worship those who wish “to do hands on worship rather than priests doing it for them” will visit on Mondays to worship “a symbol of Shiva which is called Shiva Lingam.”

Our interviewee explained that the mandir is named after the main deities in this temple, Lakshmi and Narayan, Narayan, being another name for Krishna. Two deities were brought from the old temple to the new, and are displayed in the main shrine.2015-07-07-11-55-40

The main shrine

Unlike many religious institutions which only allow male priests, the priestly duties in Bradford are managed by a male and a female, husband and wife team.  Our interviewee thought that this arrangement worked “really beautifully because then they understand as a married couple the challenges of the worshipers who come here.”

As well as regularly hosting school visits from as far afield as York, activities which take place in the mandir include an elderly day centre, yoga classes and a children’s group. The mandir also caters for important life cycle rites including weddings and funerals.  Its role as a polling station also means that visitors who may not have visited a Hindu mandir previously will also come and have a look around.

Our interviewee explained that the busiest days for worship are Mondays and weekends. As Monday is a dedicated day of Shiva worship those who wish “to do hands on worship rather than priests doing it for them” will visit on Mondays to worship “a symbol of Shiva which is called Shiva Lingam.”

Our interviewee explained that the mandir is named after the main deities in this temple, Lakshmi and Narayan, Narayan, being another name for Krishna. Deities were brought from the old temple to the new, and are displayed in the main shrine.

2015-07-07-12-00-20

The three original deities (bottom left)  from the old temple

Originally, it was not planned to bring the deities from the old mandir on St Margaret’s Terrace to the new mandir, however according to our interviewee, the planning application and development of the temple did not proceed smoothly until the two deities were brought from the old temple – indicating the power that the deities had  to guide the direction of the project. Our interviewee explained how the deities were taken to the river ?Wharfe? at Bolton Abbey to be washed before their installation, an idea suggested by the temple priest:

“I think very cleverly the priest which helped us to install all this from India, had a very clever talk process to analyse your surroundings.  It’s not all about India, it’s where you’re living.  That cohesion, that appreciating, so every time now the Hindu community go to Bolton Abbey, it’s special, but it’s even more special because we can say…  “Do you remember that day we came here?”  It was fantastic”

A link to India does remain, primarily through the shrine, which is made of Makrana marble, the same marble which the Taj Mahal is made from.  Indeed, one of our interviewees told us that the marble for the shrine at the mandir comes from the same quarry as the Taj Mahal stone.  In a building made from Yorkshire stone, containing a shrine made from the same stone as the Taj Mahal, the Bradford Lakshmi Narayan Hindu Temple is a physical manifestation of a confident, prospering community who appreciate the customs of their ancestors and their Yorkshire heritage.

Further References:

http://www.thetelegraphandargus.co.uk/news/760410.3m_hindu_temple_soon_to_take_shape/

http://bradfordhindumandir.weebly.com/

http://www.thetelegraphandargus.co.uk/community/communityasian/asianfeatures/794191.Faith_creates___3m_temple_for_Hindu_community/

http://www.aalayavanimagazine.org/2013/02/shree-lakshmi-narayan-hindu-temple-bradford-2/

https://nimbarka.wordpress.com/shri-sadgurudev-ji-maharaj/2009/shri-lakshmi-narayan-hindu-temple-bradford-1st-patotsava-19th-april-2009/

http://www.thetelegraphandargus.co.uk/news/10947414.Tribute_to__a_true_gentleman__as_Bradford_man_Achhar_Paul_Dharni_dies_aged_72/

http://www.exeter.anglican.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/RE-Today-Mandir-Visit-R-Oates-Article.pdf

http://www.thetelegraphandargus.co.uk/news/1424934.Queen_removes_shoes_for_visit_to___3m_new_temple/

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