Feb 23, 2006

Archi-cultural surprise!

Ramkumar (architect) is my junior from college. He is now living for the past 6 months in Bristol, UK. Last week when he sent me a mail, saying "ashok, fotos attached,U 'd like them" , I was exited. I have a bad habbit of opening the attachments even before I read the mail. Knowing Ram, I was expecting something really exciting in the attachment. But when I saw a few ordinary Church fotos, I was for a second questioning the sanity of Ram.

I went back to his mail. Read it in disbelief and again scrambled back to the fotos. oops!Its not a church...but a Hindu temple! This Temple is located at 163B, The Church Street, Bristol. (Yes, they do give numbers to temples aswell in UK.) According to Ram, many Indians mistake this building for a Church and never bother to visit it.

In Ram's words "its a good place ... far better than many of the Hindu temples in UK, that are housed in an ordinary hall. this temple at Bristol, to me is the only temple that has the privilege of getting housed in a building that was primarily designed for worship. Visiting this temple is more soothing to mind than going to the others housed in a huge hall, very much similar to the marriage halls at Madurai."
whatever Ram...I have myself seen/designed Churche(s) in Dravidian temple style. But this is the first time I see a Hindu temple in Gothic style...Truly an Archi-cultural surprise! ... and Please forgive me for doubting ur sanity.


  1. Ashok numerous old churches in the UK have been sold off, a lot of which have been converted into expensive flats and quite a few have been converted into temples too. Have seen a number of them in London including the Highgate murugan temple which is housed in a converted church.

  2. Also, I like the way they've converted the name into tamil, its called Uyar Kundru murugan kovil. Haven't been there in a long time though

  3. Interesting but like the other comment says, it is more likely to be a converted church building.

  4. A few months back, I received an email that said Taj Mahal was a Shiva temple and not Mumtaj's tomb. I dismissed the email thinking the Taj structure is very Mugalish. Am I wrong Ashok?

  5. hi ashok, here in Bothel(US) I went to one hindu temple which just like an appartment.. inside it was very good with idols of more that 10 gods...
    really liked it..

  6. Ashok same as WA said in BOston too many churches are getting sold off - they are getting converted to condos.

    My husband thinks it would be cool to move into one of those stone church places - will have really high ceilings
    - cathedral style.

    I am planning to call it This Blessed House :-)

  7. *veda...thats news for me

    *WA...really? flats? wat do they do to the bell tower?

    *slakhs....ya.likely to be.

    *Rajesh....I have heard about it too.If some one says Taj was built on the site of a destroyed or ruined shiva temple- then thats a story to be taken seriously.But to accuse it of being a converted building is stupidity. Marble as a building material was introduced on large scale only by the Mughals.

    *neighbor...have a foto?

    *Tilo...wat an idea! then what r u waiting for...?

  8. hey, all of that was news!!! Nijamave church ellam vikarangala? With Christianity being painstakenly spread by people to other religions (no offence meant, but I have seen this in Chennai & Sydney), how do they tend to sell off churches? Whats the reason?

  9. I have visited one Kangadurgai Amman Temple in Ealing, London which was a church before. As WA says, lot of churches are up for sale in UK. :))

  10. Usha, I suppose the Christianity is being spread faster in the third world countries but in the West itself the attendance at the traditional churches have fallen dramatically. A lot of traditional churches are struggling to attract people even for Sunday services, but then other hand the new wave churches are spreading faster. And these newer church organisations tend to hire a hall locally for their services. I don't quite understand the politics behind these new churches and the older established ones. I love the traditional old churches and cathedrals though.

  11. I wouldn't buy a church in MA for dwelling after hearing about the same sex scandals involving the diocese

  12. WA, this is just not a case in west.Even in India its happening.The established churches (protestant) are dwindling for the following reasons :
    1. Rigid system.Failing to adapt to the changing soceity.
    2. Rampant Corruption in the diocese.
    3. Loss of personal rapport/relationship between the pastor and the congregation.
    4. caste politics in diocese elections.

  13. Ashok - waiting for just one thing panam :-).

  14. I had campaigned for Asariah for the Archbishop post (Protestant) in Chennai. It was nasty.

  15. First seeing the Pic, i also thought u have written about a Church, after reading i find this a Hinu temple.