School Visits

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A visit to BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir is an ideal way to learn about Hinduism in the Religious Education curriculum and get a firsthand experience of the Hindu faith in practice. Whether it’s learning about the world’s oldest living faith from an interactive presentation and the ‘Understanding Hinduism’ exhibition, or seeing a traditional Hindu temple and witnessing the midday arti ceremony, students young and old – as well as teachers – find their trips to the Mandir to be educational, inspiring and memorable.

That is why so many schools and educational groups choose to visit us year on year, and as a result, we welcome around 800 such groups throughout the academic calendar. ‘School’ groups actually cover the entire spectrum of students, from junior, primary and secondary schools, to sixth form colleges and sometimes even universities. RE teachers and trainee teachers are also welcome, as are student groups from around the world.

Booking in advance is essential. Please use our online booking form and the information provided here to help us make your visit as smooth, pleasant and productive as possible.

We regularly receive many more requests than we can entertain – especially during school term time – so please be sure to book as early as possible to avoid disappointment.

Visits are entertained throughout the week, including on weekends and bank holidays, subject to available visiting time slots.

There are five morning and four afternoon time-slots available for school groups.

MorningAfternoon
9.30am2.00pm
10.00am2.30pm
10.30am3.00pm
11.00am3.30pm
11.30am 


Please note that morning slots are recommended because the late-morning arti (ritual service) takes place at 11:45am. Furthermore, afternoon visitors will need to wait until 4.00pm (on weekdays) and 3.30pm (on weekends) to view the sacred deities because the shrines are closed between 12.15pm and 4.00pm (on weekdays) and between 12.30pm and 3.30pm (on weekends).

We request that all groups arrive at the Mandir at least 10 minutes prior to their allotted time-slot.

Two Types of Visits: What to Expect

For educational groups, there are two main types of visits to choose from:

1) The first consists of a 30-minute introductory talk by a guide plus a question-and-answer session, a video presentation, and visit of the Mandir. This takes approximately two hours. Please allow extra time if you would like to visit the Souvenir Shop or/and if you have students filling out the worksheets. This visit is free of charge.

2) The second includes all of the above as well as a visit to the educational ‘Understanding Hinduism’ exhibition. This visit takes about two-and-a-half hours, and is especially recommended for all school groups. A nominal charge of £1.50 per student is applicable, which includes the price of the ‘Understanding Hinduism’ guide book. (All teachers enter at the concessionary rate.)

Depending on the timing and group sizes, most school visits will more or less cover the following: 

WhatWhereHow Long (approx.)
Welcome & Introductory AddressReception10 mins
Short presentation on HinduismAssembly Hall30 mins
‘History of the Mandir’ videoAssembly Hall15 mins
‘Understanding Hinduism’ exhibition
(if specified)
Exhibition30 mins
Darshan
(viewing of the sacred images)
Upper Sanctum15 mins
Arti Ceremony at 11.45am
(if applicable)

Note seating arrangements especially

Upper Sanctum20 mins
Q&AAssembly Hall or Foyer15 mins
Souvenir ShopFoyer15 mins
 TOTAL2.5 hours

 

Mandir Worksheets

Worksheets on the Mandir for students of three different age groups can be downloaded using the links below. For educational value, teachers may find it useful to give a copy to each student prior to the visit.

 

Exhibition Worksheets

Worksheets on the ‘Understanding Hinduism’ exhibition for students of three different age groups can be downloaded using the links below. For educational value, teachers may find it useful to give a copy to each student prior to the visit.

 

FEEDBACK: We are in the process of revising and creating new resources for teachers and schoolchildren throughout their visit of the Mandir (before, during and after), so please feel welcome to share any feedback or suggestions you may have on how the whole school visit experience may be improved. You can use our contact form here or the suggestion form available at the Information Desk.

Things to Bear in Mind for Teachers

Please ensure that the Visitor Information & Guidelines are read carefully and adhered to at all times.

We advise that there be a suitable teacher-pupil ratio to facilitate adequate supervision of the pupils.

Please note that Audio Tour Guides are not available for school groups.

Students are requested to bring the necessary stationery, i.e. pencil, pen, clipboard, blank paper, etc. and any other educational materials needed for their project/research.

For safety, please inform young children not to run on the marble floor. Please take extra care while visiting the main shrines when using the steps. Please do not touch the carvings and columns.

There are separate seating arrangements for males and females inside the maha-mandap sanctuary during the arti ceremony. All visitors are requested to adhere to these arrangements during this time.

For schoolchildren visiting the Souvenir Shop, a £2 provision should be adequate to buy small gifts and mementos.

It is advisable that teachers leading school groups should make a pre-visit to the Mandir to plan their educational trip. Please contact the Booking Office for any assistance.

To perform a risk assessment of your visit, please see the information here.

Please note our Health & Safety information here.

For an interesting report by a parent who visited the Mandir with her daughter and her school friend to supplement a Key Stage 2 RE/PSHE project on Hinduism, please click here.

You might also find this selection of opinions from previous school visits useful.

Booking Procedure

The easiest way to book a visit is to fill in the online booking form, which will be automatically submitted via email to the Booking Office.

Alternatively, please download the printable booking form from this website and fax or post it to the Booking Office.

The form allows you to suggest three preferred dates. Once the details of the day, date and time-slot are accepted by the Booking Office, your allocated visiting slot will be sent to you by email within 3 working days.

Cancellation Procedure

If, after having confirmed your booking, you realise that you will not be able to make your visit for whatever reason, please let us know by email or phone as soon as possible so that your slot can be made available for another group.

Booking Office

BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir
105-119 Brentfield Road
Neasden, London NW10 8LD
Tel: 020 8965 2651 Ext. 2406 (Monday to Friday: 9am to 5pm)
Fax: 020 8965 6313
Email: booking@londonmandir.baps.org

For directions to BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir, please click here.