Visitor Opinions – Schools (2015)

2017 – 2016 – 2014 – 2013 – 2012 – 2011 – 2010 – 2009 – 2008 – 2007 – 2006 – 2005

We had a great visit thank you. Everyone was very helpful and very efficient. I was really pleased to go myself as I haven’t been for a few years and it was just as lovely as before. Thank you for the super service you provide. The children learnt a great deal and you stimulated a lot of interesting questions from them! They were so excited about this trip as they had studied your website in detail.

Clare Murphy
Deputy Headteacher & Year 4 Class Teacher
Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Primary School
Finchley, London
31 December 2015

Thank you so much for a wonderful trip the Mandir. All of your workers and volunteers were so welcoming and accommodating. A special mention must go to the fantastic tour guide and a pleasure to meet. The children had a lovely day and learnt so much – they came back to school very calm and reflective (long may it last!).
Thank you once again for a very enjoyable trip – I shall look forward to our visit again next year.

Rose Parsons
Year 4 Teacher
Sarratt Church of England Primary School
Sarratt, Hertfordshire
15 December 2015

I would like to thank everyone involved at the Mandir for making our school visit so educational. The students have not stopped talking about it and all staff we encountered went above and beyond to make our day special.

David Taylor
Brettenham Primary School
Edmonton, London
14 December 2015

I visited your Mandir with my Year 3 class this week. The visit was wonderful from start to finish. I have visited the Mandir before and wanted to bring my class here. Your openness to everyone is very refreshing and it really is the most beautiful building in London.
The trip was educational, with talks and questions and answer sessions all engaging for the children. The exhibition is very well done and the children loved filling in the sheets you provide on your website.
Thank you for a wonderful day. I look forward to returning soon.

Eleanor Sutherland
Ambler Primary School
Islington, London
9 December 2015

Thank you very much for the welcome we received on our visits to the Temple. The children thoroughly enjoyed their visit and were enriched in their knowledge and understanding of the Hindu faith. It is important for the children to appreciate the many values we have in common. The experience will stay with them in a very positive way. We will certainly be bringing our children again.

Norma Wright
RE Coordinator
Our Lady of Grace Catholic Infant School
Dollis Hill, London
5 December 2015

Thank you for allowing to come to visit this amazing temple. The children had a really good time and furthered their understanding about Hinduism. I would like to mention the staff were all very welcoming.

Mr Hapgood
Avon House Preparatory School
Woodford Green, Essex
3 December 2015

As always, we thoroughly enjoyed our visit to the Shri Swaminarayan Mandir, and look forward to our visit again next year.
The staff there were very welcoming as always, and the Temple and Exhibition wonderful places for the students to learn more about Hinduism and see how it is experienced in practice.

Alex Waring
Eaton House The Manor Prep School
London
2 December 2015

This was my fifth visit to the mandir with my school, and was once again a wonderful, spiritual experience. Thank you so much for your welcome and hospitality.
I know that the children have enjoyed an inspiring and educational day, and that they have gained great insight not only into Hinduism but into faith and belief generally. Of all the visits we undertake, this is the one that I would be most reluctant to abandon. I hope to revisit with family or friends at some point in the future. My thanks once again.

Simon Draw
Class 10 Teacher
St Luke’s Church of England Primary School
Great Norwood, London
24 November 2015

Thank you on behalf of all the staff and children at Lady Margaret Primary school as we had a lovely day visiting the temple. The children enjoyed watching the arti ceremony and walking around the temple learning about Hinduism.
We hope to visit again in the future.
Thanks again to all the people involved. We felt very welcome at the temple.

Priya Thakarshi
Lady Margaret Primary School
Southall, Middlesex
24 November 2015

As always we very much enjoyed our visit to the mandir. Your volunteers are wonderfully generous and welcoming to us, and we appreciate that so much. You treat us as if we were your honoured guests, not strangers. We can never thank you enough for your kindness.

Helen Golden
Friends’ School
Saffron Walden, Essex
20 November 2015

I’d like to say a huge thanks to everyone at the Mandir for making today’s trip so enjoyable and memorable. I know that the students were amazed by the building, as well as the calm and tranquil atmosphere inside – such a contrast to our walk from Neasden tube station!

They obviously found the Mandir and its carvings hugely interesting to study and draw, and I felt we could have easily stayed for many more hours – they seemed so focussed and engaged. Also thank you for showing us the video at the start of our visit. One student told me that it gave her a deeper understanding and respect for the space, which enhanced her appreciation of it. All the staff and volunteers we met were incredibly kind and welcoming. 

I hope that some of the students will return soon – I’m sure I will!

Christopher Smith
Kingston University Art Foundation
London
27 October 2015

We had a lovely day and some of the children said it was the best school trip they had been on, despite having to leave school at 7am! Thank you again.

Julie Coombes
Holbrook Primary School
Holbrook, Suffolk
17 October 2015

Thank you so much for showing us around the mandir. We all felt very peaceful inside the building and every single one of your staff was really friendly and helpful and the man at the start made us all laugh with his little jokes. We thank you from the bottom of our hearts. We loved your beautiful temple. The children enjoyed it a lot. The children will be writing letters as part of their literacy topic and will send them to you. Thank you kindly again.

Christine Katsi
Claremont Primary School
Cricklewood, London
3 October 2015

I would like to say thank you so much for accommodating our Year 1 class and Year 4 class on a visit to BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir. The visit was a great success and we were made to feel very welcome. Since returning to school the children have shown great interest in and enthusiasm for their learning about the Hindu faith which they will share with the other classes and parents on Friday.

Maire McGrory
Headteacher
St Michael’s Church of England Primary School
Sandhurst, West Berkshire
23 September 2015

Following our school’s latest visit to Neasden on 20th August, we would like to take the opportunity again to thank you for your hospitality and we would also like to extend our school’s heartfelt congratulations on the 20th anniversary of BAPS Swaminarayan Mandir.

Since 2011 more than 200 young members of our school community have enjoyed the amazing learning opportunities at your facility during our school’s annual visits to London. Your kind hospitality and warm welcome continue to impress and many of our students have described the insightful visit and enlightening conversations as a highlight of their experience.

We look forward to seeing you again next year.

Sylvia Ottofrickenstien & Andre Robrecht
Gymnasium Nepomucenum
Rietberg, Germany
2 September 2015

The students thoroughly enjoyed the experience, as did my colleague and I. We were made to feel very welcome and it was a very informative and enjoyable visit.

I had visited the Mandir on previous occasions with St Edmund’s Catholic School and it was lovely to return again on the twentieth anniversary of its opening. We very much hope to visit with a group of students again next summer.

Rachel Easley
Teacher of Religious Studies
Dover Grammar School for Girls
Dover, Kent
20 July 2015

Our students enjoyed the visit to the Mandir very much. They were impressed with the wonderful building and the hospitality shown to them. My colleague and I will be taking students to London again in 2017 and we will certainly include a visit to the Mandir again.

Heike Zander-Hagemann
Friedrich-Ebert-Gymnasium
Hamburg, Germany
14 July 2015

We enjoyed immensely our visit to your amazing mandir last Friday. The students benefitted greatly from this educational experience. We would like to thank you and your staff for making us so welcome and providing such a varied programme of activities for us. As soon as I know the dates for Activities Week in 2016 I will book to come again. It was a very positive experience for everyone involved, so thank you once again for your hospitality.

Paul Bee
Queen Elizabeth’s Grammar School
Faversham, Kent
14 July 2015

I should have written straight away to say how much we have enjoyed our visit. What a warm welcome! We had a lovely lady guide – warm, friendly, well informed, patient and well organised. The video was very informative and perfect length for our kids, too. We have found the prayer time very rewarding and a memorable experience in itself. Also, thanks for the little bag with the sweets. Most of the kids have tried them and liked the taste a lot.We hope to visit again soon with another group of students, of course. Not to mention the beauty of the temple itself. Thanks again.

Sylvia Wieliczko
Humanities Teacher
Woodlane High School
London
13 July 2015

Thank you so much for our visit today. It was very educational and the building itself is so awe-inspiring. Particularly I would like to say thank you to our guide, who was so helpful and kind. The day was lovely.

Mat Wilson
Special Educational Needs Coordinator
Oasis Academy Enfield
Enfield, Greater London
7 July 2015

Thank you so much for a wonderful morning. The children and adults in our group were so impressed with how smoothly the morning went. This is largely down to your help. Many thanks again.

Julie Green
Valley Road Primary School
Henley-on-Thames, Oxfordshire
6 July 2015

I would just like to say just how much we enjoyed our visit to your Mandir. Our children were in awe of the temple and surrounding buildings. Once returning to school I have had a number of them who are now very keen to take their parents there to share what they saw (and a few who want to move in!). The ceremony that we witnessed was very moving and the information you gave us about Hinduism and the Mandir most enlightening. Our guide was just lovely, and totally enthralled the children, a real gift! All of your staff are so welcoming and I am already looking forward to visiting again next year. Thank you again for your hospitality and kindness.

Andrea Thompson
Year 5 Teacher
Sir John Lillie Primary School
Fulham, London
1 July 2015

We always enjoy our visit to the Mandir and yesterday was no exception. The arrangements ran very smoothly and the presentations were of a very high standard. Our sincere thanks to all those who helped to make our visit such a success.

Andrew Westlake
Senior Teacher
The John Lyon School
Harrow on the Hill, London
1 July 2015

Thank you very much for such a wonderful trip to the Mandir on Tuesday 23rd June. The pupils thoroughly enjoyed their visit and were enthralled by the beauty of the building. I very much appreciate all the useful information leading up to our visit and the kindness and flexibility of the staff on the day. The pupils very much enjoyed the exhibition, thank you for enabling this. The talk at the end was also excellent and the pupils learnt a lot. I look forward to taking the new Year 8s to the Mandir next year.

Carol O’Connell
Sion-Manning Roman Catholic Girls’ School
London
26 June 2015

Thank you very much for welcoming us to your beautiful mandir on Friday. The students and teachers who visited were all very impressed, and interested in their visit. Thank you also for the fabulous picture of the mandir, and the prayer beads. We will use this in our unit on Hinduism, and the picture will be on the walls of my classroom year round.

Barbara Usher
Head of Religious Education
Coopers’ Company and Coborn School
Upminster, Essex
21 June 2015

Thank you for a stress-free visit. Your helpers were so informative and very kind in their dealings with our group. We were truly blessed to be able to visit your beautiful Mandir and experience the ‘Arti’. Our Year Six girls were so awed with the experience and full of chatter about it on our return trip. I look forward to returning next Summer with a new group of girls.

Amanda Freeman
Head of Religious Education
Old Vicarage School
Richmond Upon Thames, Surrey
19 June 2015

The children from my class absolutely loved the trip! The adults really enjoyed themselves too. It really was faultless, from the wonderful welcome to the amazing temple, to experiencing an unforgettable arti ceremony. Just fantastic the whole day – a huge thank you to our guide for answering so many questions for us – and making us laugh too! Chipping Ongar primary school will be back please!

Emma Dickinson
Chipping Ongar Primary School
Ongar, Essex
4 June 2015

We have now returned safely to our small village in the Austrian Alps and wish to thank you for the most enjoyable tour of the BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir. It was lovely to see the children’s awed expressions as they admired the intricate carvings. For children who have little experience of other cultures and faiths it was exactly as I had hoped it would be – food for thought: It is good for them to realise that their faith is not too far distant in moral outlook from those of other religions. Most thought the visit was a highlight of our trip to London.

Laurence Warren
Lend High School
Austria
4 June 2015

Thank you so much for having us all to visit the Temple yesterday. All the children very much enjoyed it and I think learned a huge amount about Hinduism and the temple itself. I have to say that I particularly enjoyed it and thought the Temple absolutely beautiful and a beautifully calming place to be.

Philippa Morley
Enrichment Coordinator
Christ Church Primary School
Chelsea, London
2 June 2015

I would like to begin by saying a huge thank you to everybody at the temple. You were all so helpful and our guide was polite, attentive, patient, caring and informative. The children were in awe of the temple and have learnt so much. I will definitely recommend the trip to my colleagues.

Charlotte Trevette
Summerside Primary
Finchley, London
23 May 2015

Many thanks for the visit to your temple. My students enjoyed it very much especially when the doors opened at 4pm and the temple seemed to ‘come alive’! Look forward to visiting again in the future with another class.

Jasleen Kandhari
Morley College
Westminster, London
22 May 2015

I would like to thank you, on behalf of all the children and staff at Long Marston School, for making us feel so welcome on our visit to your Mandir on Monday and Tuesday of this week. We found the temple stunningly beautiful and the information given to us, both interesting and informative. The children gained a lot from the experience and are still talking about their visit. We enjoyed our trip very much and look forward to visiting again in the future.

Lorraine Stephenson
Long Marston VA Church of England Primary School
Long Marston, Hertfordshire
21 May 2015

We did enjoy our visit, thank you so much. Our students were in awe as to how beautiful the Mandir was and felt that all staff/volunteers were very welcoming and kind. We actually felt we needed/wanted more time there, therefore, next year when we look at booking we are thinking of coming after our visit to the mosque so we are not as rushed when we visit the Mandir and spend time looking around the exhibition. Thank you again and see you next year.

Victoria Clover
The Marlborough Science Academy
St Albans, Hertfordshire
13 May 2015

I am writing to thank you for the wonderful experience provided for our school group last Thursday. We were treated promptly and our needs catered for appropriately. The children got a good insight into the Hindu faith. The volunteer who did a question/answer session at the end before the arti asked and answered age-appropriate questions. It was great that he mentioned and embraced the belief of other faiths too. The video shown upon arrival was a good introduction to the Mandir.

Anita Sareen
Field End Junior School
Ruislip, Middlesex
10 May 2015

We all loved our visit and wish to thank the kind volunteer who showed us round and everybody we met. The mandir is amazing and we learnt a lot from our visit.

Lisa Biggs
The Mead School
Tunbridge Wells, Kent
9 May 2015

Thank you so much for your hospitality. Everyone we met was so welcoming and made our visit most enjoyable. Our visit was very smooth as everything was so well organised, it certainly made it a stress-free visit so we as teachers were able to fully appreciate the visit as well as our students. The Mandir is a truly spectacular place and our students really enjoyed their visit. We will certainly be returning with more students in the future.

Charlene Enright
Claires Court Schools
Maidenhead, West Berkshire
7 May 2015

Thank you for having us last week. Our students enjoyed their visit very much and I am happy to say that for them (and us) it was one of the most pleasant and interesting moments of our week in London! I’ll be sure to come back when I next take some students (or my family) to London.

Michèle Pénelon
Lycée la Martinière Monplaisir
Lyon, France
6 May 2015

Thank you very much for allowing us to visit your beautiful mandir. It has certainly inspired the children and added greatly to the quality of their understanding of Hinduism.

Lauren English
Owlsmoor Primary School
Sandhurst, Berkshire
6 May 2015

Thank you for allowing my group to visit the Temple yesterday. The pupils, seeing it for the first time, were blown away by its beauty. The exhibition was interesting to them too and the film to explain its origins.

Kathy Lee
The Cavendish School
Eastbourne, East Sussex
28 April 2015

Thank you for the opportunity to visit the temple. All the students were very excited when they returned to the school and thoroughly enjoyed seeing the wonderful museum and the temple. It gave them an opportunity to see and experience another religion which we hope will lead to a greater understanding and respect for all people. I look forward to being able to send some more students to visit later in the year.

Cherylyn Larking
Religious Education Coordinator & Assistant Head
Kilburn Park School
Brent, London
21 April 2015

Thank you so much for letting our school visit the temple. It was a wonderful experience for the children, who were impressed with the beautiful building and inspired by the act of worship. The children also enjoyed visiting the shop, which had lots of gifts within their budget! I liked the way the building was secure and people weren’t allowed to take bags or cameras inside. Our guide, was very welcoming and helpful. It was a great experience.

Tim Nixon
St Andrew’s Church of England Primary School
Chinnor, Oxfordshire
15 April 2015

Thank you all today for welcoming and giving us a wonderful visit to your beautiful Mandir. The group very much enjoyed it and learnt so much. It was a great afternoon for us all. The Mandir provided the students with a healthy amount of peace just as they are about to embark on examinations. The Mandir has an incredible spiritual atmosphere. I do hope to come back again and maybe bring some new students next year. I will continue to recommend the Mandir to all whom I meet. It is simply remarkable.

Rachel Tisdall
St Paul’s Catholic School (Sixth Form)
Milton Keynes
15 April 2015

We have had a very inspiring and informative visit to your Mandir. Several of our pupils have mentioned this as the peak of our Multicultural London-studies. They were very impressed by the beauty and atmosphere in the Mandir, as well as the very inspiring introduction to the many ways of being a Hindu. I as a teacher am most satisfied and impressed with our visit, and grateful for the openminded atmosphere in relation to different ways of behaving as a Danish pupil abroad! I would be happy to get the opportunity again to study your example of Hinduism practised and held traditionally alive in a postmodern world!

Anne-Mette Alstrup
Silkeborg Gymnasium (Sixth Form College)
Silkeborg, Denmark
8 April 2015

We would like to thank everyone who made our trip so enjoyable. Our guide was incredibly informative and had a perfect mix of information, facts as well as being very entertaining. The students got so much out of it, it was a perfect visit! Thank you once again!

Rhiannon Love
Senior Lecturer in Primary Religious Education & Philosophy for Children
Department for Teacher Development
Faculty of Education, Health and Social Care
University of Winchester
Winchester
1 April 2015

Thank you again for having us. It was a great experience for the students as always. They particularly enjoyed the Aarti ceremony and it was really good to have a Q and A session. We hope to see you next year.

Lucy Wood
Tonbridge Grammar School
Tonbridge, Kent
1 April 2015

Many thanks for welcoming our students to your beautiful mandir on Wednesday and Thursday last week. They all thoroughly enjoyed their experiences and learnt a lot about Hindu practices, cultures and beliefs. The visits are always very well organised and informative.

Eve Massie
Head of Religious Studies
Wallingford School
Wallingford, Oxfordshire
19 March 2015

The staff were absolutely fabulous and both the adults and children had an unforgettable experience. The temple and the prayers in the Mandir were truly beautiful.

The organisation of our trip was excellent, both before and on our arrival. Thank you so much for your hospitality and to the very kind gentleman who did the talk after the video. He was so interesting and we learnt so much from him.

Thank you for having us and thank you for making us feel so welcome. We will most certainly return next year.

Rebecca Churchill
College Town Junior School
Sandhurst, Berkshire
17 March 2015

I wish to thank you and all others who were involved in hosting us yesterday. Our group learned a great deal and felt warmly welcomed at every moment. Your exhibition does a great deal to foster inter-religious understanding.

James E. Faulconer
Academic Director, Brigham Young University London Centre
Associate Director, Wheatley Institution
Professor of Philosophy
11 March 2015

Thank you very much for our visit to the Mandir, the children were amazed by the temple. They really enjoyed their visit and have been learning about Hinduism this term so found it really useful.

We wrote about the Mandir at school today, and when asked to come up with adjectives to describe it, they came up with ‘peaceful’, ‘tranquil’ and ‘awe-inspiring’, amongst others!

Morag Abernethy
Tetherdown Primary School
Haringey, London
4 March 2015

We enjoyed our visit and it was a great experience for the students. It was absolutely beautiful and peaceful inside and thank you for having us.

Jennifer Etareri
Hillingdon Manor School
Uxbridge, Greater London
2 March 2015

Thank you very much for your hospitality yesterday. As ever it was a very enjoyable and interesting experience for the pupils, who have come back with lots to talk about and questions to ask. This provides a good starting point for our topic on Hinduism which will take us through to the summer half-term.

Jane Coverdale
Spratton Hall School
Spratton, Northamptonshire
25 February 2015

Thank you so much and all your staff for another excellent visit to your beautiful Mandir. The children gain so much from the experience and it is wonderful learning for them. The exhibition is excellent and it is lovely to see the arti ceremony and then be in the beautiful Haveli and to learn how the building was constructed – all first class.

Thank you and your superb staff for all your help and wonderful welcome – we hope to return this time next year!!

Paul Morgan-Jones
Senior Master
Holmewood House Preparatory School
Tunbridge Wells, Kent
13 February 2015

Many kind thanks for a wonderful visit yesterday. The pupils really benefited from the truly rich experience. They thoroughly enjoyed it and on all their feedback forms commented that they would recommend others to go on this trip in the future. Every part of the trip was fascinating. Thank you so much. I hope we can organise another trip in the future.

Mary Gill
Bishop Challoner Catholic College
Birmingham
4 February 2015

Thank you for making us so welcome at your beautiful Mandir. We all learned a lot during our visit and were very impressed by the lovely building. It was so peaceful inside and our children had a totally new experience by being there.

We enjoyed the video explaining how the Mandir was built. Once we were in the exhibition we could learn more about the Hindu faith…. The booklets will be useful to use in our RE lessons as the pictures will remind them of our visit.

I am sure teachers from our school will want to visit in the future when we bring our pupils to London.

Lyn Spall
Headteacher
Creeting St Mary Church of England School
Ipswich
30 January 2015

Thank you so much for an enjoyable visit. It is the third time that I have been to visit you and we have always had a very educational experience. The children really enjoyed the Arti ceremony and are still saying about how peaceful and calm it was. The volunteer who showed us around that day was wonderful. She had a lovely manner with the children and talked at their level.

Thank you for the visits you offer. We will continue to come and visit you and your beautiful building.

Rebecca Richardson
Haddenham St Mary’s Church of England School
Haddenham, Buckinghamshire
17 January 2015

We thoroughly enjoyed the visit to your fabulous temple. We found the volunteer who kindly guided us round and gave us a very informative talk very approachable and knowledgeable. We found the experience both enlightening and informative and relevant to what we are studying at present. It has helped bring it to life rather than being just academia.

Personally I found it a very peaceful and meditative experience, especially upstairs. I will definitely be bringing another group back next year. Many many thanks to you all for sharing it with us.

Susanne Pook
Coleg Llandrillo
Rhos-on-Sea, Wales
15 January 2015

We all had a very positive and enlightening day. It was a magical experience to share in the midday Aarti. Thank you for having us. Many of my students now look forward to visiting Akshardham next year as Swaminarayan Mandir has inspired them to want to visit India. Thanks to all the volunteers for their expertise, warmth and generosity today.

Dr Robert Carr
Lycée Français Charles De Gaulle de Londres
London
12 January 2015