Visitor Opinions – Schools (2020 & 2019)

2018 – 2017 – 2016 – 2015 – 2014 – 2013 – 2012 – 2011 – 2010 – 2009 – 2008 – 2007 – 2006 – 2005

Thank you for another very enjoyable visit to your beautiful temple. I thought you might be interested in reading some of the comments made by our Year 4 pupils:

“It was breathtaking.”

“My favourite part was the exhibition, because it really helped me to understand much more about Hinduism.”

“I felt really amazed at how all the work on the walls had been hand-sculpted.”

“It was a magical visit.”

“I enjoyed the prayer ceremony because we shared the experience of what it was like.”

“I thought it was going to be a normal temple – but it was made with love.”

“The visit gave me time to think about what it is like for Hindus to come and pray and to actually see it happening was a great experience that I won’t forget.”

We are very much looking forward to returning next year.

Angela George
KS2 Teacher and PRS Lead
Surbiton High Girls’ Preparatory School
Kingston Upon Thames, Surrey
27 February 2020

Thank you so much for welcoming us on Tuesday; the children and staff all thoroughly enjoyed their visit to the Mandir.

The children were left speechless by the beauty of the Mandir itself and in particular experiencing the Arti ceremony – the experience cannot be replicated in the classroom!

The trip was made even more special with lunch at Shayona. It’s the first time we have included the restaurant in our visit and we were delighted with the experience for the children; many of them tried foods they hadn’t tasted before.

We will be visiting again next year.

Sophie Nataraj
Cranleigh Prep School
Cranleigh, Surrey
13 February 2020

Thank you very much for another most successful day at the Mandir. It was lovely to be back there and the whole programme ran very smoothly with your most helpful and attentive staff. Thank you also for the use of the lunch room which really helps the whole trip.

I look forward to booking up for our February visit this time next year, in 2021.

Paul Morgan-Jones
Senior Master
Holmewood House Prep School
Langton Green, Tunbridge Wells
6 February 2020

Thank you for your warm welcome yesterday and for making our visit to the mandir so memorable. We were very impressed with how hard your volunteers work and how much care they have put into making it an enlightening and pleasant experience for us. We particularly enjoyed the interaction with our guide and her senior colleague and the enlightening way in which they handled our students’ questions after the aarti ceremony.

Dr Alexey Kostyanovsky
Theology Department
Magdalen College School
6 February 2020

Thank you very much for the visit on Tuesday 4 February 2020. All the children were happy to discover some insight of the Hindu faith and the Swaminarayan tradition.

E Hagg and I Webster
Ecole française de Londres Jacques Prévert
Hammersmith, London
6 February 2020

Thank you so much for three very enjoyable visits to Neasden Mandir over the past two weeks. Both students and staff thoroughly enjoyed their visit. The mandir continues to be very accommodating and offers an excellent learning experience.

Alice Blackburn
Faringdon Community College
Faringdon, Oxfordshire
4 February 2020

I just wanted to say a huge thank you to everyone at the BAPS Swaminarayan Mandir for making our Form 1 pupils feel so welcome on Monday morning. You are always so friendly and well organised, and I have to agree with one of your workers who said to me that after 6 years ….’it almost feels as though family are visiting the mandir’! We certainly feel the same!

Our children learn so much about Hindu worship from visiting the mandir, but they also learn about hospitality and welcoming spirit. Thank you so much.

Please pass on my thanks to everyone who looked after us. I am just about to go on your booking system and book for January 2021!

Jane Towns
RE & History Teacher
Prep School Prefects & Charities Coordinator
Pupil Council Team
Bishops Stortford College Prep School
Bishops Stortford, Hertfordshire
17 January 2020

Please accept my thanks to you and all of the staff at the temple – we had the most amazing visit yesterday. I will forward you on our writing; they were amazed.

Thank you for making us all feel so welcome.

Hayley Cruikshank
Hope Community School
Sidcup, Kent
10 January 2020

Thank you so much for welcoming us again this year with our Year 5 and 6 children. We always enjoy coming and every time we are full of awe at the wonderful mandir and so warmed by the amazing people we meet. We look forward to seeing you all again soon.

Julie Sarti
Colne Engaine Church of England Primary School
Colne Engaine, Colchester
28 November 2019

I would like to thank you for your hospitality. It was a fabulous day and our Year 1 children were mesmerised by the Mandir. They are still talking about how beautiful and peaceful it was.

We were able to get a good insight of the Hindu faith and had the opportunity to ask questions to our lovely guide.

All members of the Mandir were extremely kind and helpful. The exhibition was very interesting and the absolute highlight was the Aarti ceremony.

I would like to thank you again for providing us such an amazing opportunity and insight of the Hindu faith.

Thank you! Looking forward to coming again next year!

Rameeza Khan
Greanmead Primary School
Southfields, London
26 November 2019

I had to reply to say thank you so much for making us so welcome during our visit. Both I and the children were impressed with not only the beauty but also the peace we encountered in the Mandir. Even the children commented upon this, and several children commented that they did not wish to go home!

The whole experience has made a lasting impression upon the children and several parents have commented upon the level of detail the children used to describe their visit. For me as their teacher, it was particularly gratifying to watch how they applied learning from the classroom and the ways in which that understanding was extended. The class really did seem to be ‘awe and wonder’ personified!

Thank you also for the worksheets you provide and the variety of activities they contain.

I hope to visit you again soon.

Sharon O’Mahony
Rodings Primary School
Dunmow, Essex
26 November 2019

Thank you so much for a truly memorable day at the Mandir. We were made to feel very welcome and it was such an exciting and informative day for our children.

Booking was simple and the online information was useful in helping us to plan our day.

The teaching session was interesting and it was good to have a Q and A opportunity.

Once again thank you from every one of us. It was a very special day for us and one of the teachers said it was the best school trip he’d ever been on!

Helen Duerden
East Meon Primary School
Petersfield, Hampshire
16 November 2019

Thank you for welcoming the Stonebridge School. The children really enjoyed their visit and all said that it was a great experience. They found the exhibition very informative and so was the clip they watched. What they really enjoyed and felt privileged to witness was the ceremony. Overall it was a very positive experience and we all thank you once again.

Sandra Genty
The Stonebridge School
Brent, London
10 November 2019

Many thanks for allowing our school to visit your wonderful Mandir. My students absolutely loved their visit and this has really supported our learning about Hinduism.

I was so impressed how well organised you and your staff were at the Mandir, we felt like we were in safe hands. You made us feel so welcome.

We will definitely come back next year.

Kathleen Ringsell
RE Subject Leader
Hailsham Community College
Hailsham, East Sussex
8 November 2019

Thank you so much for accommodating South Green Junior School’s Year 5s on Friday 4th October. The children and teachers enjoyed the experience immensely. Having visited you twice myself, I knew what an awe inspiring trip it would be. I believe that experiencing the Mandir for themselves will have been truly beneficial to their understanding and knowledge.

Jennifer King
RE Subject Leader
South Green Junior School
Billericay, Essex
23 October 2019

Our year groups (Year 3 and 4) had a fantastic time on Tuesday. They were fascinated in particular with the ‘History in the Making’ video. They learnt so much, such as the five elements, as well as meditation and the root of Hinduism-Indu civilisation. They were in awe at the intricate carvings of the statues as well the beautiful deities. They were pleased to have observed the aarti ceremony as it tied in with everything they had been learning about prayer in the home and in the mandir.

Thank you so much for offering out this opportunity to schools and visitors alike.

Mrs Lorimer and Mrs Harper
Lace Hill Academy
Buckingham, Buckinghamshire
17 October 2019

The pupils and staff would like to convey our thanks to everyone at the Mandir for such a lovely morning. We all enjoyed our time and the wonderful people who helped us understand so much information about the Temple.

Thanks again for a wonderful time.

Cheryl French
Gladstone Park Primary School
Brent, London
15 October 2019

We had a wonderful time as always, and many of our students thought it was the best religious studies trip they’d been on. Thank you to our wonderfully friendly and informative guide; she was just great.

We look forward very much to visiting again next year.

Alex Waring
Eaton House The Manor Prep School
Clapham, London
10 October 2019

Thank you for welcoming us into the Temple yesterday. It was so wonderful to share such a special visit with so many of our children. The children and adults were all in awe of the temple.

Lina Haines
Waverley Abbey Junior School
Farnham, Surrey
9 October 2019

Once again I would like to thank you for making our visit so enjoyable. The students were engaged and and amazed at the temple. They were keen to learn more and for some of our students it will have been the first time they have seen ‘real life’ worship.

You are always very accommodating of our needs ensuring we are able to see all you have to offer including the exhibition.

I personally feel welcome and every year I look forward to bringing a new group of students to share in the wonderful experience.

Hollie Williams
Head of Philosophy and Ethics
The Warriner School
Bloxham, Oxfordshire
7 October 2019

Please pass on our thanks to all the volunteers who make our visit so easy when we bring so many students for two days

We appreciate the calm welcome and the way you make the students feel important and in the Q and A session that the students are encouraged to take part.

Ruth Knight
Wycombe High School
High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire
25 September 2019

We had a wonderful time at the Mandir. The boys found the whole thing fascinating and I think we were all touched by the generosity with which you shared your building and your faith. It must at times be difficult to have hundreds of children shattering the tranquillity, but we were met with universal kindness and patience.

Our guide was very helpful and informative and gave clear and straightforward answers to the many questions that were put to him in the Q+A session. A measure of how well the boys responded to him is that the session only ended because time was tight; there was still a sea of hands at the end!

Andy Lake
St Olave’s Grammar School
Orpington, Kent
16 July 2019

Thank you for looking after my Y12 students from the Greig City academy in Hornsey on Wednesday 10th July. They thoroughly enjoyed the Mandir and one young man commented on the warmth, kindness and welcoming of the staff at the temple. All the students lives have been enriched from their experience.

As agreed i shall be bringing another party of Y10 students on Tuesday 16th July.

Yvonne Wallace
Head of psychology and Sociology
Greig City Academy
Hornsey, London
13 July 2019

I would like to say: a big thank you to you all at the Swaminarayan Mandir, As always, our trip was exciting and you we so attentive to us. It is the highlight of my teaching year to bring our Year 6 girls to see your beautiful Mandir and be part of the ‘Arti’ ceremony.

I look forward to making my booking for 2020, and visiting you again.

Amanda Freeman
Old Vicarage School
Richmond upon Thames, Surrey
8 July 2019

It was an excellent trip. Much was learnt and the worksheets from your website worked really well in the exhibition. The children (and us) thoroughly enjoyed everything.

Thanks for such a variety of activities and your excellent hospitality. We came last year and will be back again next year.

Izzy Sounni
Knightsfield School
Welwyn Garden City, Hertfordshire
7 July 2019

I just wanted to email you to thank you and your team for the warm welcome, your accommodating manner and your flexibility in adapting to my pupils’ needs.

The Mandir is absolutely great and we could have spent the whole day there!

The pupils particularly enjoyed the Aarti ceremony.

A volunteer guided us around and he was so accommodating of our timings and flexible in adapting the set up of what we would see to fit our pupils needs. He was polite, enthusiastic and had great knowledge. Please thank him from me and my students.

I look forward to bring more pupils to visit in the future.

Jagwant Hannah Kaul
Chelsea Community Hospital School
Chelsea, London
5 July 2019

Thank you so much for having us. We loved experiencing the sights of the Mandir and the wonderful aarti time.

Helena Conway
Notting Hill and Ealing High School
Ealing, London
3 July 2019

I just wanted to say a massive thank you from the staff and students at St Andrews and St Francis. We had a wonderful time and learnt a lot. Our guide and the team that I have been talking to have been so accommodating and we really appreciate it!

Daisy Cooper
St Andrew and St Francis Church of England Primary School
Willesden, London
2 July 2019

I would like to say that we had an excellent visit and tour/discussion for our group of 22 university students at the Mandir on Sunday June 30th. We were made to feel very welcome, and the ceremony, and tour of the “Understanding Hinduism” exhibit, were both very enlightening. Our guide was highly organized and thoughtful, and the question and answer session we had afterwards with her was excellent. Thank you once again for allowing us to visit the Mandir.

Dr Gerard Curtis
Chair Visual Arts Program
Visual Culture and Art History
Memorial University
Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada & Old Harrow, Essex
2 July 2019

Huge thank you for your help – the children visited and were absolutely amazed by the temple and the Arti ceremony – I have already had students asking if we can return next year as it was such a fabulous experience – we will be in touch ASAP to book our next visit.

Isabel Jensen
Lead Teacher for PSHE & Religious Studies Teacher
Lewes Old Grammar School
Lewes, East Sussex
1 July 2019

Thank you guys for such a great experience. The students all had a great time, and I know the professor was thrilled by your presentation and exhibition.

We were especially grateful for our guide’s efforts in the pre-film talk and the Q&A. We also loved having someone show us around the temple. She was very helpful, informative, and did a great job of explaining the importance of each part of the temple complex. With her help, we were able to get a really good sense of just how awesome the temple really is. We enjoyed our time so much, that the Director of our program would like for us all to visit again come September or October.

Braxton Friday
London PA
Florida State University
1 July 2019

Thank you for a wonderful tour. The students of Florida State loved the temple and raved about it the rest of the day. Our guides were wonderful and very informative. We definitely plan on visiting you guys again soon.

Florida State University
Tallahassee, Florida, USA
1 July 2019

The children enjoyed everything about the trip, and the staff were so helpful and courteous. The children found observing the Hindu prayers particularly educational, and picked this out as a highlight along with the Q&A session that we attended afterwards.

Many thanks for your help in organising a great day, and we look forward to visiting again.

Anthony Bales
Kobi Nazrul Primary School
Whitechapel, London

25 June 2019

I want to take this opportunity to thank all the staff at BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir for making our group from Aldenham School feel most welcome and for providing us with a programme of activities on our morning visit of 23 May 2019, that were both enjoyable and educationally enriching.

H Washer
Teacher of Philosophy, Religion & Ethics
Aldenham School
Elstree, Hertfordshire
3 June 2019

Thank you so much for having us. It was a great day.

Lucy Wood
Tonbridge Grammar School
Tonbridge, Kent
8 May 2019

Thank you for hosting our visit and for the warm welcome we received from everyone at the Mandir.

It was a very informative day for our students, but, more significantly, it gave our very sheltered children an opportunity to experience something different; to go beyond their everyday experience and preconceptions and to glimpse the world through the eyes of someone else and to see the world from a new perspective.

Jessica Richmond
Forest Farm School
Elsfield, Oxfordshire
30 April 2019

We wanted to pass on what a fantastic day we had last Friday!

Our guide was SO welcoming, knowledgeable and kind. She had an excellent ‘teacher presence’ with the boys and she was so calm and patient. We are so grateful to her.

We have been now for the last three years and enjoyed it every time. We really liked having a specific guide this time and also the introductory video too.

We are so grateful for your kindness in welcoming us to the temple and we look forward to returning next year.

Zoe Francis
Latin and RS Teacher
Shrewsbury House School
Surbiton, Surrey
29 April 2019

Just to say how much we enjoyed our visit and how helpful the guides were at all times. The children were so pleased to bring the learning they have done over the last term on Hinduism ‘to life’ so to speak and I will definitely plan to return if I teach this topic again.

Kate Bodle
Head of Literacy and Additional Support, Year 6 Teacher
St Mary’s Preparatory School
Henley-on-Thames, Oxfordshire
29 April 2019

I must thank you and your volunteers for another delightful visit to your beautiful place of worship.

As always we had an amazing visit. The girls and teachers were amazed by the splendour of the building and they were overwhelmed by the kindness and attentiveness of the volunteers.

One student of ours (age 9) wrote: “When we were in the prayer hall, I felt so calm and relaxed, because everyone looked so spiritual and like they were actually connecting with the gods. My favourite place was the Abhishek Mandap because it was so beautiful and wonderful. The place I remember most is the grand prayer hall because it was so peaceful and everyone was praying and it made me feel so calm and relaxed.”

Another wrote, “The most memorable aspect was the Abhishek Mandap. I felt calm there, because it was quite and peaceful. I enjoyed the exhibition and filling in the sheet of questions and learning new facts that we hadn’t learnt about in lessons.”

Thank you again for your kind hospitality. We look forward to another visit next year.

Angela George
KS2 Teacher and RE Subject Leader
Surbiton High School
Kingston-upon-Thames, Surrey
4 April 2019

Thank you very much for having us again. It was wonderfully paced and educational and the pupils and teachers enjoyed it a lot.

We would also like to provisionally make a booking for next year around the similar date.

James Ison
Head of Religious Studies and Philosophy
St Mary Magdalene Academy
1 April 2019

Once again, please may I convey to you my sincerest and warmest thanks for your kind and wise presentation to my students, and for the opportunity for them to experience the grace, peace and spirituality of the Mandir.

The students were taken aback – as any human being with a soul must be – at the beauty of the Mandir and I am confident that the time in the Haveli with your thoughtful discourse will remain with them and in their consciousness after the return home.

As ever, it was a pleasure to see you and spend time with you.

Dan Wheatley
Senior Lecturer
Department of Management
Director of Undergraduate Programmes
University of Birmingham
29 March 2019

Our school visit to BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir on 05 March 2019 was, as usual, very enjoyable.
Our 7 year old French pupils were delighted for the experience of visiting the temple and the exhibition.

We hope to visit the temple with another group of pupils next year.

Once again, I, on behalf of the other teacher, thank you and your colleagues, for your welcome and enthusiastic explanations. The children will, I am sure, now have a better understanding into the Hindu faith and the Swaminarayan tradition; this is a very important lesson in awareness of different faiths and needs to be taught at a young age.

Evelyne Hagg
French Primary School Ecole Jacques Prévert
Hammersmith, London
20 March 2019

My Year Two children thoroughly enjoyed the trip and have written some excellent recounts. The parents also commented on how beautiful the building was. I know that when I came on my preliminary visit I was awestruck at the beauty of the building. I will be returning with my own children in the near future. Thank you for allowing us to come and visit and for your kindness and hospitality whilst we were there.

Martine Whitaker
Year Two Teacher and English Leader
All Saints Church of England Primary School
Barnet, London
20 March 2019

We had an excellent time at the Mandir and I would like to thank you all for the experience. This is my 3rd time with a school party and each time seems to be better and better. We were treated so warmly and given the opportunity to see so much and experience worship. Our guide was excellent.

Hermione Jackson
Head of Sixth Form
Nunthorpe Academy
19 March 2019

I just wanted to say thanks again. We had a great time at the Temple and we all felt extremely welcome and everyone was willing to talk to us and answer our questions. It was such an enlightening experience.

Thanks again. I will be back in the future with more students.

Sylvie Bacquet, FHEA
Senior Lecturer
School of Law
University of Westminster
19 March 2019

I am writing to say a huge thank you for accommodating the children from Mitchell Brook at the Mandir. It was a fantastic experience for the children to observe the arti ceremony and see the beautiful murtis. The children came back to school ready to discuss and share the wonderful information they had learned from your speaker. Thank you so much.

I look forward to coming again with a different year group.

Natalie Platt
Year 4 Teacher
Mitchell Brook Primary School
Brent, London
27 February 2019

Thank you very much for another hugely successful visit to the Mandir. The whole day worked really well once again and it was fabulous learning for the children. It will so help them with their coursework after half term. The timings all worked well with the ceremony, time to sketch and reflect in the temple, visit the exhibition centre and have the q and a session and lunch in the lunch room.

Thank you also so much for your most generous gift of the books for our library which is greatly appreciated.

Please pass on my grateful thanks to all your superbly helpful staff.

I look forward to being in touch in the Autumn to book for our February 2020 visit.

Paul Morgan-Jones
Head of Theology, Philosophy and Religion
Holmewood House Prep School
Tunbridge Wells, Kent
24 February 2019

Thank you once again for another superb visit to the Mandir. It was great learning for the children and a truly enriching experience. The pupils all gained so much from it and thank you to all the wonderful staff who helped make the day the great success that it was.

I greatly look forward to future visits.

Paul Morgan-Jones
Head of Theology, Philosophy and Religion
Holmewood House Prep School
Tunbridge Wells, Kent
14 February 2019

Thank you very much for your time and sharing your knowledge with our pupils. They all enjoyed your presentation and were able to share many of the facts when we returned to school.

Some of my pupils have drawn a beautiful picture of the temple and we will send a copy to you as a thank you.

It is a remarkable place of worship and also a monument to dedication, belief, hard work and craftsmanship.

It was a wonderful experience to visit the Mandir.

Rachel Garland
Year 3 Teacher
Leopold Primary School
Harlesden, London
3 February 2019

Thank you for hosting Briscoe Primary and Nursery school at the BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir Temple on Wednesday. We look forward to visiting again with more year groups in future.

The children loved it and were very excited to experience the Arti and seeing Murtis of gods they have learnt about in school. All our members of staff found the experience to be an uplifting and joyful one.

Thank you and your community for being wonderful hosts.

Peter J. Hillman
Key Stage 2 Teacher
Briscoe Primary and Nursery School
Basildon, Essex
1 February 2019

As always, the visit was a delight and we hope to be visiting you annually with our 186 Year 8 boys for many years to come. You are always friendly and welcoming, and amenable to us having a plan and working around it, so long as we work around the Arti ceremony and the closing of the shrine room.

Karen Crussell
Head of Religious Studies
Aylesbury Grammar School
Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire
30 January 2019

As always our children benefited greatly from their visit to the BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir. You are all so welcoming and tolerant of the children. It is especially lovely to see some of our children who have very limited experiences expressing their delight in their surroundings.

Many thanks again. I’m sure we will see you again next year.

Liz Jeary
St Andrew’s Junior School
Hatfield Peverel, Chelmsford
30 January 2019

As always, our visit was very enjoyable and the students learned and experienced much about Hinduism. We appreciated very much the kindness, care and attention given to us by the volunteers and staff in the Temple.

Thanks, and look forward to our visit again next year.

Alex Waring
Head of Theology, Philosophy and Religion
Year 8 Form Tutor
Eaton House The Manor
8 January 2019