U4 visited the Balaji Temple in Tividale, Oldbury, as part of their learning about the religion of Hinduism. The Balaji Temple is a Hindu place of Worship built in the style of the most visited Shri Venkateswara Temple in Andhrapradesh in India. It is also the largest temple of its kind in Europe and is set in 30 acres of land.
During the trip we learnt many interesting facts about Hinduism, including important stories about the different Gods they worship. Our guide pointed out the 7 faith hills, a different hill for each of the main religions in the world to demonstrate how Hinduism welcomes and acknowledges the importance of all religions. We then visited the main temple and the various shrines around the temple. A few of our students volunteered to try the sandalwood paste on the chakra of their third eye (directly above the nose – where the soul is believed to reside). We learnt from our guide that various pastes can be used by the devotees during worship such as sandalwood, turmeric and ash and each has a different purpose. Our guide informed us that the sandalwood paste feels cold to the skin and is comforting in hot countries like India. A successful and fascinating visit enjoyed by all.