Uni Glos RPE Guest Speakers: Cheltenham Hindu Community

This week we have been privileged to engage with the Cheltenham Hindu community live in their Shri Krishna mandir on the Swindon Road, just across from the Francis Close Hall campus. spokespersons form the community discussed the role of the mandir in the community and its importance in terms of maintaining a distinctively Gujarati Hindu identity with our students. They spoke of how many members of the community came directly to the UK from a region in the homeland called Navsari having settled in Cheltenham over the last fifty years or so. The Mandir is located in a church Hall and is the home of numerous deities from the revered saints Satya Sai Baba and Jalaram Bapa to Rama, Durga and Shiva whilst the main focus of devotion for many if Krishna. We also discussed the impact of Covid upon the running of the mandir and the affect that the Mandir closure has had upon the older members of the community. We were then invited to partake in a live on line aarti with the beautiful voice of the great Bollywood siren Lata Mangeshkar intoning the sacred bhajan Om Jagdish Hare as the dvipa lights were waved in front of the deities. Many thanks to our friends Naranbhai, Nayanaben and Jiteshbhai.

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