14 Mar 2015


I wanted to leave this story for some other day and write about another Hindu temple that I planned to visit today. But the weather is terrible so I guess I'll stay home.. 
The weather is the only flaw of this country definitely. 

The same day I took a walk and saw "The Lion Heads" I was actually on the way to find the last gas lamp of London. 
Embankment tube stop, hot latte in my hand, an umbrella, camera.. I was walking towards "Temple", next to the river trying to find "Savoy" hotel. Just behind the hotel I should find the lamp. It was easy. I found it imminently. 

Location of the Lamp (Gmap source)

Location of The Lamp

Many of these lamps were installed in the UK in towns and cities such as Sheffield and Blyth, and they are still there,  but only one remain in the capital.
The main purpose of sewer gas destructor lamps is to remove sewer gases and their hazards.
Joseph Edmund Webb of Birmingham patented a sewer gas destructor lamp in the late 19th century.
Due to a traffic accident the original lamp was damaged and has been replaced with a replica. This lamp is currently in use and can be found burning day and night down the side street of the "Savoy" hotel in London. The story of this lamp has given rise to locals referring to Carting Lane as 'Farting Lane'. :)

Location:  Carting Lane (leading from The Strand to Savoy Place), Westminster, WC2R
Tube station: Charing Cross, Embankment or Temple.

13 Mar 2015


“When the lions drink, London will sink”
“When it’s up to their manes, we’ll go down the drains”
“When the water is sucked, you can be sure we’re all … in trouble”

Whenever you're in London no matter if you are tourist or just passer, you will come to Embankment or South Bank. It's just so relaxing walking next to the river although in the winter might be a bit chilly. This is one of my favorite central London part.  

As I was walking and enjoying my warm latte on a cold and cloudy winter morning I saw pretty "ornamental features" - a lion heads. I took a few pictures just randomly. Later on when I came home I discovered that those heads are not just nice wall ornaments, they serve a vital purpose. 

These lion heads line both sides of the Embankment, staring out over the River Thames. Their mouths hold mooring rings and it is said that if the lions drink, London will flood. They were sculpted by Timothy Butler for Bazalgette’s great sewage works in 1868-1870.
So if the water reaches the steel rings that are in the lions mouth this would be classed as a flood warning. But the possibilities for that to happen are not big thanks to Thames Barrier. 

Location: Albert & Victoria Embankments
Tube: Westminster

After so many hidden spots I discovered here in London in such a short time I can loudly say - this town has many more to offer, you just need to open your eyes and see around. I bet you'll find something hidden that it is worth to admire it. 
So, go out and explore! 

12 Mar 2015



Secret of Trafalgar Square 

How many people daily pass through the square? Many. No matter if they are tourists, real Londoners, students, British, Americans, German... But just few of them knows that the World's smallest police station stands there.
First time I visited London, after all "must see" attractions (and there are many!) I started looking for some un-commercial spots. I had plenty of time 'cause I've stayed one month here. I dono how many articles I  red about hidden places in London, how many posts and pictures I saw... I started writing them all down in my notebook, and pining them on my paper map. Back then I did not have iPhone or gmap.. It was just me and my papers :) But it was real happiness once I finally find them. :) 

So, this smallest UK police box stands on south-east corner of Trafalgar Square. Sometimes is routinely ignored by the masses 'cause it does not look so representative like all sculptures and monuments on the square. And tourists that comes here don't know about it, 'cause honestly, it does not look like police station at all but more like lamp. The truth is it was originally an ornamental light fitting, built in 1826.
Scotland Yard had it hollowed out and adapted for police purposes in 1926, with the addition of electric lighting and a telephone. This was the year of the general strike in Britain and Trafalgar Square was and still is, the place for disenfranchised citizens to congregate and have a grumble.
Equipped with a telephone (connected to a main police station) and just enough space to swing a truncheon, it had room for one officer to watch over marches, demonstrations and riots in the square.
Today, it's used to store street cleaning equipment.

So, next time you come here, make sure you don't miss it.
Location:  Smallest Police Station, Trafalgar Square, Opposite South Africa House, post code: WC2N 5DP.
Tube (metro/underground) stop: Charing Cross
Is this the World's Smallest Police Station?? Still unclear to me. Later on, after many online "researches" I found that there is another one in USA (Carrabelle, Florida).

photo source: MV "Help me Rhonda" blog

11 Mar 2015




A piece of Asia here in London...



 I remember one month ago, I was waiting a bus at Wembley central station and googling where is the closest ticket office while on my map suddenly saw pin of Hindu temple. Immediately I opened the picture of the temple and lost my breath for a second. What I saw was beyond beauty. And it was just 500meters of bus stop, in the area of Alperton. I was already in the bus, half way home and the day was turning into dusk so I said to myself what would be the best is to visit the temple some other day.

To be honest, I was not surprised at all why the temple is built here, in London knowing that many Indian - Asian people live here, specially in Wembley. 

Next several days was really bad weather, rainy and cold so I was not into sight seeing. The weekend was promising. Early morning that Saturday I went to see Vintage clothes market and I was so disappointed and at the same time shocked what people were buying. The clothes was so old, not in good condition and oversized, not even vintage. I returned home. The day was amazingly sunny so Pyrros and I went to see the temple since it's not far away and we needed a vitamin D cause here in England is very rare :) 



Interesting facts:

*Sanatan means - Eternal.

*The temple welcomes visitors of all faiths and none, although certain Hindu customs - such as removal of the shoes upon entry are expected to be adhered to during your visit. 

*Famous spiritual leaders and forms of Gods from other religions are also featured in the carvings, such as Mother Teresa, Meerabai, Guru Nanakdevji and many more showing the respect, love and compassion for all religions. 




About the temple:

The architecture of Shri Vallabh Nidhi UK presents an epitome of mystical scales and proportions along with the heavenly carving which turns the structure into a magnificent celestial body.
Being located on 2.4 acres of land in the centre of the well known shopping area on the Ealing Road, Wembley; the temple plays the role of a place of deep relaxation and is visited by thousands each year.
The temple exhibits intricate forms of carving and moulds which are made up of various types of stones. The royal range of stones involve the ochre coloured stone from Jaisalmair which imparts a traditional Indian touch to the spaces, Bansipahad and Makrana marble turns the space into a home of peace and vitality, while the majestic facade is decorated by Jaisalmer lime stone, all of which have been imported from India.
The construction of the temple is based on the ancient Hindu Scriptures of the Shilpa Shastras that give guidance in dealing with buildings and sculpture techniques that have been followed in order to form a perfect masterpiece. The secrets stored in the age old scriptures are unfolded and the different spaces of the temple are imbibed with the perfect ambience, thus giving due respect to the different aspects of climatology and form, space and order.
Intricate and detailed hand carved patterns on the stones have been developed from famous mythological incidences of Hindu scriptures, giving importance to legendary Hindu tales such as the Mahabharata, Ramayana, Shrimad Bhagvatam and many more. The vibrant aura reflected through the architecture of the temple takes the human being into a world of deep relaxation and introspection, where the person is drenched with positive and spiritual feelings and thoughts.

The spaces are well appointed with beautiful murtis of deitie and wall shrined deities. Thus, showcasing the importance of respect, love and compassion for all religions and sampradays, making the temple dynamic and universal as well as promoting the message of Vasudev Kutumbakaum, a Hindu term to describe the world as one big family.
The new Mandir was opened to the public on Monday 31st May 2010 . A ceremony called Pran Prathistha was held to “infuse the spirit of God into the statues” as part of the temple opening.


 Our walk felt like walking in urban streets of Sri Lanka or India. And Shri Sanatan temple is not the only Hindu temple in London. Keep following my posts to find out about the others.