Close your eyes and inhale. Can you smell it?
That heady, muskiness of incense, the sweet tang of lemongrass and elegant jasmine.
Birdsong is the only sound punctuating the tranquil air with a light breeze occasionally rustling the trees.
Open your eyes again.
No, you’re not on a remote hilltop in Thailand, but at number 14 Calonne Road, Wimbledon.
The Buddhapadia Temple is a Buddhist Thai Temple a stone’s throw from Wimbledon Common. It was the first of its kind in London, originally established in Richmond in 1965 and moved to its current site in 1976. Visitors can wander freely in the grounds during the week and inside the temple itself on weekends.
We pottered down on Saturday and spent some time admiring the impressive statues and carvings surrounding the building as well as the beautifully adorned exterior…
before taking off our shoes…
and following this lovely gentleman inside.
Photography is not allowed inside the temple building, the walls of which are covered with the most incredible mural depicting the life of Buddha. It was hand-painted by a group of 14 volunteers and is a colourful, spiritual journey that you could spend hours marvelling at.
The gardens are a serene enclave filled with words of wisdom & positivity, numerous shrines and areas for quiet meditation.
They were awash with colour when we visited.
The temple runs a number of events, talks and classes throughout the year and regular meditation sessions too, however, I happen to think that walking through the grounds can be just as relaxing and equally as good for the mind and soul.
If all the recent tennis drama has got you a bit worked up, stop by for a wonderfully different Wimbledon experience.