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Temple welcomes visitors to explore its history

Updated: Dec 4, 2019

ONE of the more striking changes between Reading's past and present is the Reading Hindu Temple - formerly a Methodist chapel.

The traditional red brick building from 1905 now houses a host of colourful gold and scarlet statues.

Dr Ashok Khare, chairman of the temple's executive committee, said: "Over the last five years, an extensive refurbishment programme has been implemented by the executive committee with the help of the physical and financial support from the community.

"It includes refurbishment of the main hall, two downstairs and two upstairs rooms, dining hall, kitchen and double glazing of windows in the prayer hall and the entrance door. Most importantly this refurbishment work was carried out without disturbing the heritage look of the building.

"On behalf of the executive committee I cordially invite all the people to visit the temple."

The building was converted to a temple in 1997 and, from November this year, the prayer hall will be getting a major facelift.

Between 10.30am-1pm from today (Thursday) [11] until Sunday [14], a team of volunteers will show guests around the building and also hand out leaflets with the centre's opening times, activities and contact details, as well as information about Hinduism.

The Heritage Open Days also coincide with the celebration of the Ganesh festival, which began on September 3 and will finish on Sunday. [14] Over the weekend there will be Samuhik Puja - collective community prayer - on Saturday [13], and a special Aarati - an offering of flowers and sweets - every evening except Sunday.

On Sunday [14] during a Visarjan ceremony, the clay Ganesh idol will be immersed into water and returned to nature to symbolise its immortality.

The temple welcomes visitors throughout the year. Contact 0118 975 1067 or visit

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