Posts Tagged ‘haveli’

Sri Krishna Haveli Complete

Thursday, September 3rd, 2020

We are happy to say that we have now successfully completed our purpose-built hall, the Sri Krishna Haveli, which will take the pressure off the main Grade II listed Manor building to provide a spacious environment that will allow you to fully appreciate your spiritual experience at Bhaktivedanta Manor. It is of course wonderful, much-awaited news, but like with many big projects there were some hurdles, heartache, and not to mention the pandemic, along the way.

This is how it all came about…

If you have ever been to Bhaktivedanta Manor on a Sunday evening, I am sure you can relate to the frustration of trying to find a place for your shoes. And even more frustrating is trying to locate them on your way out! What to speak of queuing behind a crowd of hundreds of other people trying to squeeze into the temple room, many times feeling like it’s rush hour on a packed underground train, only to find that you can’t get in because there is a guest speaker visiting, with another couple of hundred devotees eagerly occupying every corner of floor space.

In 2007 the temple wrote to the local council requesting to build a small village or church style hall. The council responded by asking for the temple’s development requirements for the next 15 years. A complete needs assessment was carried out by Cottrell and Vermeulen in 2010, and an additional independent assessment was completed by Rasamandala Das, who consulted with various teams and the community at Bhaktivedanta Manor to establish that in the event of having extra facility, what they would use it for.

The various activities were put in order of priority based on how many times they had been raised and the attention that had been focused on them. These consultations moved forward to become a public brief and the planning application was put forward in December 2014. The most difficult task was balancing the needs of the temple and the local community. Ensuring that our facilities will be for housing the current needs of the temple and not to increase activities, planning was granted on 21st April 2016. This was the year ISKCON celebrated 50 years since its establishment.

After receiving more than 6 tenders from various contractors, the construction company Vascroft was chosen to proceed with building. A grand ground-breaking ceremony was held with guest of honour, David Cameron, the then UK prime minister.

Why Sri Krishna Haveli?

Havelis are traditional buildings that can be found in many places in India. The idea of a Haveli was inspired by Havelis of Keshi Ghat and Radha Raman temple, Radha Shyamasundar temple and Sri Radha Damodar temple. All these temples are ornate buildings which have Rajasthani post-medieval architecture, which was drawn from a variety of sources from Persia to India. They were generally built from stone and sandstone, with ornate windows and a little courtyard in the middle to keep it cool in the summer. In time, these Havelis became temples, devotional buildings that were very prominent around Vraj, Rajasthan and various other places.

Sri Krishna Haveli was designed so that it wold sit well between the rustic goshala and not overshadow Bhaktivedanta Manor, the mock Tudor mansion. To complement the local area and respect the culture of the locality, oak, timber, tile and traditional red brick with stone paving were chosen as typical of the area of Hertfordshire and wider England. The design was chosen to respect the past and to look to the future, representing authentic construction of today, with sustaining features and characters. Bespoke line patterns based upon Rajasthani and formal English patterns were created by Kishori Radha Dasi to maintain a devotional culture. Mouldings were carved in teak in India and sent to the UK to be further developed. You will see this in the inner ceilings of the veranda walk-way.

What’s going on at the Haveli?

You will be welcomed by a beautiful chakra garden with the heart chakra at the entrance. The heart is central to the Bhakti tradition as everything comes together in the heart.
There will be lively kirtans, classes by visiting speakers, weddings and other functions in the Kirtan hall which is a formal and high-quality room with beautiful wood panelling, a stage and lighting. To the rear there are dressing rooms for stage performers and brides and grooms to be.

The Seva hall is conveniently situated beside a fully equipped bespoke kitchen for easy access to serve prasad to all our guests. This hall can also be subdivided into three sections and can be used for clubs, yoga and childrens activities.

The upstairs learning area is called Bhakti Vidyalaya with two areas for teaching: the Atma Vidya and Paramatma Vidya rooms. Bhakti is the means through which the tiny soul and great soul come into each other’s company, through which revelation of divinity takes place. These rooms will be used primarily to host visiting schools that come to learn about Hinduism and the Bhakti Tradition. They will also be used by the School of Bhakti.

Outside there is an exciting space for children in the Haveli playground. This play area was designed with ideas from the children in the Gurukula School and Krishna Club. It is centred around Krishna’s childhood pastimes with the Aghasura and Bakasura demons and Kaliya the serpent. Made from old trees, it is an area where the children play and engage just like Krishna did with His friends. The playground serves as a safe space for children to play and creatively engage, focusing on the pastimes of Lord Krishna.

Farewell to the soldiers

Early in 2018, at the beginning of construction, His Grace Srutidharma das, then temple president at Bhaktivedanta Manor, was diagnosed with cancer. Serving the community for more than forty years, a stalwart leader and servant of all, he inspired and worked unwaveringly with others to turn this ‘from dream to reality’ as an offering to Srila Prabhupada and the community. He sadly passed away on 10th March 2020. We also lost Rameshwar das, shortly afterwards, who worked tirelessly to raise funds for this project.

A visit from the PM

As part of his election campaign in December 2019 Boris Johnson, inspired by the community activities at Bhaktivedanta Manor, visited the Sri Krishna Haveli. He was accompanied by Oliver Dowden, Culture Secretary, and Priti Patel, Home Secretary, as well as the Lord Lieutenant of Hertfordshire Robert Voss and other MP’s. During Mr Johnson’s visit he placed a garland around Srila Prabhupada and received blessings from Their Lordships Sri Sri Radha Gokulananda.

Opening Delayed

A three-day Haveli opening was planned and ready, when unfortunately, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, cautions were put in place for the imminent government lockdown. All departments were set and raring to go to begin use of the new facilities, but the Lord had other plans. Many members of the community fell ill with the virus and we sadly said farewell to a few more dear devotees.

During this pandemic, the builders continued to work on the Haveli and completed June 2020.

Finances

The projected cost of the Haveli was initially £9.6 million and with design changes, price increases and additions, the final cost of the project is £10.65 million.

As the builders were on site we instructed them to complete ancillary projects, which have been in a state of disrepair and required to be done. The design & installation of the new children’s playground, resurfacing of both cark parks, with installation of E-charging points and new lighting. The ladies ashrama has also been renovated and its roof replaced. The temple building now has a beautiful paved path around it, for the pleasure of the Vaishnavas, who can now do parikrama safely, without stepping into potholes and puddles. The Manor school, Gift shop and the Bakery also needed to be relocated, so that they could continue to provide their services.

To make sure construction did not stop the temple raised a bank loan of £5 million. Most of the funds have been raised in the form of pledges, and the devotees are working very hard, encouraging donors to fulfill their pledges of support.

Thank You

This project has been the largest single project, since the time of George Harrison donating Bhaktivedanta Manor in 1973. Over the last 40 years we have seen incredible changes; through many trials and tribulations, the devotees have continued to remain focused on their duty and getting on with what needs to get done.

Despite the challenges of a world that is constantly changing, the devotion and determination of Krishna’s devotee will definitely ensure a bright future. As Lord Krishna says in the Bhagavad gita:

yatra yogesvarah Krishna yatra partho dhanur dhara
tatra srir vijayo bhutir dhruva nitir matir mama

Wherever there is Krishna, the master of all mystics and wherever there is Arjuna, the supreme archer, there will also certainly be opulence, victory, extraordinary power, and morality. That is my opinion.

Our heartfelt gratitude and appreciation to you all for your unfailing support, which has made Bhaktivedanta Manor, an oasis of spiritual culture in the UK. Your sacrifices and seva for Sri Krishna, remain to your eternal credit. Hare Krishna.

Community Newsletter – Latest

Thursday, July 27th, 2017

You can view the latest edition August 2017 edition of Bhaktivedanta Manor’s community newsletter via the link below. (You can download the file to access higher quality images).

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https://www.bhaktivedantamanor.co.uk/home/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/manor-newslterr-August-2017-web.pdf

 

Highlights in this edition include:

Family Fun Open Day

Interfaith events

Vedic Astronomy

Ahimsa Foundation

Spiritual Retreats

Shri Krishna Haveli – lastest news

Festivals Galore across UK

First ever Bhakti Vaibhava course in UK

 

August Newsletter online

Thursday, August 4th, 2016

Please find the August 2016 edition of the Bhaktivedanta Manor community newsletter. (Download file to view higher quality images)

Main stories in this edition include:

Haveli Ground-breaking

Garden of Gratitude

50 years Celebrations

Commonality in Spirituality

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Celebrating ISKCON’s 50th anniversary

Saturday, June 11th, 2016

A historic day celebrating ISKCON’s 50th anniversary with the former British Prime Minister David Cameron, who performed the ground breaking ceremony for Bhaktivedanta Manor’s new Shree Krishna Haveli.

Former P.M. David Cameron

Friday, June 10th, 2016

The former British Prime Minister David Cameron celebrates ISKCON’s 50th anniversary

prime minister haveli openingBhaktivedanta Manor marked the start of a new chapter in its history on Friday 10th June, as the groundbreaking ceremony for the long awaited Haveli building was led by UK Prime Minister David Cameron. The ceremony formed part of the Manor’s offerings to celebrate the 50th anniversary of ISKCON, upon which Mr Cameron heartily congratulated ISKCON on by praising Srila Prabhupada on his creation of a “global mission”.

A reception of over 300 people, including Parliamentary Secretary Under State Shailesh Vara, devotees and patrons, was held in a marquee over the spot where the new Shree Krishna Haveli will be built. HH Bhakti Charu Swami, HH Radhanath Swami, HH Sivarama Swami, HH Indradyumna Swami and HG Praghosa Das GBC were also in attendance.

After being shown the Temple Room and deities of Shree Shree Radha Gokulananda, the Prime Minister went on to garland the deity of Srila Prabhupada, stating “if only he had lived to see what the Manor has become; a mock Tudor country house donated by a Beatle, serving as a hub of worship, celebration and selflessness.”

The Prime Minister also congratulated ISKCON on its 50th anniversary, joking that he too will celebrate his 50th birthday this year. He went on to say: “I look at what you have done in the past fifty years and I think how much you can achieve in the next fifty. In fact, the next half century begins right now as we begin building the new Krishna Haveli, and I’m delighted to be putting the first tool in the ground.”

Shailesh Vara MP praised the Prime Minister for pioneering the term ‘British Indian’ and for forging better trade links with India. He said “the Prime Minister visited India more times than any other country, and took the largest trade delegation there… this Prime Minister cares about an inclusive modern Britain.”

Srutidharma Das, Temple President of Bhaktivedanta Manor thanked the Prime Minister for attending, and spoke of the important role of the Haveli and the need to “promote the spiritual values of tolerance, kindness… we at Bhaktivedanta Manor aim to embody these principles at large.”

Speaking about the Haveli, Managing Director of Bhaktivedanta Manor Gauri Das said: “This is a historic time for the Manor. The Haveli fulfils the needs of the Temple, respects the concerns of the local village and received full support from Hertsmere Council. It is a profound honour that the Prime Minister has put the first spade in the ground.”

Shree Krishna Haveli

Wednesday, May 4th, 2016

permission granted haveli
Hertsmere Borough Council Planning Committee have unanimously given consent for an exciting new community facility at Bhaktivedanta Manor, the Shree Krishna Haveli.
The Temple applied to build a two storey building as well as relocating the existing poly tunnels, greenhouses and playground.

Managing Director Gauri das said: “We are exceptionally pleased to receive planning permission. Over many years of work including the development of a planning brief, a public consultation, and one and a half years awaiting a determination, we listened carefully and patiently to local residents concerns.

“In the end the concerns were all addressed and thus the decision unanimous. We are extremely grateful.”

The original planning application was submitted in December 2014 and a number of changes have been made to the application over the past 16 months. Cllr David Lambert, who represents Aldenham West, said: “I am really pleased we have reached this point. It would not have been successful without the work gone in by the officers. It has been a long time coming.

Temple President Srutidharma Das added: “Thank you to our local councillors and Hertsmere Planners, who worked hard to balance the needs of the temple and the local community.
“There could be no win lose decision here, it had to be a win win. We now have permission granted on the Queen’s 90th birthday!”

Public consultation on Manor’s future plans

Friday, August 24th, 2012

We all know how overcrowded the Manor can be sometimes; it’s not just on festival days that people have to sit and eat in the corridors.  So we are pleased to say that Hertsmere Borough Council is putting forward proposals that could help us expand our facilities in future.

The Council has produced a report, called a Planning Brief, which accepts additional space is required to reduce the stress on the Manor building.  It sets out a number of options for introducing a Haveli building on the site.

As Councillor Harvey Cohen, portfolio holder for planning at the Council, has said:

“Bhaktivedanta Manor is an important site for ISKCON and the borough of Hertsmere with huge cultural, religious and historical significance. This planning brief aims to forge a path forward that will meet the needs of ISKCON, residents of Letchmore Heath and the wider community of Hertsmere, and ensure that all future development on the estate is sustainable and suitable.”

The Council’s Planning Brief is not a planning application.  It deals with the principles of development rather than the specifics.  But it should set a framework within which we can expand the facilities and reduce overcrowding in a sustainable way.  We are grateful for the support of the Council in bringing the proposals forward.

A public consultation on the proposals will now run from 9 July until 10 September.

See the Planning Brief and respond to the consultation by going to the following page.

You can also contact the planning team by emailing planning@hertsmere.gov.uk.

There is no intention to intensify our use of the Manor and any future planning application would simply be designed to meet current demand from our community. This is an exciting opportunity to ensure our important spiritual site can meet our needs while recognising the constraints imposed by the listed manor building and our green belt location.