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  • Suhashini L

Day 223 - From Alps to Altars: Visiting a Hindu Temple in Switzerland's Unique House of Religions

Updated: Sep 24, 2023

Day 223 (12 Aug 2023) - Bern, Switzerland


DAY 223 (12 AUG 2023) – In the morning, I met Mr Ganesh Kumar’s friend, Mr Atputharaja and his daughter Archana. After breakfast, we left by car for a 3 hour (250 km) ride to Bern, the capital city of Switzerland.

At Bern, we visited the beautiful Sivan temple (Gnanalingeshwarar temple). Archana is an Indian classical singer. After prayers, we witnessed the recording of her performance, while she effortlessly rendered a few Tamil devotional songs with her beautiful voice.

Later, I found out about the history of this Sivan temple, which was built not too long ago. The temple is situated in a building known as ‘The House of Religions – Dialogue of Cultures’, which is a Swiss inter-religious institutions in Bern that houses worship rooms for 8 faiths, all in one single building!

The plan had began in the 2000s, but after several delays, the building was finally completed and opened to public in 2014. The 8 faiths with worship spaces within the building are Alevism, Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, Sikhism, Judaism and the Bahai’ Faith.

I also took the chance to visit the mosque, which was right next to the temple within the building. What an interesting concept and commendable effort to bring different cultures together.



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