Thai Temple celebrates festival of generosity


The UK’s first Thai temple, Wat Buddhapadipa, hosted the Vessantara Jataka festival on Sunday.


By Luke Ritchie

THE UK’s first Thai temple, based in Wimbledon, hosted celebrations to commemorate the life of Lord Buddha on Sunday, September 13.

Wat Buddhapadipa temple on Calonne Road celebrated the Vessantara Jataka festival of generosity by re-telling the story of Prince Vessantara in 13 parts.

The story is about the generous Prince Vessantara who gives away everything he owns including his wife and children displaying the virtues of charity and generosity. 

The temple, originally built in Richmond in 1965, was relocated to its present site in 1976 and is the only Thai temple to have been built in Europe.

Set up by the London Buddhist Temple Foundation for Buddhist teachings in Europe, the temple contains murals including Colonel Gaddafi and Margaret Thatcher.

These murals reflect a Buddhist tradition of depicting the Buddha’s life cycle in the company of contemporary life. 

The temple has promoted Buddhism in London and throughout the United Kingdom, as well as in Germany, the Netherlands and Switzerland.

Within the temple’s grounds there is an ornamental lake, a flower garden and an orchard.  Several monks live in the house of the temple.

The temple and grounds are open weekdays from 9am – 6pm. For more information visit .


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