Tag Archives: hindu temple

My long weekend in picture

Last weekend, we had a long weekend as it was Labour Day on Monday. There is so much happening in Sydney right now that we had busy weekend. I am so tired now but glad I managed to do so much. Here are some of the photos from the weekend.

On Saturday, it was the start of Dashain, our biggest festival (for details click here). So in the morning I had to plant my Jamara to start the festival. To learn how to plant your own Jamara, please click here.


Around 10am, we headed to Wattamolla Beach to enjoy picnic with family and friends. Wattamolla Beach is located within the Royal National Park and have nice beach perfect to go with family. It was awesome sunny day and we had heaps of fun in water.

Wattamolla Beach  (4)Wattamolla Beach  (3)Wattamolla Beach  (1)Wattamolla Beach  (5)Wattamolla Beach  (7)Wattamolla Beach  (6)Wattamolla Beach  (8)

On Sunday, we went to Helensburgh temple (details here) as it is Dashain now and it seemed like a great idea.. We went there with some of our friends and his family. As always, we had breakfast there, yummy vegetarian South Indian dishes.


From there we drove for over an hour and was in Parramatta, enjoying Parramasala (details here). Like every year, it was fun with lots of food and music.

Parramasala (1)Parramasala (5)Parramasala (4)Parramasala (7) Parramasala (12) Parramasala (11) Parramasala (10) Parramasala (9) Parramasala (8)

On Monday, we went and saw the war ship at International Fleet Review. The review is a celebration marking 100 years since the Royal Australian Navy fleet first entered Sydney Harbour. It was worth the visit as we got to see so many navy ship from many different countries.

International Fleet Review (1) International Fleet Review (20) International Fleet Review (18) International Fleet Review (17) International Fleet Review (16) International Fleet Review (14) International Fleet Review (13)

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*Sculpture by the sea *Easter Long weekend trip *Snowy Mountains: Australia

Helensburgh Hindu temple

I am sure you get the vibe from my blog that I am not a very religious person but I do enjoy going to the temple occasionally. My husband always reminds me how religious my mum is and he finds it a bit surprising that I am not like my mum in the religion department. I always tell him, “If I have a clean heart and make sure that I am not hurting anyone in my day to day life, God will consider me as a good citizen and will be happy with me. There is no need to really visit a temple all the time or pray for hours :)”.

There are not that many Hindu temples in Sydney and most of them are not close to where I live so planning is required to visit one.

From time to time I feel like I should go to the temple and pay my respect so I drag my husband along for some prayer. Last weekend we managed to go to a temple in Helensburgh called Sri Venkateswara Temple. It is around 45 minutes’ drive from my apartment or an hour from Sydney city center (55km). The temple is built on top of a hilly area 400 feet above sea level. It has four ‘praharam’ (encircling corridors). Sri Venkateswara Temple was built in 1978 by the Indian people in Australia as a South Indian-style Hindu temple.

So far there is no Nepali temple in Sydney but they are planning to build a version of Nepal’s famous Pashupathi in Sydney.

At the temple devotees are supposed to leave their footwear outside and wash their hands and feet before they enter the temple. The temple area inside has small shrines for each of the Gods. There are priests performing rituals at each of the shrines at a pre-determined time.

There is a temple counter inside which provides visitors with more information about temple rituals and prayers.  They also sell puja for $15 which goes towards maintenance of the temple. You get a plate of puja which has Sindoor, flowers, dhup and fruits. Also, you can buy diyo (oil lamp) if you want to light just the diyo.

The temple has deities like Lord Venkateswara, Goddess Mahalakshmi ,Lord Chandramouleeswarar, Goddess Thripurasundari , Lord Ganesh, Lord Subrahmanya , Lord Navagraha, Goddess Durgambika , Lord Rama , Goddess Andal , Lord Krishna, Lord Brahma , Lord Hanuman, Lord Garuda  , Lord Sudharsana , Lord Viswakshena , Lord Dhakshinamurthy and Lord Chandikesa.

I have seen lots of South Indian weddings being performed inside the temple in my previous visits.

I know it doesn’t sound so right but I love to go to this temple because they serve a great Indian food in their canteen during weekends. I always have Masala Dosa (made by stuffing a lightly cooked filling of potatoes, fried onions and spices in a fermented crepe or pancake made from rice batter and black lentils) and Vada (a donut  shaped dish made from lentils and gram flour or potato) . They are so cheap but so yummy. They do sell other South Indian vegetarian dishes as well but those two are my favourite especially with masala tea (spiced Indian style milk tea).

The temple opens 8am – 7pm, week-ends and public holidays; 8.00am to 12.00pm and 4.00pm to 7.00pm on weekdays.

Nepali Culture, Customs and Etiquette

Over the years I have noticed many cultures, customs and etiquettes of Nepal which are so different from what we find in western countries. I am sharing a few of them here. 

  • In Nepal, everyone is your Brother, Sister, Uncle or Aunt even if you are not related. 
  • It is normal to slurp tea or any drink when you are out and about. 
  • Superstition goes hand in hand with culture. For example if a cat crosses the road, you wait for someone else to cross that path before you cross it. 
  • You should not step over an idol of a god or goddess or anything that is used to worship them. This is seen as a disrespect to god to step over them. A lot of time if someone is coming up the steps with Puja items you are not allowed to go up of down the steps above them as this constitutes stepping over the Puja items. 
  • Sharing is caring in Nepal so if you have a Kit Kat bar, you still ask who ever is around you and break that bar into pieces to share. 
  • Fat is good in Nepal so if someone in Nepal said you look fat, don’t get offended. He/she is giving you a compliment on how healthy you look. 
  • Momo is the best food in the world (according to every Nepali) 
  • PDA (Public displays of affection) is a big NO NO. 
  • As respect to the God and Goddess, one should always take off your shoes before entering a temple. 
  • In most Nepali homes you should not wear shoes in the rooms, they have to be taken off before entering any room. 
  • Ask for permission before entering a Hindu temple. In some temples, only Hindu’s are allowed. 
  • Taking photographs inside most temples is not allowed. 
  • You always walk around a temple in clockwise direction. 
  • You will notice lots of people touch their forehead with their fingers as they pass by the temples. It is acknowledgement of God and showing respect. 
  • Never enter anyone’s kitchen until they ask you to. 
  • Staring is ok (I know it is silly). 
  • It is normal to find people of the same sex walking together hand in hand (girl and girl or even boy and boy) but boy and girl can’t walk hand in hand without being stared at. 
  • People call each other Sir or Madam, like Mohan Sir or Rita Madam in the workplace. 
  • Bargaining is the first rule of shopping in Nepal. [I have paid twice the price of an item even when I bargain 😦 ] 
  • You will notice Nepali people shake their head a lot. If the head shakes (sways) from side to side it is YES an if it shakes from side to side (face turns from side to side) it’s a NO. 
  • When there is a visitor, they serve tea and egg. Noddles like Wai Wai and Maggie are served as lunch. 
  • If you are meeting someone and they didn’t come in time, don’t be surprise. It is called Nepali time which is to come a bit late to your appointment. 
  • Dal Bhaat Tarkai can be breakfast , lunch and dinner. 
  • Nepali people don’t eat beef and until recently it was illegal to even sell beef. 
  • When woman has her period, normally they are considered impure and they are not allowed in the temple and kitchen for four days. 
  • There are no fines for littering in Nepal so you see people throwing things on the street even if the bins are just a few feet away. 
  • It is considered rude to touch any one’s head. 
  • In Nepal, you don’t eat and serve yourself. It is considered Jutho (impure) to touch the cooking pots while you are eating. 
  • Left hand is considered impure/Jutho so you never pass things around with your left hand. 
  • If someone dies in the family, the family will not celebrate any festivals or birthdays for a year and there will be no wedding or any other happy celebrations for that year. 
  • If someone touches their throat with their fingers then they blow on the fingers. Not blowing on it is believed to cause swollen glands in the throat. 
  • Footwear should not be left upside down as it will cause bad luck. 
  • You can see some vehicles in Nepal with a slipper hanging in the front (or rear). This is said to ward of evil (bad eye) so that accidents will not befall the vehicle. 
  • You should not say the word for Witch in Nepali, it is believed to bring you to the attention of a witch and she will harm you. 
  • If you find a mysterious bruise on the body, it is thought to be because a witch drank your blood. 
  • You should not pee on a Pipal tree as they are usually haunted by a witch and she will harm you for peeing on her home. 
  • You should not touch most stuff (that are not meant to be touched with the feet) with your feet, since everything is thought to have an essence of God and touching them with the feet is disrespecting God. Especially things for learning, as Saraswati is the goddess of learing and pillows as you normally put your head on it, etc. 

There are many other things but I will leave that for another post.