This morning we went to the Gurdwara, in a suburb of Melbourne called Blackburn. We arrived at 11am and hardly found anybody there, the sangat turned up and 12. I was thinking that if this was an white American Sikh Gurdwara they would have been there from the start…….the reason why American Sikhs are leading the way and showing us how it is done properly!!
Sri Guru Nanak Satsang Sabha
127 Whitehouse Road
T: +61 3 989 41800
The Sabha (SGNSS) was set up in 1981 to carry on the religious affair of the sangat in Melbourne. Prior to that and beginning in 1977 families had met in private homes, then Rathdowne Primary School and later Box Hill Primary school as centres for the Sikh Sangat. In 1984, through the efforts of the pioneering families the Uniting Church in Fern Tree Gully was purchased and set up as the first Gurdwara in Melbourne. The move to the current premises at 127 Whitehorse Road, Blackburn -a postal warehouse refurbished and transformed to serve as a Gurdwara was made in late 1993.
Today, Gurdwara Sahib at Blackburn is well placed to meet the needs of an ever increasing sangat. An elected committee manages the day to day running of the Sabha affairs supported by a very large team of dedicated volunteers and a resident team of religious workers. The sangat is able to listen to kirtan from some of the best professional ragis who provide their services for programs both at the gurdwara and homes. Regular programs are held on Wednesdays evenings, Saturdays mornings and Sunday mornings. Additional kirtan programs and weddings are held at other times on Saturdays and Sundays. Special programs are held to celebrate Vaisakhi and Gurpurabs.
Based at the premises, the Khalsa Punjabi School hold classes for the teaching of Punjabi language each Sunday. Punjabi is offered at VCE subject and classes are held on Wednesday evenings. The first batch of students completed this course last year with excellent `results. The Gurbani Kirtan School offers classes for the Learning of Gurbani, Kirtan and tabla on Saturdays and Sundays. The upgrading of resources and refurbishment of Sri Guru Hargobind Libraryis progressing well and the library is very well attended.
The Kirtan was very nice. Afterwards Sangeet bought the CD for AUS$2, unfortunately the sound quality on the CD was poor.
As I am looking for a SIM card so we have continuous internet coverage. We popped to a suburb called Boxhill.
Centro Box Hill
17-21 Market St,
Box Hill VIC
T: +61 3 9843 3900
The shopping centre looked small from the outside but was huge inside, like a tardis!
It would have cost us $50 for a 3gb limit so we decided against the idea.
Aferwards we popped to St Kilda, a seaside town with a big culture around drinking!
St Kilda was named after a schooner Lady of St Kilda (which moored at the main beach for much of 1841) by Charles La Trobe and the ship’s master and early settler Lieutenant James Ross Lawrence.
During the Edwardian and Victorian eras, St Kilda became a favoured suburb of Melbourne’s elite, and many palatial mansions were constructed along its hills and waterfront. Shortly after the turn of the 20th century, St Kilda served a similar function for Melburnians as did Coney Island to the residents of New York City and its history draws an interesting parallel. Densely populated postwar St Kilda became Melbourne’s red-light district, home to low-cost rooming houses. Since the late 1960s, St Kilda became known for its culture of bohemianism as home to many prominent artists, musicians and subcultures, including punks, LGBT and techno scene. While some of these groups still maintain a presence in St Kilda, in recent years the district has experienced rapid gentrification pushing many lower socio-economic groups out to other areas.
St Kilda is home to many of Melbourne’s famous visitor attractions including Luna Park, the Esplanade Hotel, Acland Street and Fitzroy Street. It is home to St Kilda Beach, Melbourne’s most famous beach, several renowned theatres and several of Melbourne’s big events and festivals.
Melbourne’s Luna Park is a historic amusement park located on the foreshore of Port Phillip Bay in St Kilda, Victoria, an inner suburb of Melbourne, Australia. It opened on 13 December 1912 and has been operating almost continuously ever since.
The Palais Theatre is a former cinema, now functioning exclusively as a concert venue, located in St Kilda, Victoria, Australia. With a capacity of 2,896 people, it is the largest seated theatre in Australia.
The building, which retains many of its original features, is considered one of the finest examples of Art deco architecture in Australia and is on the Victorian Heritage Register. In 2006, the City of Port Phillip, which owns the site, called for tenders by private operators to restore the theatre, as part of the proposed redevelopment of the Triangle Site. However, the redevelopment failed to go ahead and the planned $20 million restoration of the Palais was also abandoned.
Lentil As Anything – St Kilda
Not-for-profit incorporated association, based on a ‘pay as you feel’ philosophy. Lentil As Anything features a global cuisine, e.g. Indian curry, udon noodles and lentil or tofu burgers. It has a cosy atmosphere and also provides seating outside.
In the evening we had a great meal at Loving Hut
10/242 Victoria Street,
T: +61 3 9427 8916
The menu was different to the one in Auckland which disappointed me. I wanted mock meats! For me the meal was okay nothing special, not a restaurant I would go back to.
As we had no accommodation for the night we decided to go back to YHA metro…..yes even though I did not like the place…..fortunately we got a double room with a shower.
Today is our last day in Lake Tekapo, we have grown fond of this small town and will miss the peace and quiet. After seeing the partial solar eclipse (detailed in another post,) we relaxed around the hostel common room. Sangeet challenged me to another game of Jenga. I won, but I am not showing off! Later we had a wander around the hostel gardens which are nicely kept. They have a little herb garden too, guests are free to pick fresh herbs from there.
Afterwards, we had one last walk to the town centre. We also revisited The Church of the Good Shepherd so we could go inside. Situated on the shores of Lake Tekapo is the Church of the Good Shepherd, which, in 1935, was the first church built in the Mackenzie Basin. The church at Burkes Pass, St Patrick’s built in 1872 was the first church built by pioneers as a joint community effort, by Anglicans Presbyterian and Catholic settlers. Also a joint venture between Presbyterians and Anglicans, St Columba in Fairlie was built in 1879. The church at Lake Tekapo was designed by Christchurch architect R.S.D. Harman, based on sketches by a local artist, Esther Hope. The church is arguably one of the most photographed in New Zealand, and features an altar window that frames stunning views of the lake and mountains.
As we are flying from Christchurch, early Friday morning, we decided to drive across today and spend a full day visiting the town. The drive takes around 3 hours and is across magnificent rolling hills.
We arrived in Christchurch and headed over to the airport so that we can book tomorrow’s accommodation. Then we headed to New World so we could buy some ingredients for tonight’s dinner. Afterwards we headed to the hostel, easier said then done, as a lot of the roads were closed due to restoration following the earthquake two years ago (can you believe they have had 10,000 tremors since?!!?). The hostel is
Chester St Backpackers
148 Chester St East
T: +64 3 377 1897
Sangeet made spicy potato which we had with tortilla, it was very nice. Later I popped out to grab some milk. At the supermarket called Countdown, I met a couple of Sikhs who said the gurdwara was badly damaged during the earthquake. One of the local sangat members has Guru Granth Sahib Ji at home, unfortunately they only perform a Sunday programme….suppose being his personal home he would not want visitors during the week.
Back at the common room we relaxed with the other backpackers….there is a television here so nobody talked, they just watched television! You usually find that when visiting family or friends…..usually they just switch on the television…..suppose their world revolves around television!!<
Today, Puaji (Puaji = means dad’s sister), Sangeet and I went to the Gurdwara in Hamilton, the sangat here are so welcoming and warm. The round trip from Rotorua is 4 hours, crazy when we are used to a 20 minute round trip.
After the programme we had lungar where we met Mandip Phenji’s (Phenji = sister) parents. They invited us to their beautiful home, there we met their two eldest grandsons, Jaspreet and Manvir.
The welcome was very warm and we learnt about their family history. We left their house around 5pm and headed back to Rotorua.
In the evening Phenji, Sangeet and I all sat and watched the GIMA Music Awards together.
This morning we visited Sri Singh Sabha Walnut, this Gurdwara Sahib was established in 2008 to address the growing Sangat’s needs in the Los Angeles and Orange County of Southern California. The constitution and guiding principles of the Gurdwara align with the Akal Takht, and to a strong commitment to developing the youth into Sikhi and the future. It is registered as a non-profit religious corporation in California.
Whilst Sangeet was having a rest, I had a walked to the shops around Robertson and Pico (areas of LA) It was nice to people watch, also I would stop outside Starbucks to regularly check my emails and iMessages!
When I got back to the house, we headed out to the Gurdwara on Preuss and stayed there for around thirty minutes, it has such a fantastic vibration!
Some history on the Gurdwara/ ashram:
Arriving in Los Angeles in 1968, Yogi Bhajan began his mission to share the teachings of Kundalini Yoga, and to help people live healthy, happy and holy lives. He first established Guru Ram Das Ashram as a yoga center in West Hollywood, and it was here in Los Angeles that Kundalini Yoga in the Western World was born.
In the spring of 1972, we moved to the current location, a former chiropractic and hydrotherapy office, where it was established as a formal Gurdwara.
Yogi Bhajan lived at Guru Ram Das Ashram until the early 1980s. He resided in the small living quarters in the back, joined by his wife, children and staff. In that humble living room countless came for his guidance, the Khalsa Council was born, both spiritual and world leaders have been welcomed and our babies were named.
What is now our gurdwara with marble floors, then served as a sadhana room and gurdwara in the morning, yoga centre by day, and is where Yogi Bhajan, the Siri Singh Sahib, sat and taught classes two nights a week for over 15 years.
He continued to share his teachings with the Sadh Sangat (holy congregation) here for many years until his passing in 2004. Yogi Bhajan said, “I am here to serve anyone who says ‘Sat Nam,’ even once.”
Guru Ram Das Ashram is a sacred place, where for over 35 years people of all walks of life have come to be healed, to meditate, to bow to Guru, and to find peace. The walls of Guru Ram Das Ashram now resonate with the vibration of over 1900 Akhand Paths that have taken place on a weekly basis since those early days, and the chanting, prayer and divine Kirtan from gurdwara services that have been held here 365 days a year since its inception. Countless individuals have come to partake of the Guru’s langar that has been served daily since the mid-1980s.
By Guru’s grace, all of these traditions continue, with daily gurdwara and kirtan, langar, meditation, seva and weekly akhand paths. Literally the birthplace of Sikh Dharma International, Guru Ram Das Ashram in Los Angeles truly is, to us, the “Golden Temple of the West.”
“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” – Mark Twain
After a month of thinking about doing the KRI teacher training level 1 in Espanola, I have finally registered…..just has not sunk in! I am feeling very nervous and at the same time very excited.
I am very lucky that Sangeet has already completed the course two years ago, so can advise me on what to expect.
So the next task was to book the flights, we thought as I will already be in the US, Sangeet would join me towards the end of my course and we will travel for a few months. therefore the choice of tickets we have is as follows:
The ticket which was more suited to our plan and budget was The Great Escapade, I contacted a number of travel agents and was very surprised to see a huge difference in the price. In the end we booked the ticket through Jackie from Travel Nation telephone: tel:01273 320580; email: firstname.lastname@example.org. She is very knowledgeable and their prices were the cheapest.
Hi, thanks for visiting my blog, feel free and have a look around.Here is a bit about me, as you may or may not have guessed my name is Mandeep,I work to travel as opposed to work to pay bills and die!Every trip for me is an adventure, I have been very fortunate to stumble across amazing places and meet awesome people along the way.
Why gaygoat? When I first started this blog I was a vegetarian, so gaygoat – happy goat! Also you have to admit it is catchy and a URL you will not forget!