Shiva's son and his beautiful Neukölln home

Sri Mayurapathy Murugan Tempel - Berlin's first and only Hindu temple

Crowned with a 12-metre tower jostling with multi-hued deities, Berlin's only Hindu temple adds an eye-popping splash of colour to Neukölln's Blaschkoallee.

A place of worship for the city's community of Tamil Hindus, the temple is dedicated to Murugan, Ganesha's brother and son of Shiva.

While its appearance is based on one of the most important temples in Sri Lanka - the 13th century Nallur Murugan Kovil - this miniature version is far more vibrant and guaranteed to brighten up even the greyest of Berlin's days.

Everyone is welcome to visit (although certain protocols have to be observed, such as no shoes, alcohol, smoking or meat-eating), and for those unfamiliar with Hindu iconography, it's worth requesting an unofficial tour to explain the rich symbology of the temple and its various shrines.

To take just one example, the typical red and white stripes on the facade are usually thought to represent the equality of male and female form in all creation, although nobody seems to quite agree on their meaning!

Berlin's unusual sights: a brightly coloured Hindu temple

It's a fascinating addition to Berlin's urban landscape, and since it also happens to be located a short distance from the city's famed 'Hufensiedlung', Bruno Taut's pioneering modernist housing estate, provides an extra treat for architecture lovers.

See also:
A magnificent mosque
Views from a car park

Sri Mayurapathy Murugan Tempel: Riesestraße 20-22 (corner of Blaschkoallee 48), 12347 Berlin
Opening times: daily from 7.30am-12.30pm and 4.30pm-7.30pm

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