We visit the Birmingham peace monument welcoming people from across the world since 1975

The Buddhist peace Pagoda in Ladywood is open the public during Birmingham Heritage Week
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Not very far from Birmingham city centre lies a beautiful peace monument that is often overlooked by passersby. Located between residential homes, it is easy to miss the Buddhist temple if you don’t know it exists.

We visited the Buddhist temple located close to Edgbaston Reservoir on Osler Street and found a very different world to the hustle and bustle of daily city life. The monastery has a temple with a garden at the back as well as living accommodations and study centre for monks.

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The temple is a Pagoda, an Asian tiered tower with multiple eaves, and it shines brightly in gold with the body in white. Right at the top of the Pagoda is a diamond shaped rock and tiny umbrellas and lotus petals decorate the rest of the tower.

One of the monks at the monastery, Nagasena Bhikkhu, who has been here for 25 years, told BirminghamWorld: “The architecture is Burmese style. The ground floor of the temple denotes the human realm and the realm above is the deva and the highest one is Nirvana - which represents the purity of mind.”

Dhamma Talaka Peace PagodaDhamma Talaka Peace Pagoda
Dhamma Talaka Peace Pagoda

The temple is part of the monastery or vihara set up officially in 1998 - but its origins go back to 1975. This is the oldest and the first monastery in Birmingham set up by Dr. Rewata Dhamma - a Buddhist monk from Myanmar (formerly Burma).

He spent decades in India before moving to Birmingham - where he set up a Buddhist centre in 1975 for followers of Theravada school of Buddhism. Theravada is one of the three major sects of Buddhism, and believed to be the oldest surviving branch of Buddhism.

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Buddhist monastery in Ladywood, BirminghamBuddhist monastery in Ladywood, Birmingham
Buddhist monastery in Ladywood, Birmingham

The monastery was set up for the Buddhist community from China, Myanmar, India and Sri Lanka who had settled in Birmingham. However, it is open to people of all religions and nationalities.

Buddhism is regarded as the most peaceful religion as it stresses the principle of ahimsa or the “non-injury” of living beings. Founded by Siddhartha Gautama—also known as “the Buddha”— this major world religion is more than 2,500 years old.

Meditation is one of the key aspects followers of the religion take part in. And, for those interested, there are beginner and advanced meditation lessons that take place weekly. You can find more details on the Monastery’s website. The Peace Pagoda is currently open from 12pm to 5pm to the public for Birmingham Heritage Week, which ends on September 17.

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