Saturday, 20 April 2013


Stage four of the Tirath Yatra Sponsored Walk with Leicester Friends of Oxford Centre for Hindu Studies: Shri Shirdi Sai Baba Temple, Colton StreetThe goal is to visit 16 Hindu places of worship (mandirs) in Leicester on foot in a single day.

Tirath Yatra (Hindi: तीर्थयात्रा) is a journey undertaken as a pilgrimage.

The temple was dedicated to public worship less than a month ago, an occasion which was covered in the Leicester Mercury.

The temple is in the former Guild of Disabled, which was opened in 2009. It is a Grade-II Listed Building in the heart of the St George Conservation Area (better known these days as the "Cultural Quarter"). No one in our group seems to know anything about the history of the building and our hosts don't say anything about it. I think that's sad, as the building has a fascinating background. So I'll put that right, here on the blog. Information about the history of the building, provided by Helena Edwards (a trustee of Mosaic) was published in the Leicester Mercury, 1 October 2009: 
Mosaic is the latest name of the organisation that built the Guildhall, the Cripples Guild (later Leicester Leicestershire and Rutland Guild of Disabled People) and it was our base until recently.
Unfortunately it was by then a listed building and protected from alterations, so we could not get permission from the city planners to make the adaptations necessary to satisfy the Disability Discrimination Act access levels.
It was sold, with much regret, in 2000 and the organisation moved into rented accommodation in 2002.
Sadly, the developers who bought the old building have apparently not done anything with it since. It is a great shame as it is not only architecturally but socially special, as possibly the first meeting place in the UK built with disability access in mind.

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