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Absolutely stunning. A beautiful and true place of spirituality and calmness.” – Mr S S (Consultant)

BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir in London featured once again as a part of the annual Open House London architecture festival held this year during the weekend of 19-20 September 2009.

Visitors to the Mandir and the Haveli appreciated the beauty, serenity and religiosity of the traditional place of worship as well as the friendly welcome offered by the volunteers and guides.

Around 1,300 visitors streamed in over the weekend between 10.00am and 4.00pm amid the glorious late summer weather. They were warmly welcomed with traditional Indian hospitality and after admiring the ornate carvings and beautifully adorned sacred images, were guided around the ‘Understanding Hinduism’ exhibition and the gardens. A video presentation on the history and construction of the Mandir provided an informative and educational experience. Many also chose to attend the midday arti ceremony.

Some 700 buildings in London had opened their doors to visitors free of charge during the weekend. Entry to the Mandir, of course, is free throughout the year and people of all faiths and none are welcome.

A variety of interested visitors – from architects and other professionals to families and individual students – shared their opinions of the visit. A few are given here below (full names withheld):

Fantastic educational resource for the London & wider community to understand and respect the Hindu faith. – Ms J M (Teacher)

Fantastic architecture. Amazed it only took 3 years. Opened our eyes to the nature of Hinduism. – Visitor

A wonderful, peaceful place. The beauty and calm moves one to tears. – Ms S G (Secretary)

Amazing…… Hard to believe this is in London. – Visitor It is the most beautiful building I have ever seen. – Ms S N (Housewife)

Very impressed by the scale and delicate craftsmanship that have gone into the building of this mandir. The carving of the Burmese teak and Italian marble were particularly striking. – Mr N M (Journalist)

Amazingly beautiful building and very impressive social work of organisation…… – Mr L W (Information Management Consultant)

Impressed by the building + spirit of guides I met. – Ms D D (Researcher)

Absolute astonishment. – F M (Trainee Teacher)

Very good. A lot to take in on one visit. Will have to come back. – Ms J T (Bank Clerk)

For us it was a special moment to visit such a holy place. We felt peaceful and relaxed during the visit and spiritually moved. – Visitor

Click on the respective links to learn more about Open House London 2009, the event, and Open House, the organisation itself.

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