In 1955, in Mombasa, Brahmaswarup Yogiji Maharaj inaugurated the first ever BAPS Swaminarayan Mandir built outside India. Since then Satsang has flourished and to cater for this the Mombasa Mandir went through a major renovation project.
The three-day Mandir Mahotsav began on Thursday 21 June with a grand Vedic Vishwashanti Mahayaag in the morning in which prayers were offered for world peace and the happiness of all. Three learned pundits guided the 100-kundi mahayaag in which a total of 423 couples participated. At noon, the murtis to be consecrated in the Mandir were taken around the town in a festive Nagar Yatra in which over 3,100 devotees participated. Five beautifully decorated floats carried the murtis along the 3-km procession route. Outstanding highlights of the procession:
- Nairobi Kishore Mandal Band playing kirtan tunes
- Signboards of all the major Satsang centers in Africa
- Two decorated camels and four horses
- Youths performing dances
- Children in traditional costumes dancing and playing instruments
A team of local acrobats performing various acrobatic sequences. On the morning of Friday 22 June (Asadh sud 3), the sacred murtis of Shri Akshar-Purushottam Maharaj, Shri Guru Parampara, Shri Ganapatiji and Shri Hanumanji, all of which had been previously sanctified by Pujya Pramukh Swami Maharaj in India, were installed in the new Mandir with Vedic rites by Pujya Ghanshyamcharan Swami. More than 2,500 devotees from all around Africa were present to witness this historic and auspicious occasion.
During the murti-pratishtha assembly, Pujya Ghanshyamcharan Swami spoke on the glory of Akshar-Purushottam Maharaj and how mandirs help to preserve this eternal philosophy. He also spoke about how mandirs reinforce moral teachings and nurture spiritual values. In the evening, an inspiring cultural program was presented by Mombasa Bal-Yuvak Mandal.
On the afternoon of Saturday 23 June, the ladies wing held a special Mahila Sammelan to celebrate the opening of the new Mandir in Mombasa. In the evening, a melodious program of bhajans was performed by the BAPS sadhus and youths.