The ground-breaking ceremony to commence construction of the new BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir in Birmingham was performed on Sunday 5 June 2016.
Presiding over the ceremonies was Sadguru Pujya Bhaktipriya Swami (Kothari Swami) and visiting sadhus from India as well as sadhus from London. They were joined by over 600 worshippers and well-wishers from Birmingham and other parts of the UK and India.
The traditional ritual involved bricks - which had been sanctified by Pramukh Swami Maharaj in Sarangpur, India on 3 April 2016 - being ceremoniously placed in the foundations of the new mandir.
Growth of Satsang activities in Birmingham has increased steadily since Pramukh Swami Maharaj inaugurated the first mandir in the city in 1990. Having outgrown the second mandir that was opened in 2004, the new complex will be able to cater for the many devotees and guests who visit throughout the year.
In his address, Kothari Swami spoke of the selfless efforts of sadhus and devotees that have inspired the building of a new mandir in the UK’s second largest city. He also explained the significance of mandirs for individuals, families and society.
Lead volunteer for BAPS in Birmingham, Vasant Parikh, added, “We’re delighted to begin work for the new mandir and are ever grateful to the local community for their support. The new mandir will fulfil the vision of Pramukh Swami Maharaj by providing a place of worship and serving the members of the local community.”