The Augusta Mandir Mahotsav celebrations took place during August 12-13, 2016. The two-day event was filled with devotional kirtans, spiritual discourses and murti-pratishta ceremony in the presence of Sadguru Pujya Kothari Swami (Pujya Bhaktipriya Swami) – one of the most senior Swami of BAPS along with Swamis from the United States and India. The event was a culmination of decades of dedication and hard work by devotees.
The BAPS Augusta satsang mandal was established in 1987. In the early days, assemblies conducted in devotees’ homes on a rotational basis with only 25 devotees in attendance. His Holiness Pramukh Swami Maharaj visited Augusta, Georgia in 1988 and blessed the mandal for continued progress. Over the next eight years, satsang grew. The growth necessitated a Mandir and a cultural center wherein spiritual and cultural activities could be conducted. On October 4, 1988, the BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir in Augusta, Georgia opened its doors in the presence of Pujya Yagnavallabh Swami. In 2000, Pramukh Swami Maharaj graced the Mandir with his divine presence.
The Mandir witnessed continued growth which required an expansion of the existing facility. Pramukh Swami Maharaj sanctified new murtis in Sarangpur, India on May 3, 2015. Through his blessings, the expansion was completed in August 2016.
With the blessing and guidance of His Holiness Mahant Swami Maharaj, on August 12, 2016, the assembly enjoyed an evening filled with melodious kirtans, cultural dances performed by children, and religious discourses by Pujya Kothari Swami and other Swamis.
The auspicious occasion of murti pratishtha took place on Saturday, August 13, 2016. The ceremony began with the traditional mahapuja creating a divine atmosphere and experience for all in attendance. The ceremony culminated with the first arti of the newly consecrated murtis and a discourse by Pujya Kothari Swami. The event was commemorated with the participation and best wishes of hundreds of volunteers and community members.