BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir joined more than 750 buildings across London on the weekend of 17 and 18 September 2016 to participate in ‘Open House London’ – an annual architectural festival celebrating London’s buildings and design.
Open House is a concept that was created in London 20 years ago by Open-City, London’s leading independent architecture education organisation. This successful project has now been extended to 30 cities worldwide.
The Mandir – one of London’s iconic religious buildings – welcomed almost 1,000 guests across the two days. The visitor experience included a warm, personalised welcome by young children who explained the history and religious significance of the Mandir and its distinguishing features. A further in-depth tour was also provided, while there were plenty of opportunities to join worshippers for one of the arti ceremonies during the day.
The refurbished Nilkanth Abhishek Mandap provided an added highlight to this year’s visit. The Abhishek Mandap is a marble chamber on the lower floor of the main mandir housing the sacred image of Shri Nilkanth Varni, the teenage form of Bhagwan Swaminarayan.
Many of the visitors, whether architecture and design experts or enthusiasts hailing from various walks of life, shared some feedback of their experience at the Mandir. A selection of their observations is provided below:
Thank you for being so welcoming and providing such an enlightening insight. (SW, IT Engineer)
Really welcoming and informative tour as well as the video – very enjoyable experience at a wonderful place. I look forward to returning. Thank you. (AM, Journalist)
Really interesting – prompting me to do further research in Hinduism and the Mandir. (MG, Australia)
The Mandir is surely one of the most amazing places I have seen since I have lived in London. My suggestion is to spread more information about it. It would be a shame for anyone to miss it! (RC, Actuary)
Stunning! Our guide was amazingly friendly and knowledgeable. Thank you so much. I learnt a lot! Far beyond my expectations. (RC)
A beautiful and welcoming place. A rare thing to find in London. Thank you. (IR)
It was a unique experience. Every time I come back I get to find out more and learn, at the same time, about the extraordinary Hindu culture. (DZ, Student)
Amazing construction and detail. The tour guides were very informative and shared a great understanding of Hinduism. (AB, Software Engineer)
Absolutely magnificent carvings in all materials and spiritually uplifting in many ways. (JE, Teacher)
This is an incredible building derived through devotion, love and humility. (C, Teacher)
One of the most beautiful temples I have ever visited. Kudos to the management and volunteers. (S, Student)
An excellent place not only to see the brilliant architecture of the temple but the story of Hinduism. (MS, Retired)
For further information about Open House London and Open-City, please follow the respective links.
Disclaimer: BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha is not responsible for the content of external internet sites.