"A Mandir is a place of paramount peace…to realize God"

- H.H. Pramukh Swami Maharaj


BAPS is a spiritual and humanitarian Hindu organization dedicated to serving humanity by caring for individuals, families and society. A dedicated force of thousands of volunteers offers over 12 million volunteer hours every year to serve the community through various health, education, disaster relief and environmental protection projects. BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir, Nairobi is one of the Mandirs.

Mandir is a word of Sanskrit origin and it means the dwelling place for the Deities.

The BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir Complex in Nairobi has become the focus of interest and wonder for thousands of local citizens and people visiting Nairobi. The fusion of traditional Indian wooden carving with modern technology has attracted people from all walks of life; from visiting school groups to architects, they are all marveled by the stunning architecture and breathtaking artistry of the Mandir.

The construction and architecture of it is rooted in Vedas in a treatise known as the Shilpa-Shastras. The Mandir exemplifies a system of construction that has been proven to withstand the tests of time, thus providing a place that will continue to generate memories and experiences for the posterity. Visitors to the Mandir can experience the various facets of Hindu rites and rituals, as well the core philosophical concepts of the religion. The Mandir, exhibition of ’Understanding Hinduism’ provide visitors a concise, yet comprehensive study of the Hindu religion. It is an inspiring place to learn about the culture of India, the values and traditions associated with Hinduism.

The Mandir has several activities for the young and old. Activities are spiritual and Charity activities which encourage volunteerism. Festivals are celebrated in the Mandir throughout the year. The festivals are reminiscent of some of the festivals in India. They include Diwali, Swaminarayan Jayanti, Ram Navami, Janmashtmi, Holi and Ganesh Chaturthi. Diwali and Annakut mark the end of one year and beginning of Hindu New Year. They are celebrated with offering of prayers and dazzling lights, sights, sounds and thematic exhibitions.

The foundations of BAPS satsang in Africa began in 1927 due to the inspiration of Brahmaswarup Shastriji Maharaj and the sincere efforts of many dedicated devotees. Swaminarayan Satsang Mandir was the first ever mandir to be built outside India in 1945 and represented the growth of satsang in Africa. The painted murtis of Bhagwan Swaminarayan, Aksharbrahman Gunatitanand Swami and Gopalanand Swami were sanctified by Pujya Shastriji Maharaj in India and were installed with great fanfare in Nairobi.

In 1970, Yogiji Maharaj inaugurated the Hari Mandir in the affluent are of Ngara Road. At that time, he prophesied that a magnificent and larger mandir will be built in Nairobi. But for 24 years, the country’s political and social instability led many to think that the prophecy was still a distant dream. On the one hand many Indian families were emigrating to other countries and on the other hand, there was worsening of the financial situation. Combined, these factors pushed the words of Yogiji Maharaj to back of the devotee’s memory.


Then on 23-9-94, during Swamishri’s stay in Nairobi, some of the youth devotees approached Swamishri and requested him to give the go ahead to build a new, larger mandir. Instantly, Swamishri accepted the proposal. The very next day, on 24-9-94, Swamishri visited the land for the mandir and showered sanctified flower petals upon it. He prayed that a magnificent mandir be built there.

Thus the project was launched. A variety of opinions were formulated and presented to Swamishri. Swamishri suggested that the mandir should incorporate traditional Hindu mandir features such as shikhars, sthambhs and ghummats. Meanwhile, on behalf of Swamishri, Param Pujya Mahant Swami went to Nairobi to perform the ground-breaking ceremony. During this ceremony, Param Pujya Mahant Swami placed the bricks, which had been ceremoniously sanctified by Swamishri in India, into the foundation, together with consecrated water from the Ganga, Narmada, Sabarmati, Gondali, Ghela, Nile, Lake Victoria and the Indian ocean. Also coins in current circulation from 151 countries were laid in the foundations, together with sanctified soil from the sacred birthplace of Shriji Maharaj in Chhapaiya.

After 1 million man-hours, Swamishri dedicated the mandir on 29th August, 1999. Mandir Mahotsav was indeed a festival of joy and divinity. Yagna, historic procession and Murti Pratishtha mahotsav were celebrated.

Understanding Hinduism - A Unique Exhibition

Walk through the beginning of civilization; learn about the history and beauty of Hinduism.

'Understanding Hinduism' is a well-researched pictorial presentation of facts, figures and information. For the novice or the scholar, the exhibition is inspiring and enlightening.

The exhibition conveys the message of Hinduism through various media like panels, translites, dioramas, photographs, A.V. shows, 3-D forms, fiber glass figures, wood carvings, paper crafts etc. This exhibition describes the heritage of India and its significant contributions to the world. Did you know that India was the first to introduce the concept of the "Zero" to the world in 700 BCE? Or that the law of gravity was first discovered in 600 BCE, by Maharshi Kanad, an Indian Physicist? The first history book, the first university, the first Hospital were all founded in India, hundreds of years before other civilizations.

Encompassing the Natural features of India, "Understanding Hinduism" is a well researched presentation of facts, figures, and information that systematically deals with the origin, beliefs, glory, and contributions of Hindu seers and scholars in several areas such as mathematics, astronomy, medicine, aviation, cosmology, physics, education, yoga, and religion. The sharing of this knowledge encouraged a high level of social and scientific advancement in almost every field.


A team from the Sanstha’s Planning Cell visited famous monuments in Jesalmer, Jodhpur, Kerala, Abu and other places to study their architecture and construction in detail. As a result, it was decided to build the structure of the Nairobi mandir with RCC and clad it with sculpted stone from Jesalmer.

The continent of Africa is renowned for the abundant quality and variety of wood it produces. So, it was Swamishri’s wish that the dome area of the mandir be decorated with such intricate and sophisticated wood design. After much discussion and thought, it was decided to use Elgon Teak, Mvuli, Mahogony and White Oak. The first consignment of selected wood was shipped in 8 containers to India in August 1998. Then another consignment was shipped in 7 containers in February, 1999.

Craftsmen in 32 different locations in Gujarat, Maharashtra, and Rajasthan worked to sculpt the wood. The finished carvings were then shipped to Mombasa, from where they were transported 500 miles by road to Nairobi. Experienced craftsmen then worked to touch up and assemble the designs. Thus, the entire main dome of the mandir, the pillars under the main dome and the walls of the dome area are all crafted in wood. The mandir done is a wonder in wood.

  • Dimensions
    • Total Area: 10,200 sq . ft.
    • Width: 99 ft
    • Height: 69 ft
    • Length: 140 ft
  • Stones
    • Jesaler Yellow stone: 16,500 sq. ft. (350 tons)
    • Carrara Marble from Italy: 13,200 sq. ft.
    • Kota stone from India: 10,000 sq. ft.
  • Features
    • 5 shikhars (Pinnacles)
    • 7 Ghummats (Domes)
    • 66 Sthambas (Pillars)
    • 40 Gavakshas (Windows)
    • 23 Samarans (Arches)
    • 4 Zarukhas (Balconies)
    • 80 different designs
    • 30 different ceiling designs
    • 5 staircases
    • 6000 delicate floral designs in wood
  • Work Force
    • 235 craftsmen during peak time
    • Over 1 million man-hours have gone into the project since inception.
  • Bhagwan Swaminarayan and Aksharbrahm Gunatitanand Swami
  • Shri Laxmi-Narayan Dev
  • Shri Radha-Krishna Dev
  • Brahmaswarup Bhagataji Maharaj
  • Brahmaswarup Shastriji Maharaj
  • Brahmaswarup Yogiji Maharaj
  • Brahmaswarup Pramukh Swami Maharaj
  • Shri Hanumanji
  • Shri Ganeshji
  • Shri Nilkanth Varni Maharaj

Mandir           Temple/place of worship     
Murti             Sacred image of the Deities and gurus   
Darshan          Seeing the Deities with reverence and adoration 
Arti               Ritual waving of lighted wicks before the Deities       
Thal              Ritual offering of food to the Deities


Mandir Murtis

Mandir Address

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