With the blessings of HDH Pramukh Swami Maharaj, the BAPS Swaminarayan Mandir in Southend-on-Sea was declared open on Sunday 5 October 2003, the auspicious day of Vijaya Dashami (Dashera). With the blessings of Swamishri, members of the Satsang Mandal in Essex have been conducting regular satsang assemblies for many years. Their efforts culminated in the purchase of a spacious hall on the coast of South East England in Southend-on-Sea.
On the afternoon of Sunday 5 October, Pujya Atmaswarup Swami and sadhus from Neasden's Shri Swaminarayan Mandir performed the murti-pratishtha (image installation) ceremony, which commenced with Vedic mahapuja rituals with participants. After the pratishtha rituals of Akshar Purushottam Maharaj, Radha-Krishna Dev and the Guru Parampara, a beautiful annakut was offered to the deities.
This was followed by a special assembly to mark the occasion in which Pramukh Swami Maharaj's blessings were read to the audience. Sir Teddy Taylor, M.P for Southend East & Rochford, Councillor Sir Roger Weaver and the Deputy Mayor were present and welcomed the new mandir. Six-hundred devotees and well-wishers came for darshan on the opening day.