Devotees from all around the region gathered in North Little Rock, a suburb of Little Rock, to witness the auspicious groundbreaking ceremony for Arkansas' first BAPS mandir, which will also be the state's first Hindu mandir. The ceremony started on August 20th at 8:45 in the morning with a traditional Vedic Ground-breaking ceremony and ended at noon with an assembly.
Devotees arrived on buses from Houston and Dallas. Many others traveled from surrounding areas such as Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, Missouri, and Tennessee; all of whom were happy to bear the intense heat in order to participate in the historic ceremony.
Mr. Patrick Hayes, Mayor of North Little Rock, has been a major supporter of the mandir project and offered his praises, "It is an honor to be a part of the first Hindu temple in Arkansas and it is something I will never forget." He continued by stressing the importance of being aware of different cultures and welcomed BAPS to the community. He concluded by presenting P. Anirdesh Swami, head of the BAPS Swaminarayan Mandir in Houston, with a plaque commemorating August 20th as "Swaminarayan Hindu Temple Day."