The anniversary celebrations of the first traditional Hindu Mandir outside India were held on Sunday 20th August 2005 as, exactly 11 years ago, His Holiness Pramukh Swami Maharaj had performed the inauguration of the BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir in Neasden, London on 20 August 1995.
The historic occasion began with sadhus performing the abhishek of the murtis in the central shrines with panchamrut (a mixture of milk, yoghurt, honey, sugar and ghee) and water, with devotees bathing the smaller metal images of Bhagwan Swaminarayan. A beautiful Annakut was offered to the deities from midday as devotees flocked for darshan. In honour of the occasion and for world peace, a mahapuja was performed in the afternoon inside the Haveli.
A grand assembly hall set the scene for the evening’s festival that provided enlightenment on the concept and importance of a Mandir. The need of a Mandir was illustrated through a video presentation. Sadhus spoke on the concept, significance and importance of a mandir.
The finale of the grand celebrations culminated with the Arti, as thousands remembered Pramukh Swami Maharaj performing the first Arti of the Mandir exactly 11 years to this day.