BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir in London featured once again as a part of the annual Open House London architecture festival held this year during the weekend of 18-19 September 2010.

Visitors to the Mandir and the Haveli appreciated the beauty, serenity and spirituality of the traditional place of worship as well as the friendly welcome offered by the volunteers and guides.

More than 1,300 visitors streamed through the gates over the weekend amid the glorious late summer weather. They were warmly welcomed with traditional Indian hospitality and after admiring the intricate carvings and beautifully adorned sacred images, were guided around the ‘Understanding Hinduism’ exhibition and the gardens. A video presentation on the history and construction of the Mandir provided an informative and educational experience. Many also chose to attend the midday arti ceremony.

Some of the visitors browsed through the souvenir shop which houses a wide selection of books and educational publications, and stopped for lunch at the Shayona restaurant, sampling a selection of delicious Indian vegetarian food.

The Open House London initiative is a “simple but powerful concept: hundreds of great buildings of all types and periods open up their doors to all free of charge.” More than 700 landmarks were available for visitors to explore as part of the campaign.

A variety of interested visitors – from architects and other professionals to families and individual students – expressed their thoughts upon visiting the Mandir:

A breathtaking place where one can experience peace and happiness.

- AJ (Tourist visiting London from USA)

A truly remarkable learning experience of Indian architecture and the Hindu faith.

- Ms P (Teacher)

The Mandir is a beautiful building infused with a feeling of deep spirituality and peace. Our guide was exceptionally informative and entertaining.

- NN (Interior Designer)

To describe it as a beautifully spiritual place would be too simplistic; words fail me. I am glad that it is in Brent. Thank you for allowing me to visit. I am blessed.

- OF (Editor)

Beautiful building with strong & peaceful energy. And a lovely gift shop. It was a great visit. Thank you.

- BT (Artist)

Beautiful environment and wonderful guide with explanation of how the building was built and use of it. Thank you.

- HM ( Architect)

Very impressive and very informative which increased my knowledge and understanding of both the culture and Hindu religion

- A (Accountant)

The mandir is extremely beautiful and the exhibition is informative. Thank you

- MR (Designer)

A beautiful building and a fascinating story of community engagement. We were very well directed on arrival and the introductory video and presentation provided a good overview.

- AC (Journalist)

Amazed. Who knew that such a building existed in North London? (And I have lived in North London all my life!) I would like to come back during one of the festivals.

- Y (Student)

This building is still amazing 15 years later. The craftworks are phenomenon. The gentleman in the temple was very informative.

- Dr J (Doctor)

Open House London is an initiative of Open-City, the capital’s architecture organisation also dedicated to “research, training, advice and campaigns that impact the whole city.”

To learn more about Open House London, please click here.

To learn more about Open City, please click here.

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