BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir, London once again participated in the ‘Open House London’ architectural festival, over the weekend of 19 and 20 September 2015.

Open House London is “the capital’s greatest architectural festival… celebrating the buildings, places and neighbourhoods where we live, work and play.” It is organised by Open-City, an independent, non-profit architecture education organisation championing the role of well-designed places in creating and sustaining a successful, vibrant city.

The Mandir – one of London’s iconic religious buildings – joined more than 700 other architectural marvels in welcoming hundreds of visitors for an in-depth guided tour over the weekend. Guests were greeted upon arrival by young children, who explained the history and significance of the Mandir and its distinguishing features. Some of the visitors also joined worshippers for one of the arti ceremonies during the day.

This year’s event followed shortly after the 20th anniversary celebrations of the Mandir, and guests were given an insight into the various inspiring festivals and community activities that were organised to commemorate this milestone.

Many of the visitors, whether architecture and design experts or enthusiasts hailing from various walks of life, shared feedback of their experience at the Mandir. A selection of their observations is provided below:

Absolutely beautiful – stunning! I have seen it on television but never thought I would be fortunate enough to visit. Thank You!

Extremely satisfying to find a temple like this in this part of the world.

Brilliant! So good to be able to see inside the temple, but more so to learn more about Hinduism. Everyone here has been so lovely, informative and helpful.

Overwhelmed with how welcome we were made to feel. As a non-religious person it was the warmest experience I have had. Many thanks.

My party included two people from South America. We were all inspired by the visit – the young guides were excellent – credit to you.

It is amazing, inspiring, beautiful and relaxing. I’ve been here many times as a Jew even though it is not my religion.

A wonderful spiritual experience from first sight and beyond. It felt like an oasis amongst the chaos of the world.

Best Open House so far – very friendly and knowledgeable guides, including children. Amazing building as well! Will recommend a visit again.

Arti was a very moving experience, thank you so much for welcoming us to such a beautiful and spiritual place.

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