The 10-day celebrations to commemorate His Holiness Pramukh Swami Maharaj’s 96th birth anniversary and the 20th anniversary of the BAPS Mandir in Surat were inaugurated by Pragat Brahmaswarup Mahant Swami Maharaj, Deputy Chief Minister of Gujarat Shri Nitinbhai Patel, State Minister Shri Mansukhbhai Mandaviya and other dignitaries.
At 10.00 a.m., in the presence of thousands of devotees, HH Mahant Swami Maharaj, Shri Nitinbhai Patel and dignitaries performed the Vedic inauguration of the 50 ft. high by 225 ft. long main gate of Swaminarayan Nagar and the majestic life-size mandir replica.
The festival grounds also features eight enlightening exhibitions based on the life, work and teaching of HH Pramukh Swami Maharaj. They also incorporate topics of social importance emphasized by HH Pramukh Swami Maharaj, such as family harmony, de-addiction, saving electricity and water, and keeping India clean. The messages are conveyed using walkthrough displays, video shows and live skit performances.
Every evening a spectacular light and sound centered around the life-size mandir will be presented revealing the ancient glory and modern necessity of mandirs in helping people to attain spiritual progress and social harmony.
After the light and sound show, a daily public assembly will be held featuring speeches by senior and learned sadhus, devotional songs by sadhus, and outstanding cultural programs by children and youths depicting the history of satsang in Surat, and the inspiring life of HH Pramukh Swami Maharaj.
In the inaugural evening festival assembly the stage guests included State Minister Shri Mansukhbhai Mandaviya and Nanubhai Vanani.
Throughout the day, over 200 bottles of blood were donated by festival visitors at the blood donation camp set up in the festival grounds.