Decades ago, His Holiness Pramukh Swami Maharaj laid out a grand vision for the BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir complex in Chicago. That vision included a grand Shikharbaddh mandir situated between two symmetrically constructed buildings with traditional haveli-type architecture. Pramukh Swami Maharaj took an active interest ensuring that the complex blended traditional architecture with modern amenities, and provided ample resources for the youth, including a gym and classrooms for physical, emotional, and spiritual growth.
August 29, 2021 marked the culmination of that vision, with the opening of the Youth Activities Center (YAC). The inauguration of the new facility was held in the presence of Sadguru Pujya Ishwarcharan Swami. Devotees from the greater Chicago area as well the Midwest region gathered on this day to participate in a vedic mahapuja to commemorate the occasion.
In his blessings, Pujya Ishwarcharan Swami spoke about Pramukh Swami Maharaj’s vision, and the impact of the new building on the youth. Specifically, he highlighted that the YAC will not just be a place to gather and play; but will play a vital role in nurturing and developing today’s youth into tomorrow’s leaders.
This new Youth Activities Center is a multipurpose facility consisting of 26 classrooms, meeting rooms, and a full-sized gymnasium. The facility will support the holistic development of children and youth through cultural, religious, music and other classes, as well as sports tournaments and other events. The new building will also have an exhibition and house the Nilkanth Varni Abhishek Mandapam.