A new BAPS mandir in Birmingham, UK, was inaugurated over the weekend of 23-24 October 2021.
Sadguru Pujya Ishwarcharandas Swami presided over the murti sthapan ceremony with the blessings of His Holiness Mahant Swami Maharaj, who had performed the murti pratishtha ceremony on 31 December 2020 in Nenpur, India. Other swamis from London also joined the ceremony along with hundreds of local devotees and guests from around the country, while many more across the world joined online through a live web stream.
The long-awaited ceremony marked the culmination of years of tireless endeavour by hundreds of devotees and volunteers from the local fellowship.
The new mandir will officially open to the public in early 2022.
The religious ceremony formed part of a weekend of devotion to commemorate the historic occasion. This included a Vedic mahapuja on Saturday in which participants prayed for peace, harmony, well-being and righteous prosperity to prevail throughout the local community and around the world.
Shobhna Parikh, a volunteer at the Mandir, explained, “This new mandir in Birmingham comes as the fruition of an almost fifty-year journey. BAPS devotees began delivering activities in the city in 1972, based in various houses and hired halls. As the fledgling congregation and their activities grew steadily over the years, they moved from one place to another, eventually arriving at this current location in Hall Green in 2002, when it was an old school. Now, after all these years of hard work and dedication, this new purpose-built mandir will allow us to serve more people and in better ways. We’re delighted to be a part of this wonderful local community; everyone has been so supportive and welcoming. We look forward now to welcoming and serving people of all ages, faiths and backgrounds when we fully open to the public early next year.”
Tracey Day, a neighbour living just behind the mandir, wrote, “I would just like to say a very big Thank You.... Before, during and after the building of the temple, you have been most informative, inclusive and thoughtful to all of the residents in the immediate vicinity. For which, I for one, have been very grateful.”
The new mandir will serve as a place of worship for the enthusiastic local fellowship, and as the hub of spiritual, community and charity services for BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha in Birmingham and the wider West Midlands region.