The eastern section of Meadow Garth in north-west London, the home of BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir – popularly known as ‘Neasden Temple’ – has been officially renamed ‘Pramukh Swami Road’ in honour of the mandir’s creator, His Holiness Pramukh Swami Maharaj.
The local Hindu fellowship began its longstanding relationship with Meadow Garth more than forty years ago in 1980 with a small temple located opposite the existing complex. Pramukh Swami Maharaj inaugurated a much larger mandir on Meadow Garth in August 1995, which became the first traditional Hindu temple of its kind in Europe and, at the time, the largest outside of India.
For 25 years now, Neasden Temple has served as a place of worship, a hub of learning, harmony and community service, and an internationally acclaimed attraction. To date, it has received over 10.5 million visitors from more than 120 countries. In Britain, it has become an integral part of the religious landscape while in London it has been woven into the social fabric of the local community.
The decision to name the eastern section of Meadow Garth as ‘Pramukh Swami Road’ was formally approved by the Brent Cabinet on 12 October 2020. The Council acknowledged the Mandir’s position as an “international landmark” in Brent, as well as its contribution to the borough. This change also recognises the Mandir’s partnership with the community which has recently been illustrated through the delivery of more than 50,000 hot meals for the vulnerable during the height of the Covid-19 pandemic, and the current provision of facilities to help deliver local Covid-19 antigen testing.
In a tweet to his more than 3.2 millions followers, the Mayor of London Sadiq Khan wrote: “Pleased to see that the street outside world-famous @NeasdenTemple
has been renamed after its founder Pramukh Swami. This is such an important space in London, and I very much look forward to visiting and celebrating with you all once again post-COVID.” In another tweet from his personal account, Mr Khan added, “Thank you @NeasdenTemple
for the huge contribution you make to our city.”
Girish Patel, a volunteer at the Mandir, said, “This Mandir is a gift from Pramukh Swami Maharaj bequeathed not only to the people of this community, but for people across the UK and the world. We are truly humbled that part of Meadow Garth has been renamed to pay tribute to his selfless life. He blessed and inspired countless lives during his many visits to the Mandir, and we pray that the lasting legacy of the Mandir and the renaming of the road will continue to inspire generations to come.”
Dr Mayank Shah, a BAPS trustee of the Mandir, added, “All of us at Neasden Temple would like to offer our heartfelt gratitude and appreciation to the Brent Cabinet, our neighbours and the people of the borough in supporting this much-welcomed change.”