His Holiness Pramukh Swami Maharaj revived Hindu traditions and culture in North America, particularly in the southeastern United States, through his tireless travels from 1974 to 2014. His Holiness Mahant Swami Maharaj and Pujya Swamis have also visited the region to expand the Hindu-American community's cultural, social, and religious activities.
On Sunday, October 9, 2022, a new chapter in the history of BAPS Mandir, Raleigh, North Carolina, was ushered in with the inauguration of the new sanctum sanctorum and the newly-expanded facility for the children and youths.
The history of this mandir dates to 2004, when it was inaugurated by Sadguru Pujya Doctor Swami in Morrisville. In 2012, Mahant Swami Maharaj performed the ground-breaking ceremony. The Family Activity Center was opened in 2015, and new kitchen facilities and a multi-purpose sports hall were inaugurated in 2021 by Swamis. The final phase, which included the sanctum sanctorum, additional classrooms, and a majestic mandir-facade with traditional shikhars and gummats, was inaugurated on Sunday, October 9, 2022.
Devotees, community leaders, friends, and well-wishers from the southeastern United States participated in the ceremony in person and virtually.
The three-day Mandir Mahotsav festivities were kicked off by kirtan bhakti on Friday, October 7, 2022. The musical tribute captured the significant impact that the mandir has made on countless lives and re-lived cherished memories with Pramukh Swami Maharaj. This was followed by a Nagar Yatra of the murtis of Ghanshyam Maharaj and Nilkanth Varni Maharaj on October 8. Hundreds of local devotees participated in a vibrant cultural procession around the mandir grounds. Later that evening, a cultural program by Women's wing showcased the mandir's significance in their lives. The Murti Pratishtha ceremony was performed on Sunday, October 9, by Pujya Gnanpriyadas Swami and other Pujya Swamis. Finally, the memorable weekend concluded in the evening with a cultural program consisting of music, dance, and testimonies from local youth on the impact the mandir has had on their lives.
Esteemed guest North Carolina Attorney General Josh Stein summed up the importance of mandir in his speech: "Places of worship like this are so important to the fabric of our communities, it's where we go to pray, to learn love and humility, to mourn, to celebrate and to build our community. BAPS is an incredible champion of service to the broader community not only here in North Carolina but all across the world, and it is places of worship like this where such values can be fostered." Attorney General Josh Stein's sentiments perfectly captured the multitude of roles this mandir will play in the lives of many individuals for generations to come.