On Sunday 20 August 1995, His Holiness Pramukh Swami Maharaj (1921-2016) – one of the world’s great spiritual leaders and an inspiration to millions worldwide – inaugurated BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir in London with the murti pratishtha, a profoundly moving Hindu ceremony invoking the divine presence of God into the sacred images.
The inauguration was a time of immense jubilation for the devotees who had dedicated years of selfless seva to build the mandir. The momentous occasion also heralded a pivotal moment for the British Hindu community in the UK.
The 28th anniversary of the Mandir (according to the Hindu lunar calendar) was celebrated with various devotional activities on Saturday 9 September 2023. The festivities began with darshan and the abhishek of Shri Nilkanth Varni. Vedic ceremonies for the ‘patotsav’ – marking the anniversary of the Mandir as well as praying for peace across the world – followed thereafter.
During the evening, special assemblies further explained the historical significance of the Mandir and the profound impact it has imparted on the community as well as visitors from all over the world. These powerful messages were conveyed through a variety of mediums that allowed children, youths and seniors to become a part of this enriching journey.
Sheetal Patel, who participated in the Mandir Mahotsav celebrations in 1995, shared, “I still vividly remember the joyous opening of this Mandir in 1995. It has stood not only as a place of worship for me and people from the local neighbourhood, but also as a home for my family. It has been a place that has helped me to grow, develop, and has inspired so many more to serve others. My children were so excited to learn the story behind the creation of the Mandir and are looking forward to becoming a part of its future.”


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