British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, accompanied by his wife Akshata Murty, visited BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir, London – popularly known as ‘Neasden Temple’ – on Saturday 29 June 2024.
They were warmly welcomed in a traditional Hindu manner by swamis as well as senior leaders of BAPS UK & Europe.
Mr Sunak and his wife were then guided on a brief tour of the Mandir where they paid their respects to the murtis and admired the traditional Hindu art and architecture. The couple offered their personal prayers at the central shrine and then proceeded to perform the abhishek of Shri Nilkanth Varni.
They spent considerable time meeting BAPS volunteers, with whom they discussed some of the Mandir’s charity and community work that the volunteers drive. Mr Sunak and Mrs Murty were particularly impressed by the dedication of some of the young volunteers. The couple then proceeded to the prayer hall to join the evening assembly.
Addressing the gathering, Mr Sunak paid tribute to the “contribution that the Temple and its community makes to Britain,” and to the “leadership and inspiration of His Holiness Mahant Swami Maharaj,” the global leader of the BAPS Swaminarayan Hindu fellowship.
Mahant Swami Maharaj had sent a video message for Mr Sunak and his family in which he said, “I pray for the people of the United Kingdom: May you all be blessed with peace and prosperity, harmony and success.” This message was also shown during the assembly.
In his welcome address, Yogvivekdas Swami, Head Swami of BAPS in the UK and Europe, thanked the Prime Minister for his video tribute to Pramukh Swami Maharaj during the centenary celebrations in India in 2022. He also recalled the Prime Minister’s visit to Swaminarayan Akshardham in New Delhi during the G20 Summit last year, and added, “We, as British Hindus, are always thankful for the opportunities that this great nation has given us. We want to return the goodwill by celebrating the successes of the United Kingdom as well as contributing to its progress.”
Sharing some further impressions from his visit, Mr Sunak said: “I am completely blown away by the sheer physical beauty of this temple. The most special thing about being here is the strength of the community. Neasden Temple is a shining example of how to inspire a generation of young people to volunteer and support their community.
“His Holiness Mahant Swami Maharaj is an inspiration to so many, and rightly so for the moral clarity that he brings. All of us in our lives have struggles and challenges. Being able to look up to someone like Mahant Swami Maharaj to get that strength and courage to continue is something I find particularly helpful.”
During his visit to Neasden Temple, Mr Sunak was introduced to the plans for the new BAPS Swaminarayan Hindu Mandir in Paris. Reflecting on this project, Mr Sunak added, “The Mandir in Paris will make sure communities of different faiths can come together and understand each other. Projects like that allow us to live in societies that are tolerant, inclusive, and accepting of everybody.”
Sanjay Kara, a trustee for BAPS in the UK, shared, “It was an honour to have the Prime Minister join the local community of British Hindus at Neasden Temple. We thank him for inspiring younger generations from all backgrounds to actively commit to public service, and we offer our prayers for the continued success of our great nation.”

© 1999-2024 Bochasanwasi Shri Akshar Purushottam Swaminarayan Sanstha (BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha), Swaminarayan Aksharpith | Privacy Policy | Terms & Conditions | Feedback |   RSS