BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha (BAPS) marked a historic milestone in the cultural landscape of Paris by commencing the construction of the BAPS Swaminarayan Hindu Mandir – the first traditional Hindu temple in France – in the Parisian suburb of Bussy-Saint-Georges, on Tuesday 4 June 2024.
In a city famed for its iconic monuments, the Mandir will complement Paris’s rich array of architectural beauty and artistic expression. Serving as an ambassador of Indian culture and Hindu wisdom, the mandir will introduce the ancient art and science of traditional Hindu architecture to France, enriching the cultural tapestry of the city.
To formally mark the first foundation pile being driven into the ground, signifying the commencement of construction, a traditional Hindu ceremony was led by Yogvivekdas Swami, Head Swami of BAPS UK & Europe, along with senior swamis from India. On this landmark occasion, Hadrien Ghomi, Deputy of the French National Assembly, and the Mayor of Bussy-Saint-Georges, Yann Dubosc, were also in attendance.
Architects, engineers and designers of the temple joined several local community members in offering prayers for the successful completion of the project and for the well-being of everyone on the multifaith Esplanade, in Paris, and across all of France.
The ceremony on 4 June coincided with the birth anniversary (according to the lunar calendar) of His Holiness Yogiji Maharaj, who had blessed the land of France during a stopover at Le Bourget Airport in Paris in 1970. He had prayed that a mandir would be constructed in the city, laying the groundwork for the first traditional Hindu temple to be built in France.
That divine vision was furthered by the tireless efforts and personal visits to Paris by His Holiness Pramukh Swami Maharaj – the creator of more than 1200 mandirs around the world – and is being fulfilled by His Holiness Mahant Swami Maharaj, the current spiritual leader of BAPS.
Mahant Swami Maharaj has continually guided the project and conveyed his blessings that the mandir will serve as a home of spirituality as well as being a place of interfaith harmony and community service. In April, during his stay in Sarangpur, India, he inscribed the word ‘Bénédictions’ – the French word for ‘Blessings’ – upon a graphical representation of the mandir and showered flower petals on the logo. He also placed rose petals on plans detailing the first of the 126 piles that will form the foundation of the new mandir. He further blessed this ceremony from Rajkot, India, sending special guidance on the way forward.
Sanjay Kara, CEO of the BAPS Swaminarayan Hindu Mandir project and a trustee of BAPS UK & Europe, shared, “With the blessings of His Holiness Mahant Swami Maharaj and the continued support of friends and neighbours across the city of Bussy-Saint-Georges and the EpaMarne, the pile rig was drilled into the ground, marking the first steps in the temple’s construction journey.
“Once constructed, the Mandir will transcend its role as a place of worship by embodying the shared values of India and France as well as further strengthening interfaith dialogue and fostering mutual respect among diverse communities.”
Hadrien Ghomi, Deputy of the French National Assembly, said, “As a French MP and Vice-President of the France-India Friendship Group at the National Assembly, it is crucial to strengthen the cultural and fraternal ties that unite our two countries. Today, with the laying of the first foundation of the mandir here in Bussy-Saint-Georges, it represents a significant symbol for both the Indian community in France and the French people, who warmly welcome this mandir to the Seine-et-Marne area. The ceremony was incredibly moving, and I would like to congratulate all the BAPS teams for their tremendous work.”
Yann Dubosc, Mayor of Bussy-Saint-Georges, added, “It is very moving for me to witness today the construction work commencing and the first pillar being cast. When we first met in 2017, I was told about the desire to build a Hindu temple in France. I said, ‘It must be in Bussy-Saint-Georges!’ And now, seeing it come to life on this space behind me, is truly heartwarming.”
Working in collaboration with BAPS on this project are a number of internationally renowned firms, whose members have also expressed their enthusiasm.
Andrew Hobson, Principal Architect on the project, working for Arte Charpentier, shared, “Through this unique project, we invite visitors on a cultural journey where every space and every stone bears witness to the living art of construction, inherited from two great architectural traditions.”
Guillaume Le Réveillé, Deputy Director of VINCI Construction, who is also in charge of new public works in Greater Paris, added, “We are very proud to be able to build this exceptional structure, and it is with great enthusiasm that our teams will be working alongside those of BAPS on this flagship project.”
Jean-Christophe Gomes, Head of GS Construction, also shared, “GS Construction, a local SME involved in the project, is particularly proud to be part of the team that will be building the Hindu Temple in Bussy-Saint-Georges. Being part of a project that celebrates the faith of others is both exciting and humbling. We will do our utmost to ensure that the project is a success.”

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