Tuesday, November 16, 2010
BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir, London (Neasden Temple), United States
BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir London was inaugurated on August 20, 1995 by Pramukh Swami Maharaj. BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir, Neasden (also commonly known as the Neasden Temple), is a Hindu temple in the London Borough of Brent in northwest London. Built entirely using traditional methods and materials, Neasden’s Swaminarayan Mandir is Britain’s first authentic Hindu temple. It was also Europe’s first traditional Hindu stone temple, as distinct from converted secular buildings. It is a part of the Bochasanwasi Shri Akshar Purushottam Swaminarayan Sanstha (BAPS) organization.
The Mandir was cited in Guinness World Records 2000, as follows:
"Biggest Hindu Temple outside India: The Shri Swaminarayan Temple in Neasden, London, UK, is the largest Hindu temple outside India. It was built by His Holiness Pramukh Swami Maharaj, a 79-year-old Indian sadhu (holy man), and is made of 2,828 tonnes of Bulgarian limestone and 2,000 tonnes of Italian marble, which was first shipped to India to be carved by a team of 1,526 sculptors. The temple cost £12 million to build."
The Mandir was built and funded entirely by the Hindu Community and the entire project spanned 5 years although the Mandir construction itself was completed in two and a half years. Building work began in August 1992. On 24 November, the temple recorded the biggest-ever concrete-pour in the UK, when 4,500 tons was put down in 24 hours to create a foundation mat 6ft (1.8m) thick. The first stone was laid in June 1993; two years later, the building was complete.
BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir
105-119 Brentfield Road, Neasden,
London NW10 8LD, U.K.
Tel: (+44-20) 8965 2651
Fax: (+44-20) 8965 6313