The World's Largest Hindu Temple is here!
Akshardham Temple London
The BAPS Shri Swaminarayan temple in London commonly referred to as Neasden Temple is the premier traditional temple of Hindus in Europe. It is interesting to note that about 2,820 tons Bulgarian limestone along with 2,000 tonnes Carrara marble of Italy had been sent to India for being carved by more than 1,500 craftsmen and then it was reshipped back to London. These 26,300 pieces which had been carved got assembled in a gigantic jigsaw puzzle in a period of 3years. It is regarded as the modern times miracle put with hard work of more than thousand volunteers. The intricately made masterpiece can be witnessed rising above the skyline of London. It got opened in August 1995, and since then it has drawn millions of devotees and tourists from different corners of the world. While visiting this temple, one can acquire knowledge of 'Understanding Hinduism' in a concise and comprehensive way. This place is ideal for learning about the beautiful and rich cultural heritage of India besides the values of Hinduism. Hundreds of people come here for experiencing living Hinduism as well as the tranquility and calm atmosphere that this holy place offers. The Murtis positioned in this temple are also worshipped and regarded as sacred by the visitors.The temple consists of several activities of interest of both old and young people. Sports Hall is a prominent place for youngsters as it has a badminton club, yoga and keep- fit classes. There are various sports played here such as football, cricket and table tennis. There is organization of an Annual Sponsored Walk. The prayer hall of Haveli is entirely pillar less engrossing 2,500 sq. m and there is organization of Satsangs meaning spiritual discourses which are held basically for people of all groups of age.
There is Medical help offered to community with the help of medical seminars and health screening programs held. These kinds of activities are also found to be happening in several other centers located in the United Kingdom.
The Festivals are also celebrated here with great enthusiasm and few of the occasions may be Swaminarayan Jayanti, Janmashtami, Ramnavmi, Holi and Shivratri. Annkut and Diwali are the grandest of them all. This temple has acquired international recognition also having its 2 entries in the Guinness World Records. The first time when it was recorded was for being the biggest traditionally constructed Mandir of Hindus made up of stones found in the Western parts and secondly for having offered the largest offering of Annakut with around 1,247 vegetarian dishes offered for the holy deities.
Mandir is sometimes referred to as eighth wonder of the world according to Reader's Digest. The temple has gained popularity in almost all parts of the world as it acquired recognition from different countries through more than 70 newspapers as well as magazines and it also has been covered by around 30 television shows and radio programs as well.
The Mandir has caught fancies of several international leaders such as HRH, The Duke of Edinburgh, late Princess Diana, Tony Blair, The prince of Wales, Dr George Carey- the Canterbury Archbishop and John Major etc.
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