Neasden Temple: Visiting BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir
Also known as Neasden Temple, Bochasanwasi Akshar Purushottam Sanstha (BAPS) Shri Swaminarayan Mandir is an active place of worship for Hindus and features an incredible display of spires, domes, columns and balconies, all lit by chandeliers.
Built in 1995, it was hand-carved in India from 5,000 tones of Italian Carrara and Indian Ambaji marble for the inside and Bulgarian limestone for the outside, then assembled in London.
The adjoining cultural centre also has an intricate exterior – made with Burmese teak and English oak – while the site’s surrounding flowerbeds are carefully arranged in geometric patterns.
Thousands of pilgrims visit for Diwali, the annual festival of light (from mid-Oct to mid-Nov) that sees the temple come alive with fireworks and street food activity. While these Diwali festivities are atmospheric and exceptionally well-organised (a free bus service transports Diwali visitors between the temple and public transport links), Neasden Temple is worth visiting at any time of year.
Time your visit so that you can witness a 10-minute arti ceremony, held every day at 11.45am: offerings are made while candles are waved to music. Free tours and audio tours are also available.
105-119 Brentfield Rd, NW10 8LD
020-8965 2651 | www.londonmandir.baps.org
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