BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir

Attractions , Religious buildings and sites Brent Park
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(12 user reviews)
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BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir

It's the sort of undertaking that requires faith, or a lot of chutzpah. Build the largest Hindu temple outside India, in the finest materials, using master craftsmen with ancient skills rarely found outside the diaspora. Ask unpaid, untrained members of the community to give up their time to work on the site. Raise more than £10 million to finance it, with no government aid. Finish within three years. And do it all in Neasden. The great Pyramid of Giza took 100,000 workers 20 years to assemble its 2.3 million stones, but the Swaminarayan Hindu Temple, also known as Neasden Temple, can stand shoulder to shoulder with it.

Inside, the mandir is a space of almost blinding whiteness and purity. Every vertical surface is carved with stories from the scriptures (veda) and lacy motifs. A forest of pillars fills the floor and above them soars the central dome, stepping up in wedding-cake tiers towards the two-and-a-half tonne keystone which drips downwards like a glorious stone chandelier. It is a labour of love and a work of art. Anyone is welcome to look around the mandir, Hindu or heathen. The temple complex falls into two distinct parts: the marble and limestone mandir, based on ancient Shilpashastra architecture, and the conventionally built prayer hall and community centre, which used for sports clubs, yoga, football, badminton, temporary clinics and study groups.

On Saturdays, it hosts 2,000-strong prayer meetings. A souvenir shop sells henna kits, incense and photos of the deities. A permanent exhibition 'Understanding Hinduism' explains the history and philosophies of the world's oldest living religion through videos and dioramas. At November's Diwali celebrations, thousands came from all over the UK to offer their devotion, have their account books blessed (it is effectively the Hindu new year) and watch a spectacular firework display.

Venue name: BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir
Contact:
Address: 105-119 Brentfield Rd
London
NW10 8LD
Opening hours: 9am-6pm daily (exhibition); see the website for other times
Transport: Tube: Neasden/Harlesden; Bus: then 206 bus
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Average User Rating

4.8 / 5

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LiveReviews|12
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Hong-Anh
Tastemaker

This amazing architectural and cultural gem is hidden away, next to the snaking grey ribbon of the rather unlovely north circular. If you've ever been a visitor to the nearby Wembley branch of IKEA, then you might have spotted the gleaming turrets of the mandir from the rooftop carpark but otherwise, you'd be forgiven for not being aware of the existence of this slice of India in London. Built in the traditional style of stone mandirs, it is an incredibly intricate and beautiful building which welcomes visitors of all faiths and beliefs. Visitors are permitted in the mandir (the worship space) which is the highlight of the building. There is also a small exhibition which explores the Swaminarayan branch of Hinduism and gives an insight into the faith and culture. Also not to be missed is the Indian grocery store and restaurant/deli, located across the road in the car park! (The snacks are definitely not to be missed!)

Kritt N
Tastemaker

You can be forgiven for thinking you’ve been transported to India and whilst this architectural gem is actually here in London, I encourage you check out this majestic temple because it is incredible.

Once inside one of the biggest Hindu temple outside of India in Europe, head up to the first floor where the real treasure is at. There’ll you can admire the exquisite craftsmanship and intricately chiselled marble décor from floor to ceiling. You can also walk out onto the balcony and survey the temple gardens below you like a boss. On the ground floor, there is also a small museum/exhibition inside the temple where you can learn everything you need to know about the temple and Hinduism for the sum of £2. It's well worth a look.

It’s completely free to visit outside worship hours (better check before the website first before you head off) and well worth checking out. You’ll be asked to go through some security and unfortunately photography and bags are not permitted inside. Luckily there is a place just across the road from the temple where you can store your stuff, completely free, while you look inside.

It is a place of worship so be respectful. Once you’ve taken off your shoes, feel free to wander around and find inner peace inside this grand temple.

Angharad
Tastemaker

This beautiful Hindu temple in North London is open to the public around times of worship (12-3.30) and the intricately carved marble and limestone architecture is simply stunning. Take your shoes off at the door and take a tour of the grand structure within. There is also a small exhibition inside to tell you all you need to know about Hinduism. An afternoon here will work wonders for your inner peace.

Maxibuoy

What an incredible, beautiful place, tranquil and impressive, when you go be sure to try and be there for between 4-6 pm as they open the vaults to reveal the effigy's of the gods to which the visitors worship, truly wonderful day for the whole family.

Naomi
Tastemaker

Seconds walk from IKEA and the North Circular road is maybe NOT the type of place you'd expect to stumble upon this peaceful and picturesque temple. Not forgetting that it is a place of worship, it is the most beautiful piece of architectural work you will ever see in greater London and is well worth that visit to zone 3 just to wander around and admire.

Hitesh J

A truly inspirational and beautiful Mandir - a place of worship and prayer. As the name suggests it accurately defines the word Mandir which is composed of two Hindu words - Man (meaning Mind ) and Dir (meaning Still).

A place where the Monks are knowledgeable, volunteers are welcoming, helpful and friendly and more importantly where you can be at one with God in a calm serene atmosphere.

KPATEL

Jai Swaminarayan, One of the place where your soul can experience eternal peace. Love the mandir and volunteers. Its a place to get inspiration to yourself, your kids, family and friends, etc in different fields like educational, spiritual, cultural, sports,etc. All in one place is mandir.

BM Patel

It is truly Largest operational Mandir and for everyone of all ages from children to elderly. It is a traditional India within London.