Shri Swaminarayan Mandir is one of the most remarkable buildings in London. This is a traditional and incredibly beautiful Hindu temple, completely carved out of stone and reaching a height of almost 22 m. Mandir has an amazing history. It was designed according to the example of traditional Hindu temples, but refers to the modern wonders of architecture. Its construction began in 1993 and was completed in two years. Now Mandir is the largest Hindu temple outside of India.
A ticket to nirvana in London
For a magnificent structure, 8 thousand tons of Indian and Italian marble were used, as well as Bulgarian limestone. All the material was sent to the small Indian village Kandla, where 650 artisans carved out 23 thousand different elements from the stone. The temple is impressive with grandeur and beauty already when you at it from outside. Ideally smooth, domes, towers, arches, steps and a huge number of figures carved out of marble can be watched for hours. It is difficult to believe that it took only two years to construct a so detailed building.
No less vivid impressions will leave the interior of the temple. You will be taken to a completely different world where you can see the gods in flashy clothes, hear the relaxing sacred mantras and learn more about karma and yoga. Even a short walk through the temple has a calming effect, pushing all emotions to the background. That is why many advise not to run right after the tour to the nearest Ikea, but try to keep the sense of calm as long as possible.
Address of Sri Swaminarayan Mandir: 105-119 Brentfield Road, NW10 8LD. Nearest underground station: Neasden.
Working hours: seven days a week from 9:00 to 18:00.
Admission: free, but the exhibition Understanding Hinduism costs £2. Also you can order a guided tour. The price of the service depends on the number of people in the group. More information about this can be found here.
Dress code: there are no strict restrictions, but the outfit should be modest enough to cover almost the entire body. In the temple you need to take off your shoes, so make sure that your socks are clean and without holes.