3. Neelkanth Abhishek Mandamp
6. Prayer Hall
Plan your Tour:
The BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir encompasses: the Stone Mandir, the Wooden Haveli and Understanding Hindu Dharma Exhibition. Open to visitors from 9am – 6pm daily throughout the year.
Things to Discover, Experience and Enjoy at the BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir complex:
1. Haveli – Intricately hand-carved in Burmese teak, the Haveli reflects the traditional wooden courtyard craftsmanship of India. The word Haveli refers to a majestic mansion (often royal courts), which was popular in India during the 17th century. The Haveli’s beautiful architecture begins with hundreds of figures of musicians, poets and dancers carved into the portico, welcoming all visitors in traditional Indian manner. The entrance lobby features a richly hand-carved wooden foyer that opens into a magnificent courtyard with soaring wooden columns and panels. Hundreds of dancing peacocks, delicate lotus flowers and royal elephants beckon in greeting. The carpets are uniquely designed to compliment the carvings. The building serves as a place of worship for the Hindu community and a place of inspiration for all visitors. The Haveli is an architectural masterpiece with breathtaking intricacy not previously seen in Canada.
2. Video Presentation - In the Haveli foyer, visitors are welcome to watch an on-going multi-media presentation on the creation of the Mandir, glimpses of the opening ceremony and also learn about the spiritual heritage and traditions of India. Then, while making their way to the Mandir, visitors can pause along the way to see inspirational panels and posters.
3. Neelkanth Abhishek Mandapam (ground floor of Mandir) – This sacred part of the Mandir welcomes all visitors to participate in the ‘Abhishek’ ritual. By participating in the ‘Abhishek’ ritual with devotion and faith, ones personal prayers and inner wishes are fulfilled whether they be for oneself or for loved ones; good health, happiness, prosperity, peace, spiritual blessing or success in life and will experience peace. Closed for rituals: Daily 10:30am – 11:15am, 5:45pm – 6:15pm and Mon-Fri 12noon – 4pm.
4. Mandir – The BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir is Canada's first traditionally hand carved stone and marble Mandir built according to the principles of ancient Indian Shilpshastras, in an extraordinary tradition that dates back many millennia. All the masonry of a Hindu Mandir is in itself load bearing, with no reinforcement from ferrous material such as steel, even in the foundations! Thousands of tonnes of fine marble and limestone have been hand-carved by skilled craftsmen.
The five ornate shrines, which are the focal point of the Mandir, houses the Murti (Sacred Deities), replete with beautiful thrones. The sacred shrines are closed: 10:30am-11:30am and 12noon-4pm.
The Mandir is a
Meditation Zone, thus all visitors are required to maintain utmost silence.
Visitors can witness the Aarti rituals (devotional prayer offered to God) that take place at 11:30am.
This Devotional Ceremony lasts about 12 minutes. There are separate seating arrangements inside the main Mandir for males and females during the ritual. Visitors, who are interested in attending the ceremony are requested to adhere to the seating arrangements.
Toronto's BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir, by the numbers:
· 400 volunteers gave more than a million hours of services
· 18 months to complete stone work (jig-zaw puzzle) in Canada
· 132 archways,
· 84 decorative ceilings, 340 pillars
· 24,151 handcarved pieces
· 5.6 tonnes, heaviest stone vs 50 grams, lightest stone
· 10,000 tonnes of Italian marble, Turkish limestone, Indian sandstone and granite
· Built to last over 1,000 years.
5. Exhibition (ground floor of Mandir) - The Understanding Hindu Dharma Exhibition is Canada’s premier exhibition dedicated to showcasing and promoting the understanding of the history, civilization, diversity and cultural heritage of Canadians whose ancestry originates from India. The Exhibition is uniquely designed to inspire visitors to appreciate how the rich heritage of Indo-Canadians has contributed to the fields of art, architecture, science, democracy, education, culture, pluralism and spiritual values. The Exhibition offers a unique experience of Indian Heritage.
6. Prayer Hall (in the Haveli) - Visitors can also see the uniquely designed prayer hall constructed entirely without pillars, signifying a Beautiful Borderless World welcoming all visitors.
7. Book/Gift Shop (in the Haveli) - Indian instrumental music for meditation and relaxation, books about Indian heritage and Hindu modes of worship and other unique items are available for sale in the bookshop. Interior photographs of the Mandir and Haveli are also available.
ENJOY your visit!