BAPS Centenary Celebration
Grand Finale Preparations of BAPS Centenary Celebrations
13-17 December 2007, Amdavad

10 December 2007
  • The 300-acre site, spectacular stage, seating for hundreds of thousands, and thousands of performers will delight all.
  • On 13-12-07 Inauguration Ceremony and BAPS Youth Day; 14-12-07 BAPS Women’s Day; 15-12-07 BAPS Children’s Day; and 17-12-07 Guru Bhakti Day (Pramukh Swami Maharaj’s 87th Birthday) will be celebrated.
  • The programme will be telecast live on Aastha from 5:30pm daily; thousands of sadhus, devotees and well-wishers will attend the celebrations.

BAPS Centenary Celebrations' spectacular grand finale is slated for 13, 14, 15 and 17 December 2007 in Amdavad's Chandkheda suburb on the Sabarmati-Gandhinagar highway.

According to information provided in the press meet today, the BAPS Centenary will be celebrated with a series of grand cultural and devotional programmes meant to inspire moral, cultural, and spiritual values.

Organized under the inspiration of His Divine Holiness Pramukh Swami Maharaj, the festival celebrates a hundred years of service, sacrifice, and spirituality. In consonance with the Vedic teachings of Akshar and Purushottam (i.e. Bhakta-Bhagwan tradition) revealed by Bhagwan Swaminarayan (1781-1830CE), Shastriji Maharaj installed the murtis of Akshar (Gunatitanand Swami) alongside that of Purushottam (Bhagwan Swaminarayan) in Bochasan Mandir on 6 June 1907. From that beginning, the organization came to be known as the Bochasanwasi Shri Akshar Purushottam Swaminarayan Sanstha (BAPS).

Over the grand four-day BAPS Centenary Celebration, one will be able to experience the struggles, service, values, memorable moments and contributions of BAPS’s hundred-year journey through a variety of media including dances, dramas, audio-visual presentations, interviews, speeches, and more.

Festival Site
Now, with only a few days left before the commencement of the BAPS Centenary Celebrations grand finale, if you happen to pass by the 300-acre site in Chandkheda on the Sabarmati-Gandhinagar highway you can't fail to notice the massive final preparations underway. With great enthusiasm, more than 10,000 volunteers and sadhus can be seen offering a variety of services.

Entry to the site can be obtained through nine artistic entrance archways of which the three central ones are 35 feet tall and the six side archways are 25 feet tall.

Upon entry, one can see a grand stage with the ‘Akshar Deri’ (BAPS’s logo), Diva Pillars, Mandir Pinnacles, and other symbols intricately carved in its backdrop. The stage is 350 feet wide and 52 feet tall and includes eight different dance stages. This marvellous stage has been created through the voluntary efforts of BAPS sadhus and skilled volunteers.

Four-Day Festival Highlights
The four-day cultural programmes will be held on this spectacular 350-foot long stage, with over 4,000 children and youth performers and in the august presence of BAPS guru Pramukh Swami Maharaj, many sadhus and dignitaries and hundreds of thousands of spectators.

13 December 2007 will witness the kick-off of the four-day festivities with a dazzling inauguration ceremony coupled with the celebration of BAPS Youth Day based on the theme "Inspiring Values". A 45-min. programme of lively dances and enlightening commentary will symbolically highlight six of the values that have shaped BAPS and inspired millions through the last century, namely: Siddhant (Theology), Sadhuta (Saintliness), Seva (Service), Samarpan (Sacrifice), Samp (Unity), and Satpurush (God-Realised Guru). Following this, one will hear inspiring incidents of the youth that BAPS has developed over the past four decades to serve as ideal members of society. More than 2,000 youngsters will perform in this vibrant cultural programme with more than 500 youths presenting a series of unique folk dances using an array of spectacular props and costumes.

14 December 2007 will witness the celebration of BAPS Women's Day centred on the theme of "Empowering Women". It will present inspiring messages of the spiritual, social and educational service performed in approximately 6,000 BAPS women's forums worldwide. More than 1,000 women from the ages of 5 to 75 will perform a variety of cultural programmes including a grand parade with inspiring devotional and family values; traditional prayers by 100 young girls; a series of colourful folk dances by 900 young women highlighting the values of devotion, faith and unity; interviews and skits focusing on women's achievements; and inspiring video presentations and speeches presenting women's contributions to society.

15 December 2007 will witness BAPS Children's Day celebrations focused on the theme of "Transforming Tomorrow". This day commemorates the more than half-century of BAPS Children’s Activities that have inspired children to elevate themselves and others to create a more promising tomorrow. In addition to the regular audience, more than 20,000 children from the 5,500 BAPS children forums worldwide are expected to attend this educational and inspiring event. More than 1,500 children will perform on stage with 600 children in a parade highlighting the values of health, education, character, culture, and spirituality; 450 children in a vibrant costumed dance highlighting service, culture and character; various dances and skits showing how children have freed over a million people from destructive addictions; and video shows, testimonials and skits showing how BAPS children become ideal citizens who serve parents and society. BAPS children who have achieved excellence in the fields of sports, education, arts, character, culture, and service will also be recognized on stage.

17th December 2007, Guru Bhakti Day, the 87th birthday celebrations of BAPS leader Pramukh Swami Maharaj will be the climax of the four-day festival. A series of cultural presentations will pay tribute to the spiritual leaders who have shaped BAPS to this day; elaborate folk dances by more than 500 youths will pay homage to Pramukh Swami Maharaj; and testimonials and speeches will explore Pramukh Swami Maharaj’s contributions to society through his spiritual ethos, “In the joy of others, in the progress of others and in the good of others lies our own.”

Remarkable Preparations
The thousands of exuberant children and enthusiastic youth participating in the cultural programmes sacrificed their Diwali vacation for 35 days of intensive training. Moreover, in the festival’s transport department, 1,000 volunteers have organized parking and traffic flow so that on the days of the celebration thousands of vehicles can quickly and smoothly enter and exit the site. In the festival’s kitchen department, 1,900 men and 1,700 women volunteers are busy preparing complete meals for all the spectators who will attend the four-day celebrations.

The exquisite artwork of the main stage and archways was designed and crafted by the festival’s decoration department, consisting of 33 sadhus and 237 volunteers who spent two continuous months producing exquisite fibreglass work, painting, and intricate polystyrene carvings.

BAPS accommodations and reception departments are preparing to serve thousands who will attend the festivities from Gujarat, other states in India and other countries around the world. To receive devotees coming from around the world, welcome centres have been set up at the Amdavad airport and railway stations.

The centenary celebrations of this United National affiliated social-spiritual organization with 3,300 global centres, 700 mandirs, 780 sadhus, 55,000 volunteers and one million followers will be a memorable and historic event.

The BAPS Centenary Celebrations will be telecast live every day from 5:30pm to 8:30pm on Aastha.

Reports of each day of the celebrations will be posted in the Media Info section of the BAPS website at