There was thunderous applause.
International applause. Not only did the Mandir become known
in every household overnight, since its consecration on 20th
August 1995, but it was also gloriously welcomed into the spiritual
mind of England and the rest of Europe as an architectural landmark;
a revival of volunteerism; the benign expression of a peaceful
community. The whole nation stood up and asked in one voice,"When
was the last time a building in Britain was built to last a
Shri Swaminarayan Mandir is the
first traditional Hindu Mandir in Europe, carved and constructed
entirely according to the ancient sculpture treatise of India.
No steel has been used: 2,828 tons of Bulgarian limestone and
2,000 tons of Italian Carrara marble were shipped to India,
carved by over 1,500 craftsmen and reshipped to London. In all,
26,300 carved pieces, including amazing intricate ceilings of
Indian Ambaji marble, were finally assembled like a giant jigsaw
within 3 years.
So, too, was the exquisite wooden
Haveli, which is even more intriguing to the art lovers. Not
in the last hundred years has such a Haveli been built anywhere
in the world, not even in India. It houses a cultural centre
with an assembly hall, library and sports hall.
This casstte humbly attempts to
explain the Mandir, its construction and purpose, its latent
spirituality and inherent beauty; a place of solace, comfort
and joy. For every individual, no matter what creed or belief.