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Featuring the BAPS Hindu temple innaugrated July 2007 in Toronto >> Features >> Feature on BAPS, Toronto

This section of features the BAPS Hindu temple innaugrated July 2007 in Toronto.

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About BAPS (Bochasanwasi Akshar Purushottam Swaminarayan Sanstha): BAPS has built over 600 mandirs (temples) and 9090 centres in 45 different countries.[3] All activities are centered around understanding the inherent unity of the Self (Atma) and God (Paramatman) through worship, meditation, study of the scriptures, and attending weekly lectures conducted by the sadhus (monks) of BAPS. The fundamental philosophy of BAPS was expounded by the faith's central figure Lord Swaminarayan in the late 18th century which entails a comprehensive understanding of five basic eternal entities: Jiva, Ishwar, Maya, Brahman, Parabrahman. Wikipedia

Facts about the temple in Toronto: The temple was built using 24,000 pieces of Italian marble and Turkish limestone. carved by hand in India, then labelled and shipped to Canada for assembly. The chief engineer was a Hindu monk. Most of the mandir was carved using hammer and chisel by close to 2,000 craftsmen, 100 of them transplanted from India and housed next to the dusty highway for the duration of the project -- they went home during Toronto's winters.The project effectively spanned four countries: creamy white Turkish limestone and translucent Carrara marble were shipped to small villages in India, where they were painstakingly carved by craftsmen. Blacksmiths were kept on hand to forge new chisels and sharpen blunt ones. The individual pieces -- 24,000 of them -- were labelled with bar codes and shipped by container to Toronto, where they were reassembled. Virtually every inch of the place is embellished with carved deities -- cavorting horses, peacocks, elephants, lotus flowers and vines -- each representing different Hindu virtues. The project was spearheaded by Pramukh Swami Maharaj, the spiritual leader of Bochasanwasi Shri Akshar Purushottam Swaminarayan Sanstha, or BAPS for short. The local Hindu community offered up about 400 devoted volunteers, and it footed the bill for much of the temple, which was erected in 18 months without government funding.

Stories in the mainstream media about the temple:

  • Hindu temple opens in Toronto: After more than a year's worth of construction, Prime Minister Stephen Harper helped open a $40M Hindu temple Sunday – the BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir. Harper led a procession of dignitaries down a long, red carpet leading to the temple amid hundreds of flag-waving onlookers. Located at Highway 427 and Finch Avenue in north-west Toronto, the temple, made of Turkish limestone and Italian marble, is being called an architectural masterpiece. It's 2,000 builders were required to follow ancient Hindu rules governing how a holy shrine is to be built. Federal Opposition Leader Stephane Dion and Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty were also on hand for the opening.- Toronto Star
  • Hand-made Hindu temple ready to open in Toronto: Canada’s most ornate Hindu temple -- a $40-million vision hand-carved by Indian artisans out of 24,000 hunks of Italian marble and Turkish limestone -- is to open this Sunday in part of Toronto known more for its suburban bungalows and strip malls. On Wednesday as tractor-trailers rumbled past the sun-drenched Swaminarayan Mandir next to busy Highway 427, orange-clad swamis, elegantly suited Indian men and women draped in brilliant saris strolled the grounds, all anticipating the opening ceremony. The mandir -- or house of worship -- is the largest initiative of its kind ever undertaken by this country’s Indo-Canadian community. National Post
  • Hindu community opens $40M-temple in Toronto: It took 18 months, 24,000 hand-carved stones, and $40-million in fundraising. What was once a dusty patch of land by Highway 427 and Finch Avenue is now an architectural masterpiece. The temple is one of the largest of its kind in Canada. It's also the first Hindu temple in Canada to be built according to traditional vedic principles.- 680
  • Harper officially opens elaborate Hindu temple: After 18 months of construction and millions in fundraising efforts, a one-of-a-kind Hindu temple opened Sunday in News Staff
  • PM Harper on hand as Canada's first traditional Hindu temple opens in Toronto Worshippers, dignitaries and Hindu priests celebrated a unique blend of ancient architecture and modern building techniques on Sunday at the opening of Canada's first traditional Hindu mandir - or temple. . . Prime Minister Stephen Harper, Liberal Leader Stephane Dion, Premier Dalton McGuinty and Toronto Mayor David Miller were all on hand as thousands of people gathered outside the BAPS Shri Sawminarayan Mandir for the ceremony. - Canada East Online
  • Premier Helps Officially Open Canada's Largest Hindu Temple: Impressive Complex Celebrates Indo-Canadian Art, Architecture And Culture. Premier Dalton McGuinty today celebrated the inauguration of the Shri Swaminarayan Mandir, a marvel of Indian art and architecture that will attract tourists and teach visitors about Ontario's Indo-Canadian community. -
  • Canadian Hindu temple weaves itself into Toronto's tapestry : It is said Hindu temples are built to last one thousand years, and to be a source of peace and serenity. The one that oversees a busy highway in Toronto was built to withstand the bluster of one thousand Canadian winters - and its inauguration Sunday gathered under the same roof two sworn political foes, Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Opposition Leader Stéphane Dion. Mr. Harper led a column of dignitaries inside the Swaminarayan Mandir, the first Hindu temple of its kind in Canada, located near Highway 427 and Finch Avenue West.
  • Hand-carved $40M Hindu temple opens in Toronto : A massive $40-million Hindu temple that is being called an architectural wonder, constructed with ancient techniques and 2,000 volunteers, had its official opening Sunday near Toronto's airport. The BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir is a monument to the Indo-Canadian Community, a structure considered like none other in Canada. The local Indian and South Asian community raised the money to build the
  • Harper officially opens elaborate Hindu temple : After 18 months of construction and millions in fundraising efforts, a one-of-a-kind Hindu temple opened Sunday in Toronto. Prime Minister Stephen Harper was on-hand to celebrate the official unveiling of the BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir. Harper said the $40 million architectural marvel represents India's and Canada's embracement of spiritual and ethnic pluralism.

  • New $40 Million Hindu Temple Opens, While Millions Starve! : Toronto, Canada: is now the proud home of a new Hindu Temple, from an architectural standpoint it is not the Taj Mahal, but it certainly is a work of art. Built using Turkish Limestone and Italian marble The Swaminarayan Mandir temple was constructed both in Canada and India, the building blocks were even bar coded to facilitate their placement in the structure. I guess this is old carving skills meets new technology.
  • $40M Hindu Temple Opens : It's already a source of tremendous pride for Canada's Hindu community. After more than a year's worth of construction, Prime Minister Stephen Harper helped open a $40 million holy temple Saturday, the BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir in Toronto.
  • Elaborate Hindu temple opens its door to public :BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir Temple will certainly be a sight to behold and a testament to Ancient Indian craftsmenship. Not only will it be the pride and joy of Indian Culture, but hopefully a Canadian Landmark as worthy as the Parliament buildings, Quebec City Citadel and other notable Tourist




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