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On 17 December 2007, Michael Whitty, official world record adjudicator and member of the management committee of Guinness World Records travelled especially to India to present two new world records to His Holiness Pramukh Swami Maharaj, spiritual leader of BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha, an international socio-spiritual organisation affiliated with the United Nations.
The Guinness World Records Book is the biggest selling copyright book in history, with more than 100 million books sold around the world in more than 25 languages. This is the first time, though, that a senior member of the Guinness World Records management committee has personally travelled to India to present a World Record certificate. The presentation came on the occasion of His Holiness’ 87th birthday being celebrated as the culmination of the four-day BAPS Centenary Celebrations in Ahmedabad, Gujarat.
The following world records were presented by Michael Whitty to His Holiness Pramukh Swami Maharaj:
Most Hindu Mandirs Consecrated by a Single Person
His Holiness Pramukh Swami Maharaj, internationally revered spiritual leader and head of the BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha, has created and consecrated, in accordance with Hindu rituals, a world record 713 mandirs (temples) in five continents between April 1971 and November 2007. Amongst these, the majestic, ornately hand-carved Swaminarayan Akshardham in New Delhi stands apart as the largest temple in the world.
World’s Largest Comprehensive Hindu Temple
BAPS Swaminarayan Akshardham in New Delhi, India, is the world’s largest comprehensive Hindu temple. It measures 356 ft. long, 316 ft. wide and 141 ft. high, covering an area of 86,342 sq. ft. The grand, ancient-style, ornately hand-carved stone temple has been built without structural steel within five years by 11,000 artisans and volunteers. His Holiness Pramukh Swami Maharaj, revered spiritual leader of BAPS, consecrated the temple on 6 November 2005.
His Holiness is also the creator and inspirer of the internationally-acclaimed BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir in Neasden, London, which recently won the Government’s “UK Pride of Place Award” in an online nationwide poll.
Click here for the adjudicator’s own report on the official Guinness World Records’ site.
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