News and Events

59 New Donors Register in Bone Marrow Recruitment Drive
Saturday 7 March 2015

BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir, London hosted a recruitment drive to enrol members of the South Asian community onto the National Bone Marrow Donor Register.

A total of 59 new potential donors registered, meeting a key objective of the event – to address the lack of Asian donors on the Register which has made it difficult for children and adults of this ethnicity to find a life-saving match.

The initiative, organised by BAPS Charities in collaboration with Delete Blood Cancer UK, also highlighted the emotional story of Dushyant Mehta, a young boy from north-west London who has been diagnosed with Dyskeratosis Congenita – a condition which eventually leads to bone marrow failure. Prior to being diagnosed, Dushyant donated his own blood cells to his sister who also suffered from the condition. She sadly died in 2012.

Delete Blood Cancer is a bone marrow recruitment charity that serves to increase the pool of life-saving blood stem cell donors, and is part of the world’s largest donor centre. It previously partnered with BAPS Charities for a similar campaign at the Mandir in 2013.

A team of enthusiastic volunteers from both charities were present at the Mandir on Saturday 7 March supported by a vibrant information stall. They raised awareness about blood cancer and helped potential donors register by completing a simple form and taking a mouth swab.

The success of these campaigns is highlighted by the example of Vandan Popat, a university student who was recently called to transplant his bone marrow to a matching recipient, having registered at a previous recruitment drive organised by BAPS Charities at the Mandir.

Vandan shared: “I was called in on the day following my 21st birthday. I could not think of a better way of celebrating my coming of age, by giving new life to someone in need.”

To learn more about the work of Delete Blood Cancer UK, please visit To see how you can contribute, see their motivational new video: What Are You Made Of.

Disclaimer: BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha is not responsible for the content of external internet sites.

Holi Celebrations
Thursday 5 March 2015

Holi is one of the most colourful festivals in the Hindu calendar. It welcomes the onset of spring and celebrates the new life and vitality of all that follows. The beauty, energy and profundity of Holi were celebrated at BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir, London on Thursday 5 March 2015.

Devotees and visitors arrived at the Mandir throughout the day and paid their respects to the murtis which were adorned with vibrant colours to mark the occasion.

Amongst the many significant events and beliefs associated with Holi, one of the most renowned is the protection of young Prahlad by Lord Vishnu. He was saved from a raging fire instigated by his demoniac father King Hiranyakashipu, killing instead his evil aunt Holika. Holi thus symbolises the burning of evil instincts and the saving grace of God. Worshippers therefore make offerings into a bonfire and reverently walk around it.

Also associated with Holi is fertility and the Vedic ritual of offering the first spring harvest to Agni, the fire deity. Devotees availed of the newly harvested grains after offering them to the devas. In keeping with this ancient custom, hundreds of devotees offered grains and coconuts into a bonfire lit in the open grounds of The Swaminarayan School from 6pm in the evening.

Celebrating International Mother Language Day
Sunday 22 February 2015

BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir, London welcomed children from The Swaminarayan Sunday School to celebrate International Mother Language Day on Sunday 22 February 2015.

International Mother Language Day is organised by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) and UN agencies to “promote linguistic and cultural diversity and multilingualism.” UNESCO adds that “languages are the most powerful instruments of preserving and developing our tangible and intangible heritage.” In particular, “the dissemination of mother tongues will serve… to inspire solidarity based on understanding, tolerance and dialogue.”

The BAPS Swaminarayan Sunday School has been celebrating this day annually since 2010, marking the occasion with informative talks and presentations promoting the Gujarati language for second- and third-generation children of Gujarati origin born in the UK. These events also equip and encourage parents to help their children learn Gujarati as they also excel in their first language of English.

To align with this year’s theme of “Inclusion in and through education: Language counts”, students were encouraged to understand the importance of Gujarati and then educate their family and friends on the reasons for and benefits from learning Gujarati.

Children were encouraged to speak in Gujarati with each other and elder family members to help them to ‘use and not lose’ the Gujarati language and enable more effective communication among all members of the family, including grandparents.

Through this event, the participants strengthened their appreciation of the Gujarati language and were inspired to speak to others about their mother language.

To learn more about International Mother Language Day and the UN’s celebrations in 2015, please follow the respective links.

Disclaimer: BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha is not responsible for the content of external internet sites.

WEAR IT BEAT IT: Supporting the Fight Against Heart Disease
Saturday 7 February 2015

BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir, London teamed up with BAPS Charities on Saturday 7 February 2015 for the British Heart Foundation’s Wear It. Beat It. campaign.

Wear It. Beat It. is a nationwide initiative to show support by wearing red and hosting an event to fund life-saving research for heart disease.

DID YOU KNOW: Coronary heart disease is still the UK’s single biggest killer, with 7 million people living with cardiovascular disease in the UK.

The British Heart Foundation (BHF) is the “nation’s heart charity and the largest independent funder of cardiovascular research.”

Devotees attending the evening assemblies at the Mandir participated in the event by wearing red clothing or red items. The murtis in the Mandir’s shrines were also adorned in red during the day.

Volunteers from BAPS Charities joined BHF volunteers in selling badges as well as distributing educational material to raise awareness and funds for heart disease.

The event followed the launch of the BAPS Charities Annual Challenge at the Mandir a week earlier, where Dr Mike Knapton, Associate Director for BHF, was present with his colleagues to announce the British Heart Foundation as one of the main beneficiaries of the fundraising event.

BAPS Charities has shared a long-standing partnership with BHF, having previously partnered with the charity to raise funds during the Great British Bag-athon, Bag It Beat It, and Ramp Up The Red campaigns as well as with the nationwide sponsored walk in 2007. Volunteers from both charities have also provided a number of awareness-raising and training sessions, such as for emergency life support.

To learn more about the British Heart Foundation’s Wear It. Beat It. campaign, please click here.

To learn more about the work of BAPS Charities, please click here.

Disclaimer: BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha is not responsible for the content of external internet sites.

20th Anniversary Celebrations
January to August 2015

In August 1995, His Holiness Pramukh Swami Maharaj inaugurated BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir, London – bringing to fruition years of sacrifice and devotion for thousands of worshippers and well-wishers.

To mark the 20th anniversary of this momentous occasion, a year of inspiring celebrations has been planned for devotees and the community. These celebrations will culminate in a grand festival on Saturday 22 August, honouring Yogiji Maharaj and Pramukh Swami Maharaj’s vision, the volunteers’ labour of love, and the Mandir’s contributions in the lives of individuals, families and the local community.

Launch of Annual Charity Challenge in Support of British Heart Foundation and Rosa
Saturday 31 January 2015

The BAPS Charities Annual Challenge for 2015 was launched on the evening of Saturday 31 January 2015 at BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir, London. The official partner for BAPS Charities this year is the British Heart Foundation (BHF), the “nation’s heart charity and the largest independent funder of cardiovascular research that fights for every heartbeat.”

The Challenge will offer an opportunity for participants to run, jog or walk 10 kilometres, and will take place in London and cities across the UK in April.

For the more adventurous, the Spartan Race – a series of obstacle races of varying distance and difficulty ranging from three miles to marathon distances – will provide a stiffer physical test. And, for thrill-seekers, there will be a special sponsored sky dive.

The nationwide event will bring together people from a variety of ages and backgrounds and join local communities to support the various good causes of BAPS Charities.

The Challenge will also raise funds for Rosa, “a charitable fund set up to support initiatives that benefit women and girls in the UK.”

This year’s Challenge builds on 19 years of sponsored events being organised by BAPS. Previous national partners have included Barnardo’s, Breast Cancer Care, Diabetes UK, Age UK, KIDS, The Anthony Nolan Trust, Macmillan Cancer Support as well as The British Heart Foundation.

Dr Mike Knapton, Associate Director at the British Heart Foundation, joined BAPS Charities at the Mandir in London for the official launch. After delivering a short presentation to the assembly on cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), he shared: “We at the British Heart Foundation are very proud to be partnering with BAPS Charities again. This time we are looking forward to providing 20 schools across the UK with CPR training kits. This will allow thousands of secondary schoolchildren to learn how to give CPR and in turn to save lives.”

BAPS Charities volunteer Dr Mayank Shah added, “Our long-standing partnership with the BHF has helped to raise awareness and vital funds for this important disease. This year, we hope to raise maximum participation through additional challenges and also help many local charities with essential funds to continue their good work.”

To learn more about the work of the British Heart Foundation and Rosa, please click the respective links.

Disclaimer: BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha is not responsible for the content of external internet sites.

2015 Desktop Wallpaper Calendars
Saturday 31 January 2015

In celebration of BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir’s 20th anniversary this year, a series of delightful Mandir-themed calendars has been designed to serve as computer desktop wallpaper. Featuring striking images of the Mandir, the wallpaper will provide a beautiful backdrop to computer screens and serve as handy reminders for important dates of Hindu significance.

To open the wallpaper in high-resolution (1920 x 1080), please use the gallery above or click the links below:

Seminar for Dental Professionals
Friday 23 Januaray 2015

BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir, London hosted a seminar for dental professionals on Friday 23 January 2015. The seminar was organised by BAPS Charities and brought together more than a hundred dental professionals.

The event was co-sponsored by Coltene, My Dental Order and Septodont, and was recognised for two hours of verifiable Continuing Professional Development (CPD) for dental professionals.

Guest speaker at the event was Dr Federico Ferraris, a successful aesthetic dentist from Italy who has delivered seminars in more than 20 countries. He has also co-authored several Italian and international scientific publications.

Dr Ferraris delivered a lecture on ‘Direct/Indirect Posterior Restorations and the Optical Behaviours of Composites in the Aesthetic Zone’.

The event followed a similar seminar organised by BAPS Charities in September 2014 on ‘Managing Periodontal & Peri-Implant Disease in Practice’.

Dipak Patel, a BAPS Charities volunteer, added: “We were very pleased to build upon our first event from last year and welcome so many dental professionals again. We look forward to more of these events to help deliver the best standard of care for patients.”

The evening closed with dinner and an opportunity for delegates to network and discuss the main messages from the lecture.