Timeline: BAPS in the UK & Europe

 

1950

  • With the blessings of Shastriji Maharaj, Mahendrabhai Patel (‘Barrister’), Purushottambhai Patel and other devotees begin to meet occasionally for Satsang sabhas in London.

1953

  • In India, Yogiji Maharaj blessed Dahyabhai D. Meghani (nephew of the renowned Gujarati scholar and author, Zaverchand Meghani), saying: “Go to London, and continue to practice Satsang.” On arrival in London, Dahyabhai, Maganbhai, Chandubhai, Mahendrabhai and others install the murtis of Akshar Purushottam Maharaj and Yogiji Maharaj. Regular weekly Satsang sabhas are focused around the reading of Yogiji Maharaj’s weekly letters.
  • Satsang sabhas held at D. D. Meghani’s business premises in Central London.

1958

  • Satsang sabhas are held at Prahladbhai Patel’s house.

1959

  • Gulzarilal Nanda, then Union Labour Minister of India and staunch satsangi, visits London. A reception is held at Vega Restaurant (founded by George Bernard Shaw).
  • Registered with Charity Commission as ‘Swaminarayan Hindu Mission, London Fellowship Centre’.

1962

  • Harmanbhai Patel visits London to consolidate Satsang activities.

1963

  • Shri Swaminarayan Student Centre is established at the wish of Yogiji Maharaj.

1964

  • Navinbhai Swaminarayan begins Satsang sabhas in Manchester.

 

1970

  • Yogiji Maharaj makes his first visit to London, which includes a procession through Oxford Street.
  • Yogiji Maharaj inaugurates one of Britain’s first Hindu mandirs at 77 Elmore Street, Islington, London.

1973

  • 1st Youth Convention.

1974

  • Pramukh Swami Maharaj’s first visit to the UK as spiritual leader of BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha.
  • 2nd Youth Convention.
  • Pramukh Swami Maharaj meets with the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Michael Ramsey.

1977

  • Pramukh Swami Maharaj visits the UK and inaugurates mandirs in Leicester, Ashton and Wellingborough.
  • 3rd Youth Convention.

1979

  • 4th Youth Convention.

1980

  • Pramukh Swami Maharaj is given a warm reception at the Royal Albert Hall.
  • Procession on the streets of London.
  • Pramukh Swami Maharaj hosts World Religions Conference at the Wembley Conference Centre.
  • 5th Youth Convention.

1982

  • Pramukh Swami Maharaj visits the UK and inaugurates a new hari mandir in Neasden, on Meadow Garth.
  • Sadhus travel to Satsang centres in Europe.

1984

  • Pramukh Swami Maharaj visits the UK, Holland, Belgium, Portugal and Italy.
  • Pramukh Swami Maharaj meets Pope John Paul II in the Vatican.
  • Pramukh Swami Maharaj inaugurates hari mandir in Preston.

1985

  • Pramukh Swami Maharaj celebrates the 33-day Cultural Festival of India at Alexandra Palace, London. Over 1.5 million people visit.

1987

  • 6th Youth Convention.

1988

  • Pramukh Swami Maharaj visits the UK, Portugal, Spain, France, Austria, Germany, Switzerland, Norway and Sweden.
  • Pramukh Swami Maharaj is honoured in the House of Commons, London.

1990

  • Pramukh Swami Maharaj visits the UK.
  • Pramukh Swami Maharaj inaugurates Satsang bhavan in Birmingham.

1991

  • Pramukh Swami Maharaj lays foundation stone for the shikharbaddha mandir on the Arlington garage and warehouse site in Neasden.

1992

  • September – The Swaminarayan School, 1st Hindu school in Europe, opens.
  • November – Construction of BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir, 1st traditional Hindu mandir in Europe, begins.

1993

  • December – Construction of Haveli (adjacent cultural complex) begins.

1994

  • Pramukh Swami Maharaj visits the UK, Czech Republic and Sweden.

1995

  • August 20: Pramukh Swami Maharaj performs murti-pratishtha ceremony of Akshar Purushottam Maharaj and deities in new BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir.
  • Six-day Mandir Mahotsav: Festival of Inspirations (18 to 23 August) held to commemorate the occasion.

1996

  • Pramukh Swami Maharaj visits the UK.

1997

  • Pramukh Swami Maharaj visits the UK.
  • 7th Youth convention.

1998

  • Pramukh Swami Maharaj visits the UK.

1999

  • Opening of Satsang bhavan in Lisbon, Portugal.

 

2000

  • Pramukh Swami Maharaj visits the UK.

2001

  • Inauguration of Loughborough mandir.

 

2002

  • 8th Youth convention.

2003

  • Inauguration of hari mandir in Antwerp, Belgium.

 

2004

  • Pramukh Swami Maharaj visits the UK.
  • Pramukh Swami Maharaj inaugurates hari mandirs at Luton and Southend-on-Sea.

2006

  • Pramukh Swami Maharaj visits the UK.
  • Inauguration of hari mandirs in Birmingham and Coventry.
  • 9th Youth convention.

2007

  • Pramukh Swami Maharaj visits the UK as part of BAPS Centenary Celebrations.

2009

  • Inauguration of new hari mandir in Wellingborough.

2011

  • Inauguration of new hari mandir in Leicester.