News & Events

Traditional Indian Bells Welcome the Olympic Games
Friday 27 July 2012

Thousands of bells have rung out across the UK to mark the official start of the London 2012 Olympic Games.

Traditional Indian bells at BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir joined Big Ben, church bells, doorbells and even bicycle bells from all over the country for a national celebratory performance.

The event was the vision of Turner Prize-winner Martin Creed as a form of ‘national sound sculpture’. Officially entitled Work No. 1197, all the bells in the UK were rung as quickly and as loudly as possible for three minutes, from 8.12am to 8.15am, on Friday 27 July, the opening day of the thirtieth Olympiad.

At the Mandir – already featuring in the official Olympic pin badge as the ‘London Landmark’ for the borough of Brent – visitors and neighbours revelled in the sonorous sound and joyous ambience created.

Lalit Patel, a volunteer at the Mandir, shared: “It felt wonderful to participate and it’s fair to say that we’re all truly excited about the coming weeks.”

Thousands of people and organisations had registered to take part in the celebration, including the National Trust, the National Theatre, the Mayor of London, the Archbishop of Westminster, and The Girl Guides Association.

Bells were also expected to be rung around the world in countries including Australia, the US, China, Botswana, and even in Antarctica.

More information about the event is available at the All The Bells website here.

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