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BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha – UK & Europe
UK & Europe
In the UK, BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha is respected as one of the largest and most active Hindu organisations within the Indian diaspora. It is especially known and respected for its multifarious community outreach activities and the internationally-acclaimed ‘Neasden Temple’ (BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir) in London, where it is headquartered.
Apart from the traditional stone temple (shikharbaddha mandir) in London, BAPS also has smaller mandirs (hari mandirs) in Birmingham, Chigwell, Coventry, Havant, Leeds, Leicester, Loughborough, Luton, Manchester (Ashton), Nottingham, Preston, Southend-on-Sea, and Wellingborough, as well as a further 24 centres across the UK which run Satsang activities.
The Mandir in London also serves as the headquarters for BAPS activities in Europe. Currently, there are mandirs in Antwerp (Belgium) and Lisbon (Portugal), along with centres in Barcelona (Spain), Berlin (Germany), Copenhagen (Denmark), Dublin (Republic of Ireland), Hamburg (Germany), Milan (Italy), Munich (Germany), Paris (France), Prague (Czech Republic), Stuttgart (Germany), Vienna (Austria), Warsaw (Poland) and Zurich (Switzerland).
More information about these mandirs and centres in the UK and across Europe can be found here.
History of BAPS in the UK
The roots of BAPS in the UK stretch back to the post-war era of the early 1950s. London was still recovering from the aftermath of World War II, when a scattering of Indians had come to eke out a better life. Among those rare few were the pioneers of BAPS in the UK.
Learn about this arduous journey – from gatherings in a humble office near Baker Street, to the first mandir in a converted church in Islington, moving to a rundown warehouse on Meadow Garth in Neasden, and finally to the opening of BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir in 1995 – retold here through the first-hand accounts of those first devotees and Pramukh Swami Maharaj himself.
BAPS is guided by the simple but profoundly spiritual message of His Holiness Pramukh Swami Maharaj: “In the joy of others lies our own.”
Driven by this principle and the Hindu ethos of seva – the spirit of selfless service to others – BAPS is actively involved in a wide range of community outreach activities. These include promoting health, education, family values, and much more.
BAPS in the UK is also aided by its independent humanitarian welfare arm, BAPS Charities UK. It is an international charity organisation committed to serving needy individuals, families and communities in the UK and elsewhere.
For a full list of current BAPS events and activities in the UK, please click here.
To learn more about BAPS Charities, please visit its independent site at www.bapscharities.org.
For an overview of BAPS and BAPS Charities activities in the UK, please see the brochure available here.
The Swaminarayan School, London
Opposite the Mandir lies The Swaminarayan School, the first such Hindu school in the western hemisphere. Founded by His Holiness Pramukh Swami Maharaj and opened in 1992, this co-educational Prep and Senior School aims to provide the best of the National Curriculum cradled in the supportive atmosphere of the Hindu ethos. Today, with almost 500 pupils learning and growing their way to becoming competent, responsible and purposeful citizens, the School is consistently topping the performance tables and making valuable contributions to the wider community. It is academically the best school in the Borough of Brent, and in January 2011, was the highest ranking independent school in London while achieving fourth place nationally.
To learn more about The Swaminarayan School, please click here.
To visit the School’s independent website, please click here.