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BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir, Toronto

Categories: Sacred & Religious Sites, Tourist Spots
Inspirock Rating:
4.4/5 based on 65 reviews on the web
The BAPS Shri Swaminarayan mandir in Toronto, Canada is a traditional Hindu place of worship that was built by the BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha. The BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha, which is headed by Pramukh Swami Maharaj, is a global spiritual organization within the Swaminarayan branch of Hinduism. The mandir was built in 18 months and consists of 24,000 pieces of hand-carved Italian carrara marble, Turkish limestone and Indian pink stone. The mandir is the largest of its kind in Canada and was constructed according to guidelines outlined in ancient Hindu scriptures. The grounds spread over 18 acres and in addition to the mandir, include a haveli and the Heritage Museum. The mandir is open daily to visitors and for worship.Mandir and daily ritualsThe temple is a type of ‘Shikarbaddha’ mandir, built according to principles laid out in the Shilpa Shastras, Hindu texts prescribing standards of sacred architecture. Within the mandir, murtis (sacred images of the deities) have been installed in different shrines. The central shrine holds the murti of Swaminarayan, with Gunatitanand Swami to his left, together worshipped as Akshar-Purushottam Maharaj. Similarly, different shrines hold murtis of other Hindu deities such as Radha Krishna, Shiva Parvati, Sita Ram, Hanuman, Ganapati and the lineage of BAPS gurus who are Swaminarayan’s spiritual successors.Once the divine has been invoked in a murti, it becomes an embodiment of the Divine. Accordingly, Swaminarayan sadhus (Hindu monks) offer devotional worship to the deities throughout the day. Before dawn, they awaken the deities by singing morning hymns (prabhatiya). The deities are then bathed and offered food and garments depending on the time of the day and season. Food that has been offered to the deities is considered sanctified. These holy offerings are distributed to the devotees as prasadam. Throughout the day, aarti, a ritual where devotees sing the glory of Swaminarayan while a lighted wick is circulated before the murtis, is performed five times a day and named mangala aarti, shanagar aarti, rajabhoga aarti, sandhya aarti and shayana aarti, respectively. During midday, lunch is offered. In the evening, dinner is offered. Finally, the sadhus put the murtis to rest by adorning them with night garments.
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  • This place is not included in the main attractions to see in Toronto, but its an astonishing place. not just for the beauty and majesty of the main building but also for the spiruatily of the place. I...  read more »
  • A brilliant place to come and visit to look at arcitecture. People are sooo helpful and at peace here. 
  • Assistant Engineer, a place drops in the eyes of such beauty ... almost every temple in marble, gold ... very beautiful ... Very good to know other cultures. You can't enter the temple with the knees, so try to go with clothes q cover ... If not tb, they lend a "handkerchief" to which you tie shaped long skirt! You have to remove your shoes tb to get (and keep them in a closet), you can't take pictures inside the temple ... but the peace and the beauty of it won't forget ever!!! Pays off far visit!!
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  • This was such an amazing place. From the moment you enter the temple you start to see all the wood work, all those details, quite impressive. But when you go into the actual temple, get prepared to stay in awe, I never ever seen anything like that, the work on the pillars, the ceiling, the sculptures, just wow! You feel a lot of respect for that religion and at the same time, getting to know a little bit more about it. It's a shame really that no pictures or videos can be taken, but at the same time isn't a touristic place per se, it a temple to worship and we have to respect them. Amazing place.
  • Visited and left with mixed emotions. The design, architecture, wood and stone work are stunning. On the other hand, if you are not of Indian decent the staff are all very sour and unfriendly. The "museum" is really just a collection of propaganda and made up historic events. Pay the $5 entrance fee if you want to learn how India was the first to develop writing (it wasn't) and how ancient Indian scholars discovered particle physics (they didn't).
  • I wonder how come this place not a famous landmark of Toronto like CN Tower or Niagra Falls? Best thing it wasn't crowded like those places. Marble work, wooden crafts, culture, arts u name it. Everything so special, different and exotic about this Hindu temple. I definitely got lots of peace and positive energy when visited this place.
  • Truly, truly, truly magnificent. The place of paramount peace. It is where GOD resides truly...I am very fortunate to be a part of this mind blowing and divine BAPS MANDIR. Hats off to Param Pujya Pramukh Swami Maharaj...The best guru ever, truly an incarnation of God on earth
  • This temple is an amazing piece of marvelous art work put together. The temple is made without the use of any cements or anything else. Everything is put together like a puzzle and its just a peaceful and calm place to visit.
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