The BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir of Chicago, Illinois is a traditional Hindu place of worship built by the BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha. The BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha, which is headed by Pramukh Swami Maharaj, is a denomination of the Swaminarayan branch of Hinduism. The mandir, located in the Chicago suburb of Bartlett, opened on August 8, 2004. It is built of hand-carved Italian marble and Turkish limestone. The mandir is the largest of its kind in Illinois and was constructed according to guidelines outlined in ancient Hindu texts of temple architecture. The complex spreads over 27 acres and, in addition to the mandir, includes a haveli and a small bookstore. The haveli is a cultural center in which weekly congregations are held. The mandir is open daily for worship and to visitors.Mandir and Daily RitualsThe temple, classified within traditional Hindu architecture as a ‘Shikharbadha mandir,’ has been built according to principles laid out in the Shilpa Shastras. The Shilpa Shastras are Hindu texts prescribing standards of sacred architecture. Within the mandir are different shrines, in which murtis (sacred images of Hindu deities) have been installed. The central shrine holds the murti of Swaminarayan, with Gunatitanand Swami to his left, together worshipped as Akshar-Purushottam Maharaj. Other shrines hold the murtis of Ghanshyam Maharaj, Harikrishna Maharaj, Shri Radha Krishna, Shri Shiva Parvati, Shri Sita Ram, Hanumanji, Ganapatiji and the lineage of BAPS gurus who are Swaminarayan’s spiritual successors. The murtis become worthy of worship after being imbued with the living presence of the deities. Accordingly, the Swaminarayan sadhus (Hindu monks) offer devotional worship to the deities throughout the day. The sadhus awaken the deities before dawn by singing morning hymns, called prabhatiya. Managala aarti, which is the first of five aartis, is also performed at this time. Aarti is a ritual where devotees sing the glory of God while a lighted wick is circulated before the murtis. After managala aarti, the deities are bathed and offered food and garments that vary with the season. After the murtis have been adorned with garments, shangaar aarti is performed. At midday, rajabhoga aarti is performed and food is offered to the murtis. Food that has been offered to the deities is considered sanctified, and is distributed to devotees as holy prasadam. In the evening, sandhya aarti is performed before offering food to the murtis. The sadhus put the murtis to rest by adorning them with night garments. Shayana aarti is performed at this time. Chamber doors are closed when food is being offered and when the murtis are put to rest.Put BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir and other Bartlett attractions into our Bartlett vacation generator, and watch your holiday take shape.
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I live near here and have always wanted to see the place. First to know, you might want to wear socks because you have to take your shoes off. Second is that they close it down for lunch. We got there... more »
I've never been to the Taj Mahal in India. I have been to the B'ai Temple in Wilmette. But I've never seen anything like BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir off Highway 59 in northwest suburban Bartlett. Op... more »
We stopped by here on our journey through Illinois and were happy we did. A beautiful building and a peaceful place. We were lucky enough to go on a sunny day, so we really loved it. We didn't go insi... more »
Calm and soothing inside. Good food. Extra Gujrati food could help non Gujratis.
Prof. Arun C. Mehta
Every Indian visiting USA must visit BAPS SN temple. Beautifully constructed and plantation is awesome. Gujarati stuff in its store is mouth watering, One must try.
Very beautiful and well managed. Must visit the cafe with indian food and snacks at back.
Good spiritual place to visit. Don't forget to see white peacocks 😊
Place is beautiful but guy at information desk is awful. He bears an unwelcoming attitude as if visitors are a burden he carries. Temple has a weird architecture. You have go to through another structure to enter the main temple via an underground tunnel. There are no clear directions. The first structure greets you with facility to leave footwear. We left our footwear and headed towards the main temple, unable to find an entrance to main temple we stepped back into first structure. We got yelled by the information desk guy for stepping back in bare footed. We politely told that we are not born and brought up in that temple. We told him to put proper directions and instructions if that was his problem. He shut his mouth and let us in.
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