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BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir, Chino Hills

(95+ reviews on the web)
Religious Site Tourist Spot
The BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir, located in Chino Hills, California, is the first earthquake-proof mandir in the world. The BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir is a traditional Hindu mandir that was completed in 2012. Situated on a 20-acre site with a 91-foot lotus-shaped pond, the complex has a cultural center, gymnasium and classrooms. Approximately 900 volunteers, including many second-generation Indian-Americans, volunteered approximately 1.3 million man hours to construct the Mandir. This mandir uses a solar power system to generate electricity and reduce adverse effects on the environment. The solar panel power system is expected to reduce 1,556 tons of CO2 emissions, which is the equivalent of planting 62,244 trees, over a 25 year period.HistoryIn 1977, Pramukh Swami Maharaj, the present spiritual leader of BAPS, visited California. During his first visit, he encouraged a small group of individuals to hold regular assemblies. He, and other senior sadhus, returned nearly every year, nurturing and inspiring devotees. In 1984, Pramukh Swami Maharaj inaugurated a small center in Whittier, California.Nineteen years later, in 1996, the local group made a proposal to build a larger facility, including a traditional stone mandir, to fulfill Pramukh Swami’s vision that he had shared with them almost two decades earlier and to accommodate their growing congregation.With his blessing, the group began searching for land. After reviewing a half-dozen parcels, Pramukh Swami Maharaj guided the group to a plot next to the 71 freeway in the City of Chino Hills.
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Reviews
TripAdvisor
  • One of these am I seeing what I am seeing from the freeway. Exceptional craftsmanship and gracious hosts. The members enjoy sharing their religious facility. After exploring the temple go to the cafe ...  more »
  • Impressive architecture, first time for me in a Mandir. Amazing wood and stone carving work. Unfortunately no pictures are allowed in the inside, exteriors are OK. Large parking lot, free admission. D...  more »
  • Beautiful building. People were so welcoming. The only downside was that people were talking in the quiet area (shhh!).  more »
Google
  • Breathtaking interiors made out of marble. Everything was brought from India and handcrafted there (wood and marble) Make sure to take off your shoes and cover your knees, if you're wearing shorts. No photography allowed inside the temples.
  • Chino Hills is not the first place I would think would have an unbelievably intricate and ornate Hindu temple, but its there and it is worth a visit. The temple compound is secure and almost like a self-contained city. They have a gift shop, vegetarian restaurant and market too. No photography or shoes inside.
  • Very cool place to visit, non-Hindu people should take the time as see this place. The main temple is amazing. I won't tell you what is inside, you need to see it in person. Photos cannot be taken indoors and with good reason. People who work here are friendly and very welcoming. Be prepared to remove shoes and speak in soft voices. It's astounding that this place exists in chino hills or California. If you never place to visit India this a a small slice to see in your back yard.
  • Beautiful temple but make sure to hold on to all your belongings. We bought something from the gift shop and accidentally left it in the cafe and the item had disappeared and none seemed to know anything about it when we tried to find it 15 min later.
  • Highly recommend to visit this place once if in the area. A very unique temple, don't recall anything like it in Southern California. The people their provide exceptional customer service and are happy to answer any questions.