Trip Planner:   USA  /  Texas  /  Stafford  /  Historic Sites  /  BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir

BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir, Stafford

(40+ reviews on the web)
Religious Site Tourist Spot
The BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir of Houston, Texas is a traditional Hindu temple 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 Houston suburb of Stafford was built in 28 months and consists of 33,000 pieces of hand-carved Italian marble and Turkish limestone. The mandir is the largest of its kind in Texas and was constructed according to guidelines outlined in ancient Hindu scriptures. The grounds spread over 22 acres and in addition to the mandir, include a haveli and the Understanding Hinduism exhibition. The haveli is a cultural center in which weekly congregations are held. The Understanding Hinduism exhibition provide visitors with a foundation of the key tenets of Hinduism. The mandir is open daily for worship and to visitors.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. The murtis are made from marble and are considered to be imbued with the living presence of diving beings. Accordingly, Swaminarayan sadhus (Hindu monks) offer devotional worship to the deities throughout the day. Before dawn, they awaken the deities by singing morning hymns, called 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, arti, a ritual where devotees sing the glory of God 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. While food is being offered to the murtis and when they are put to rest, their chamber doors are closed.
Using our online itinerary creator, Stafford attractions like BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir can form part of a personalized travel itinerary.
Source
Create a full Stafford itinerary
map

Plan your trip to Stafford

  • Get a personalized plan

    A complete day-by-day itinerary
    based on your preferences
  • Customize it

    Refine your plan. We'll find the
    best routes and schedules
  • Book it

    Choose from the best hotels
    and activities. Up to 50% off
  • Manage it

    Everything in one place.
    Everyone on the same page.

Plans in Texas by other users

17 days in Texas BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES August, kids, beaches, historic sites, museums, popular PREFERENCES: August, kids, beaches, historic sites, museums ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 1 day in Fort Worth BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES July, relaxing, romantic, slow & easy, popular PREFERENCES: July, relaxing, romantic ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Slow & easy 4 days in Amarillo, Santa Fe & Crested Butte BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES June, kids, culture, outdoors, relaxing, historic sites, museums, shopping, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: June, kids, culture, outdoors, relaxing, historic sites, museums, shopping ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 8 days in Dallas BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES June, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, historic sites, museums, slow & easy, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: June, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, historic sites, museums ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Slow & easy 5 days in Waco BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES October, popular PREFERENCES: October ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 3 days in Waco BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES August, popular PREFERENCES: August ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 3 days in Fort Worth BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES June, popular PREFERENCES: June ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 8 days in Pittsburg & Springfield BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES July, teens, kids, outdoors, relaxing, historic sites, museums, shopping, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: July, teens, kids, outdoors, relaxing, historic sites, museums, shopping ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 2 days in San Angelo BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES August, popular PREFERENCES: August ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 5 days in San Angelo BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES June, kids, outdoors, historic sites, popular PREFERENCES: June, kids, outdoors, historic sites ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 3 days in Texas & New Mexico BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES July, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, historic sites, museums, hidden gems PREFERENCES: July, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, historic sites, museums ATTRACTION STYLE: Hidden gems PACE: Medium 6 days in Lubbock & Taos BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES August, popular PREFERENCES: August ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium
View more plans
Reviews
TripAdvisor
  • It is a very nice temple, very spacious. the stone carvings are excellent. Temple has a food stall nearby, very good quality Indian vegetarian food is available for purchase.  more »
  • This is a super cool place to visit. If you have an hour or so to kill and you're in the area, I definitely recommend stopping by. There are members there to guide you. Ladies, your legs have to be co...  more »
  • I visited the temple on a Sunday afternoon. There were about 10 other visitors. The temple is beautiful. I would suggestion wearing pants or jeans since your legs must be covered to enter the temple (...  more »
Google
  • This is the most beautiful place in Houston!! Please go and visit it!!! besides it's free!!!! It's a bit confusing but try to read the instructions before you start walking around the temple. You can take picture OUTSIDE THE premises NOT inside the actual temple! You have to take off your shoes before going inside the temple they have two small closets one for women and another for men where you can put your shoes. You can not enter the temple if you have shorts but, there is a gentleman in front of the temple and will give you some sort of cloth you can tie around your waist so it covers your legs. The temple inside is breath taking!!!!! I was walking around with my mouth wide open because it was so beautiful. There is people in the temple who will guide you around and tell you what everything means or represents.
  • Love this sacred place of adoration. The details are beautifully done. There is also a small museum with a lot of information. There is also wheelchair access throughout the whole location!!! Fun part is that you need to remove your shoes before entering the building. Would love to be back sometime again.
  • This place it's a must! The people there were so nice and helpful. One of the people working there, answered all our questions and gave us information about the temple. You can have any religion and still go there, visit or even pray. The feeling of purity and the calmness that the temple gives you, it is hard not to notice. I am a fan of Hindu culture, but after visiting the temple, I felt more in love. You can tell that I am going back, right? :)
  • The buildings are made of marble and lime stones with lots of exquisitely carved figures of gods, dieities, flowers and other religious symbols. The grounds are well maintained. It looks like a scene from a fairy tale. The gift shop serves simple vegetarian food and traditional Indian spicy tea. One of the hidden gems in Houston.
  • I really like the design of white hindu temple. The carving is done very well and it is just amazing to look at different sculptures in the building. I am not a person to believe in god, but I do enjoy architecture of every sort. This temple is a masterpiece .