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Shri Swaminarayan Mandir in Toronto

Shri Swaminarayan Mandir is Canada’s first ever traditionally hand-carved Hindu place of worship. It is built in ornate marble pillars and sparkling domes (that resemble like those of the Angkor Wat of Cambodia). The structure itself, from the floor to the ceiling is a work of hand-carved statues of Hindu dieties–both internal and external parts of the mandir. The columns and pillars are built sans steels to support the building. It boasts of more than 24,000 pieces of hand-carved statues of marble, teak wood, sandstone and limestone that create a magnificent blend of a masterpiece.

The view from the southwest corner of the building.

These pillars and balustrades are unsupported by iron or steels. They are purely made of glistening marble.

The well-manicured garden adds to the beauty of the architecture itself.

The front view.

Once inside, you will be astounded at the serenity of the place. Below those domes is where you can find Hindu Mandir (place of worhsip). Its cave-like ambience where the statues/carvings of different dieties from pillars to roof will be mistaken as stalctatites and stalagmites in awesome perfection. Men and women are advised to sit separately when inside the place of worship. Men are at the center dome while the women are at the northeast corner.

No photography is allowed inside the mandir.

Whats interesting to know about this brilliant piece of architecture is that it was built by volunteers in 18 months!

These are the intricate carvings on the columns at the main entrance to Haveli, a traditional courtyard that shows an impressive Indian craftsmanship.

Very impressive, indeed.

The entrance to Haveli.

Once you go past this door, you are advised to remove your shoes or any footwear you have. No one is allowed to wear sleeveles shirts and shorts above the knee. For women, theres a shawl available to cover the exposed parts of your shoulder.

The mandir also houses the Heritage Museum where you feel like you are on a journey to India. Theyve got dioramas, oil paintings, crafted exhibits, photographs and more. Youll be fascinated at the brilliance of Indian heritage and its contribution to every science known to man. Youll leave this little gem of a museum with your improved perception about the country and Hinduism.

General admission is FREE. Should you decide to go into the Heritage Museum, which I would recommend, theres a fee of $5.

For the address and direction on how to get there, click HERE and HERE.


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