• Tuesday, May 28, 2024

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Foundation Ceremony of Architectural Masterpiece for Cultural Harmony in France

The foundation stone-laying ceremony for what has been described as an “architectural masterpiece” will take place over the weekend of 3-4 September 2022 at the Esplanade des religions et des cultures in Bussy-Saint-Georges – the multifaith and multicultural heartland of Paris.

BAPS Hindu Mandir

By: Melvin Samuel

BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha (BAPS) – an international socio-spiritual organisation affiliated to the UN and with major centres in London, New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, New Delhi, Nairobi, Abu Dhabi and Sydney – is beginning work on its next major project, in Paris. 

The foundation stone-laying ceremony for what has been described as an “architectural masterpiece” will take place over the weekend of 3-4 September 2022 at the Esplanade des religions et des cultures in Bussy-Saint-Georges – the multifaith and multicultural heartland of Paris. The new building, France’s first traditional purpose-built ‘mandir’ (Hindu temple) with intricate stone carvings and community facilities, has been chosen for its commitment to promoting culture, integrity and harmony. 

Paris is home to some of the world’s most iconic monuments and beautiful buildings, with some of the most prolific minds in philosophy, literature, poetry, theatre, painting, sculpture and architecture have emerged from France. The new ‘BAPS Hindu Mandir’ will supplement this rich array of architectural beauty and artistic expression, and become an ambassador of Indian culture and wisdom, bringing the ancient art and science of traditional Indian architecture to the country.

The temple is the vision of Mahant Swami Maharaj, the spiritual leader of BAPS. He shared that the temple “will serve as a beacon of peace, spirituality, family values and community service” through its exhibitions, learning and sports areas, landscaped gardens, and a restaurant offering a variety of delicious vegetarian food. 

This vision will begin to materialise through a special ceremony signifying the start of the temple’s construction. Hundreds of guests from various parts of France, other countries of Europe and even India are expected to participate in the ancient Vedic ceremony. The celebrations will include a vibrant cultural programme of dance, videos and presentations delivered in French and Hindi. 

Sanjay Kara, project lead for the temple’s construction, explains, “Temples in India have sustained and nurtured noble values for millennia. We are honoured to continue that legacy here in the beautiful city of Paris and to fulfil this vision of intercultural respect, community service and global harmony.”

Yann Dubosc, Mayor of Bussy-Saint-Georges, said, “There are projects that mark a life. This Mandir is one such project. In my time on earth as mayor, I will be able to tell my daughter that I have participated in the building of a remarkable place of worship! Prior to this, I did not know anything about Hinduism, but with you, I have discovered this light that enlightens humanity. There is nothing more essential in our time. May the Bussy Mandir help to enlighten humanity and reveal the best in each of us.”

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