The BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir Complex in Bartlett, IL has become the focus of interest and wonder for thousands of local citizens and people visiting Chicagoland. The fusion of traditional Indian architecture with modern technology has attracted people from all walks of life; from visiting school groups to architects, all have been marveled by the Mandir’s stunning architecture and breathtaking artistry.
This masterpiece of ancient design and workmanship, which was put up in only 16 months, is testimony to the sheer dedication and devotion of over 1,700 volunteers.
The story of the Mandir’s creation is epic in proportions and logistics. Over 1,700 volunteers from the Chicagoland area, and many more from over 3 continents, contributed their expertise during the construction of this edifice. Built according to the ancient canons of Hindu architecture, known as the Shilpa-Shastras, the Mandir exemplifies a system of construction that has been proven to withstand the tests of time, thus providing a place that will continue to generate memories and experiences for posterity. Visitors to the Mandir can experience the various facets of Hindu rites and rituals, as well the core philosophical precepts of the religion. Together with the Mandir, the ’Understanding Hinduism’ exhibition provides visitors a concise, yet comprehensive study of the Hindu religion. It is an inspiring place to learn about the culture of India and the values that have been fostered by Hindus for generations.
The Mandir has numerous activities for the young and old. The annual walk-a-thon helps to foster a spirit of service and provides an outlet through which one may contribute to the local community. Local doctors also provide voluntary services at the Annual Health Fair through free consultations in a myriad of medical fields.
Festivals are celebrated on a grand scale at the Mandir throughout the year, which include Diwali, Swaminarayan Jayanti, Ram Navmi, Janmashtmi, Shivratri, Holi and Ganesh Chaturti. Marking the Hindu New Year, the grandest of the Hindu festivals, Diwali and Annakut, are celebrated with dazzling lights, sights, smells, and sounds.