Mississauga Mayor Bonnie Crombie and Markham Mayor Frank Scarpitti, along with their delegations, visited Swaminarayan Akshardham in New Delhi to experience India’s ageless beauty, borderless culture and timeless values. Both Mayors were welcomed in traditional Indian manner with a chandlo (vermillion powder) and the tying of the sacred kalva (sacred thread) by trustees and senior volunteers on behalf of Swaminarayan Akshardham and BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha.
The delegations admired the Mayur Dwar (Peacock Gate) and then made their way to the Swaminarayan Akshardham Mandir where they witnessed the world’s ‘Largest Comprehensive Hindu Temple’. Thereafter, the Mayors and delegation offered respects and viewed the Mandir’s architecture, and then visited the Gajendra Pithika (Elephant Plinth) that includes 148 life‐sized carved stone elephants depicting message of social harmony, peace and spirituality.
Mayor Bonnie Crombie and her delegation offered prayers for world peace and harmony by offering ‘Abhishek’, the ceremonial pouring of sanctified water from 151 holy rivers, lakes and ponds across India on the sacred image of Sri Neelkanth Varni. Afterwards, she experienced the educational exhibition, ‘Sanskruti Vihar’, a cultural voyage that sails through 10,000 years of India’s glorious heritage, highlighting India’s contributions to humanity through the ages.
Sharing her experience at Akshardham, Mississauga Mayor Bonnie Crombie wrote, “The temple is a wondrous and magnificent creation and a symbol of peace, serenity, nature and the divine. Thank you for the inspiration and enriching experience. I will always treasure this memory.”
Markham Mayor Frank Scarpitti and his delegation also offered prayers for world peace and harmony by offering ‘Abhishek’ and then experienced the educational exhibitions: ‘Sahajanand Darshan’ (Hall of Values), a robotic show depicting the ideals of nonviolence, honest, harmony and faith; ‘Neelkanth Darshan’, a Giant Screen film on the epic journey of Neelkanth Varni throughout India, and ‘Sanskruti Vihar’, a cultural voyage that sails through 10,000 years of India’s glorious heritage, highlighting India’s contributions to humanity through the ages. Finally, they witnessed the ‘Sahaj Anand Water Show’, a theatrical presentation about an ancient Upanishad story with modern fountains, projections, lasers and fire.
Sharing his experience at Akshardham, Markham Mayor Frank Scarpitti wrote, “Thank you for the wonderful tour. The temple is truly inspiring and continues to symbolize the beauty of life and what is key to happiness in all our lives.”
Inspired by His Holiness Pramukh Swami Maharaj, Swaminarayan Akshardham at New Delhi is a Mandir – an abode of God, a Hindu place of worship, and a spiritual and cultural campus dedicated to devotion, learning and harmony. Timeless Hindu spiritual messages, vibrant devotional traditions and ancient architecture are all echoed in its art and architecture. The Mandir is a humble tribute to Bhagwan Swaminarayan (1781- 1830), the avatars, devas and great sages of Hinduism.
Pramukh Swami Maharaj has also inspired the magnificent BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir in Toronto located at 61 Claireville Drive, near Hwy 427N and Finch Ave W.