Premier Kathleen Wynne visited the architectural wonder, BAPS Swaminarayan Akshardham in New Delhi on Friday January 29, 2016 to experience India’s ageless beauty, borderless culture and timeless values.
Wynne was welcomed in traditional Indian manner with a garland of flowers, a chandlo (vermillion powder) and the tying of the sacred kalva (sacred thread) by trustees and senior volunteers on behalf of BAPS Swaminarayan Akshardham and BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha.
Premier Wynne’s thirty-member delegation from Ontario included Michael Chan, MPP, Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and International Trade, Brad Duguid, MPP, Minister of Economic Development, Employment and Infrastructure, Dipika Damerla, MPP, Associate Minister of Health and Long-Term Care, Minister Vic Dhillon, MPP, Minister Harinder Takhar, MPP, Minister Amrit Mangat, MPP and other many business and community leaders.
The delegation admired the splendid 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 Premier 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.
Wynne and the Ontario 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 Shri Nilkanth Varni (Bhagwan Swaminarayan).
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 all are 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.
Premier Kathleen Wynne has also visited the BAPS Swaminarayan Mandir in Toronto located at 61 Claireville Drive, near Hwy 427N and Finch Ave W.