Harper Hails Opening of Grand Hindu Temple

July 22, 2007

Author: Matthew Coutts

Source: National Post


TORONTO — An estimated crowd of 8,000 helped celebrate the opening of the BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir, a grand Hindu temple in Toronto Sunday.

A marching band played and children danced their way down the aisle behind a delegation of Canadian and international leaders led by Prime Minister Stephen Harper.

The Etobicoke, Ont. temple is the first of its kind in Canada to be built, carved and designed to follow traditional Vedic principles used in ancient Indian temples.

Other honoured guests included Premier Dalton McGuinty, Toronto Mayor David Miller and Rajamani Lakshmi Narayan, the high commissioner of India to Canada.

Pramukh Swami Maharaj, the faith’s spiritual leader, waited near the entrance as the delegation made its way up the marble steps.

They waved to a cheering crowd flying the flags of Canada, India and BAPS (Bochasanwasi Shree Akshar Purushottam Swaminarayan Sanstha), the Hindu sect leading the construction.

The Prime minister called the temple a great example of Canadian diversity.