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“A piece of the ancient world in the new”

BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir
Ranked #80 of 526 things to do in Toronto
Certificate of Excellence
Attraction details
Reviewed 10 October 2013

we've been there a couple of times and i always find something different to marvel at that i hadn't noticed before. it's very possible to lose 10-15min just staring at the mind-blowingly intricate details on a single carved wooden panel.

keep in mind, you are in a place of meditation and worship - there are rules to observe:

first, shoes off! you don't walk in and dirty up the place with your shoes - remove them and leave them in a cubby at the door (no, they're not going to get stolen).

no loud talk - and considering the way the place is built, sound carries incredibly so... just don't talk. you don't need to anyway - the outside is spectacular but the interior is breath-taking.

no exposed arms or legs - that means no tank tops, no belly tops, no shorts, and no short skirts. if you don't like it, too bad. their house, their rules.

no photos inside - check the camera at the door. doesn't matter - unless you have really good equipment, you won't get much detail because of the tightness of the carving and the way the light gets bounced around.

do not let these conventions of another culture stop you - be respectful and you are in for a spirtually and culturally enriching experience.

about the building: it's the first (and as far as i know, only) building of its kind in canada - a typical construction has a frame built of wood or steel that is wrapped inside and out to form the interior and exterior. in other words, a "stone church" in canada is usually a steel framework that is sheathed with stone facing. this build IS stone - inside, outside, top to bottom. built using building techniques that were ancient when the earth was flat, the temple is essentially a giant stone bell.

the church was built without a single dollar of taxpayer money or government funding - the entire cost was raised by the east indian community. artisans were brought over from india - artisans from families who have been in the industry for generations - to do the work on site ***by hand (!!!)*** while other work was commissioned from experts in india. the entire structure was built according to strict vedic traditions.

the gardens outside are tranquil and glorious.

the festivals held here are sumptuous and magnificent.

have you ever thought of visiting india? if you're not sure, please visit the Mandir - it will give you a little taste of what to expect.

10  Thank threenorns
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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73 - 77 of 94 reviews

Reviewed 13 September 2013

Excellent carvings in Marble. Temple is very quite and peaceful. They do not allow any offerings or prasad. The main entrance has been closed and only side entrance is allowed. It is on a very huge campus and lot of parking space. The garden outside is also very good.

3  Thank Sacheen Srikant N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 September 2013

Must see, no matter what religion you believe in. You will experience peace and divinity all over the place.

8  Thank Jayesh B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 August 2013

the atmosphere of this Mandir(Temple - church) was quite stirring. the architecture was amazing and I am so glad we took the opportunity to visit this amazing structure. not quite as overwhelming as the Blue Mosque in Istanbul, but the overall property certainly reflects a devotion to their Hindu faith.

7  Thank hensalltravelers
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 May 2013

We visited this beautiful mandir on suggestion from a local working at the hotel we stayed in.
This was one of the last places I visited on leaving Toronto, I left feeling so peaceful. Even on my plane ride home I could vision the beautiful image of the Lord worshipped here.

Although the mandir is open through out the day, make sure you visit when the doors are opened to see the beautiful God. I believe the doors are open 9-10.30, 11.30-12 and then open again at 4pm. Free to enter. Want to go back again, words cant express the peace I felt.

8  Thank twinklelina78
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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