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BAPS Shiri Swaminarayan Mandir

Located in Stafford, a community to the southwest of Houston, the Baps Shiri Swaminarayan Mandir is a Hindu temple built by the Swaminarayan sect. It is a place of worship and prayer for the followers of Hinduism but is welcome to visitors of all backgrounds. It is meant as “a place for paramount peace…to realize God.”

The Mandir is the largest of its kind in Texas is beautiful in its intricate workmanship and is constructed according to the Shilpa Shastra, a collection of ancient architectural treatises.

To just look at pictures of it does not fully capture how amazing it is.

About 3,000 artisans from India carved the temple out of 33,000 pieces of Turkish limestone and Italian marble. Then the pieces were shipped to Texas and assembled. Most of the labor was donated and around 175 volunteers helped construct the temple in over 16 months. No iron or steel was used in the structure, and it is intended to last 1000 years.

“Understanding Hinduism – A Unique Exhibition” is the campus’ permanent exhibit intended to share information about Hinduism and the significant contributions by India in all fields of thought, science, art and work.

Visitor Tips

Be sure to check the website before making the trip. Visiting hours are specific to days of the week and special events.

Generally, as long as rush hour is avoided, Stafford is an easy 20-mile highway drive from downtown Houston and a 15-mile drive from the Galleria area.

In front of the Mandir, the Aksharpith Gift & Book Shop filled with a wide-variety of gifts related to the Mandir, Hinduism and India. The Shayona Sweets & Snack Shop has a variety of snacks and candies to take home.

As this is a place of worship and peaceful contemplation, visitors need to comply with a dress code of neat casual attire. Tank tops, shorts, and skirts shorter than knee length are not acceptable. Also, all visitors need to remove their shoes before entering the Mandir. Photography and video are prohibited, and cell phones should be turned off. Reminders of their guest policy are clearly marked at the Mandir but are good to know before visiting. The staff is accustomed to visitors and is very friendly and welcoming.

The Mandir has a Security Baggage Cabin in the car park to store bags. Bags are prohibited in the Mandir due to their security measures.

BAPS Shiri Swaminarayan Mandir
1150 Brand Ln
Stafford, Texas 77477
(281) 765-2278
http://www.baps.org/Global-Network/North-America/Houston.aspx

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