BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir, Chino Hills

 BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir, Chino Hills

The BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir is a Hindu Temple located in Chino Hills in Southern California. This Hindu temple is open to people of all faiths, and the presiding deity is Sri Swami Narayan. The construction finished in 2012 and hosts a variety of facilities, including a cultural centre, gymnasium, and several classrooms.

This temple has many unique features that set it apart from other temples worldwide. For starters, this temple is entirely earthquake-proof. It is the only Hindu temple in the world to be earthquake-proof. Second, this temple runs on solar energy. The temple generates electricity using solar power, reducing its environmental impact.

Swaminarayan Mandir top

The construction of the BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir, Chino Hills

The beautiful temple was completed in 2012 with the help of 900 volunteers, many of whom were second-generation Indian Americans. It was inaugurated by the then Mayor of Chino Hills, Peter Rogers. He called this temple a wonderful place that will be the pride of many generations to come.

Temple Arts

There is a 91-foot lotus pond on a 20-acre site of this fantastic structure. Made from handcrafted Italian Carrara marble and Indian pink sandstone, it also encompasses five pinnacles, two large domes, four balconies, one hundred and twenty-two pillars and one hundred and twenty-nine archways.

Temple sculpture

6600 hand-carved motifs depict various tales of dedication, inspiration and devotion often seen in Hinduism. The temple is covered with beautiful etching and intricate carvings in sandstone and marble, giving it a picturesque look.

Temple base design

After being crafted in India, the motifs were shipped to Chino Hills to be assembled.

Temple architecture

The inspiration behind this stunning temple can be traced back to the vision and mission of the BAPS Sanstha. After understanding their Guru’s vision, one can appreciate this temple even more and for all that it stands for.

The Vision and Mission

The BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha have a vision of “creating a society through individual development by instilling values, spirituality, cultivating skills and nurturing growth”. They envision a society based on the foundation of selflessness where people take joy in the joy of others.

  • BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir during diwali
  • BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir night view
  • BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir lighting
  • BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir Los Angeles CA night image
  • BAPS Shri Swaminarayan drone view Mandir Los Angeles CA
  • BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir Los Angeles CA

Image Credit – https://www.baps.org/

They have over 1000 saints and around 55000 volunteers who help 3850 communities across the globe through their various humanitarian services and grass-root initiatives.

Timeline of the temple

  • A former spiritual leader of the BAPS, Pramukh Swami Maharaj, travelled to California for the first time in 1977. During his first visit, the devotees were encouraged to hold regular meetings. Swamis like him return every year to show solidarity with the devotees whenever possible.
  • The first centre in Whittier Los Angeles County was inaugurated by Pramukh Swami Maharaj in 1984.
  • Local community members proposed in 1996 building a larger facility including a temple made of stone to realize the vision the swami shared with them twenty years earlier to accommodate the rapidly growing congregation in that area.
  • The group of devotees were then guided to Chino by Pramukh Swami Maharaj to purchase a plot of land to build the temple of their Guru. To build the temple, they obtained all the necessary permits and approvals.
  • The city staff misunderstood their vision of building a temple, and tower heights were a source of confusion. The temple was delayed due to confusion about the towers’ height in 2003, despite unanimous construction approval.
  • In 2004, the Chino city council voted 4-1 against building the temple during seven and a half-hour meeting. Mr Larson, the then-mayor, was the only one to vote for the temple’s construction. A temple was finally constructed in 2005 after BAPS successfully navigated all the loopholes.
  • The groundbreaking ceremony for the temple took place on September 4th, 2005. It was finally completed in 2012. BAPS achieved its esteemed leader’s vision through tenacity and hard work over 14 years. From approaching the authorities in 1998 for building a temple to completing it in 2012, it had been an eventful journey for the BAPS organization.

Features of the temple

This architecture marvel which will last for more than 1000 years, was built at a whopping cost of 100 million dollars. This earthquake-proof temple is protected from earthquakes by separating the upper structure of the complex from its base by a series of 40 base isolator units.

  • Wall design
  • Shri Swaminarayan Mandir top design
  • Sculptures of Shri Swaminarayan Mandir
  • Inside Shri Swaminarayan Mandirs scuplture

This architecture marvel which will last for more than 1000 years, was built at a whopping cost of 100 million dollars. This earthquake-proof temple is protected from earthquakes by separating the upper structure of the complex from its base by a series of 40 base isolator units.

The temple is the only one in the country that uses solar energy for electricity production. It will reduce 1,556 tons of CO2 emissions over the next 25 years, the equivalent of planting 62244 trees.

The prevailing deity of this temple is Bhagwan Swaminarayan and Gunatitanand Swami. Dedication is also made to the Swaminarayan’s avatar Neelkant Varni where an exquisite idol is established. There is also a shrine for Hari Krishna Maharaj and Radha Krishna.

Rama, Sita and Hanuman are the traditional deities with a shrine established in this temple. There is also the idol of Pramukh Swami Maharaj, the seer who envisioned this exquisite temple established alongside the other deities.

They also regularly host exhibitions displaying the philosophy of the Hindu culture. It also showcases the enduring Hindu traditions that are depicted in great precision across the temple’s carvings. Visitors can also immerse themselves in the inspiring images and facts of the temple’s construction displayed gracefully.

  • temple shower
  • temple wall scupture
  • Temple roof
  • Temple lighting

The Café is open to visitors during weekends only from 11 am to 7 pm.

The Shayona sweet and snack shop is available on all days, including the weekends and federal holidays. The aisles of the shops are stacked with fresh sweets and snacks packed daily. The store is opened to the general public from 11 am to 7 pm throughout the year.

Timings of the BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir, Chino Hills

The temple is open from 9 am to 7:30 pm. The time for viewing the deities is given below:

9:00 am – 10:15 am
11:15 am – 12:00 pm
4:00 pm – 5:50 pm

Aarti timings are given below:

Shang hai7:30 am
Rajbhog11:15 am
Sandhya7:00 pm
Shayan8:30 pm

Nilkanth Varni Abhishek timings from Monday to Saturday

9:00 am – 10:15 am
11:30 am – 12:00 pm
4:00 pm – 5:50 pm
9:00 am – 10:15 am

Nilkanth Varni Abhishek timings on Sunday

9:00 am – 10:15 am
11:30 am – 12:00 pm
3:00 pm – 5:45 pm

The sacred shrines and idols are placed upstairs in the temple complex. The idol of Neellkant Varni, which is placed downstairs, is open for the Abishek ritual every day throughout the year.

Visitor Guidelines

The temple is a house of worship where God resides. To keep with its sanctity and ensure all worshippers have a spiritually filled, enjoyable experience, specific guidelines and dress codes must be followed. All visitors who visit the temple must register themselves in the register center.

  • BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir Los Angeles CA Radha and Krishna sculpture
  • BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir Los Angeles CA Krishna and Balaram

All clothing worn by the visitors must cover their shoulders and knees mandatorily. Wraps are provided to aid the visitors. Visitors cannot carry personal belonging or backpacks inside the temple.

Shoes are forbidden within the temple premises. There are separate foot stands and shoe racks to place the footwear safely. Photos and videos are permitted in the temple for personal use only. They can be taken during the operational hours of the temple. Drones are certainly not allowed inside the temple.

Swamiji in Swaminarayan

Professional photography and videography aren’t allowed inside the temple premises. This includes setting up a tripod stand. Event photography isn’t allowed without explicit permission from the temple authorities. Visitors who do not comply with the rules and regulations will be immediately asked to leave.

Food and drinks are prohibited within the temple premises. So, is smoking and drinking alcohol. No pets are allowed inside the temple except for service dogs. Service dogs are prohibited from entering the sacred places used for praying and meditation. Visitors are discouraged from touching the temple’s sculptures and etchings. They can marvel at the designs from a close range.

Facilities within the premises have wheelchair access. Restrooms are also available.

How to reach the BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir, Chino Hills?

The excerpt below provides the details to reach the temple from the 60 Freeway.

temple from the 60 Freeway

To reach the temple from the 91 freeway, the excerpt below gives the direction to take:

temple from the 91 freeway

Facilities around the temple

Many hotels have come up in and around this temple. This makes it convenient for visitors who live out of state and are visiting the temple.

Hotels like Ayres hotel, Hotel Chino Hills, and Towne Place Suites by Marriott are some of the beautiful and reasonably priced hotels in and around the vicinity of this temple. They provide a range of services like complimentary breakfast, free Wi-Fi, free parking and swimming pool facilities.

The charitable initiative organized by the BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir, Chino Hills

The temple regularly organizes annual health fairs in Chino Hills and North America. Over 2500 health care professionals treated around 12500 patients across the country.

Over 425 people took part in a health fair at the temple, where they received free checkups and various tests. Through Lifestream, they also coordinated a blood drive. Ninety-nine people registered themselves, and over eighty-nine pints of blood was collected.

Also, the temple holds walkathons regularly. Several local high schools benefit from the annual walkathons, and Chino High School received a donation of $5000.

The temple has helped society immeasurably during the pandemic by conducting a vaccine drive. In conjunction with Walmart, the temple hosted a vaccination drive on April 17th 2021 and vaccinated 450 individuals. Their efforts in helping the society and the community in which they are present were noticed by the US General Surgeon Vivek Murthy, who praised them for this initiative which increased accessibility for the elderly.

Conclusion

This fantastic architecture marvel strives to showcase the beauty of the Hindu culture and proudly exhibits the craftsmanship of India’s craftsmen. This temple teaches and inculcates spirituality to all its visitors and helps the community by regularly conducting many charitable initiatives for the benefit of society.

Visitors have experienced peace of mind and tranquillity whenever they visit the temple. This outstanding temple stands for harmony, peace and contentment and seeks to better the society they work in. Open to visitors of all faiths, they symbolize unity, peace, and cooperation and show coexistence is possible and beautiful.

Frequently Asked Questions

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