It’s an eye-catching landmark right on the main drag for airport regulars, and it’s the starting point for a very different sort of journey—one to which, surprisingly, all voyagers are invited.
It is an architectural wonder, this multi-turreted stone bastion that sports fluttering flags and intricate hand-carved stone brought from India. But it’s open to the public all day almost every day of the year and is a sort of stone-and-marble ambassador for the Hindu religion.
It is the only Hindu temple in Canada built this traditional way: the carvings are done by hand, there is no structural steel in the entire temple.
It is a lesson in culture—there’s a Hindu-Canadian museum downstairs—and an invitation for reflection.
Step inside: you feel like you’re in a cave made from ice. Statues hold places of honor along each side, the scent of incense begins this otherworldly experience, the changing colors of light—red, then green, then blue—add to a feeling that you’ve embarked on a journey of the spirit.
Coming here is a strangely moving, uplifting experience. It is a local must-do.
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Experience peace and tranquility at Canada's largest Hindu temple
Take a trip to India without leaving Toronto. The stunning BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir complex consists of an exquisitely hand carved Hindu Mandir (Hindu place of worship), Haveli and Heritage Museum.
Reportedly costing $40 million to construct, the mandir features painstakingly carved Italian Carrara marble, Turkish limestone and Indian pink stone. Imported piece by piece from India, the complex was constructed in a record 18 months.
Visitors can tour the building, and spend time in quiet prayer or meditation. Events such as yoga classes and women's conferences are open to Hindus and non-Hindus alike.