A few weeks ago, the first traditional Vedic temple (or mandir) opened in Europe. Yesterday the first of its kind was inaugrated in Canada. Something of an architectural marvel, each piece of the temple was made in India, the stones all being interlocking and load-bearing, thereby eliminating the need for nails or steel supports. In fact, it's put together entirely using ancient techniques.
The BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir is a masterpiece of exotic design and workmanship that rises above the grey commuterland of north-west London. Made out of 5,000 tonnes of Italian marble and Bulgarian limestone and hand-carved, Europe's first traditional Hindu temple represents the ancient Indian traditions, arts and philosophies. It may not be the largest traditional temple outside India, but it certainly is the most beautiful. Deities and motifs spring from the walls, ceilings and windows, representing the faith and beliefs of a people that date back over 8,500 years.