Realising that the new coveted and heavily marketed city centre generic building is a mix of glass, retail, steel, office and creative space with a vintage chic fucking cafe on the ground floor is about as surprising as the lateness of an Arriva bus. At the other end of the architectural scale, the building complexes of the BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir are as beautiful and awe-inspiring as the name of the place is multi-syllabic. (I spell checked the name at least 17 times with the information booklet I got on my tour).
Costing the same as the city centre 1am Friday boxing ring of Jubillee Square – this has been open for 5 years and the stonework is entirely hand carved! Which is fucking ridiculous. I have trouble carving my store bought pre-cut garlic bread; carving something this would be comparable to me inventing garlic and the denaturing process of baking bread one Sunday afternoon.
The temple is open to the public between 9am-12 noon and 4.30pm – 7.30pm and is entirely worth a visit. If only so you can convert to Hinduism and come across all complex clever like that fella Russell Brand with his pro-Labour anti-democracy confusing long word and spiritual ways.
Location: 135 Gipsy Lane, Rushey Mead
PS. Check out the temple doors at one end of the building, they is well lovely: