Two Guinness World Records for BAPS
Setting two Guinness world records in a single year is bound to be a record in itself. BAPS, a socio-spiritual organization with 3300 centers spread across four continents, reached that milestone last year, and in what’s seen as another high point, a senior member from Guinness went to India and presented the two certificates. One went to Pramukh Swami Maharaj, the BAPS community leader, for consecrating 713 temples on five continents between April 1971 and November 2007. The Lilburn temple in Georgia was consecrated in August last year, while the Akshardham in Delhi was consecrated in November 2005. This latter mandir, which set the second record, is regarded as the world’s largest comprehensive Hindu temple.
Occupying 32 acres, the Akshardham was completed in five years with the help of 11,000 volunteers. “Built with a combination of marble, sandstone and wood, the building is fabulously impressive,” notes Michael Whitty, the Guinness official who traveled to India. “It is built to ancient standards without using any steel and as such is designed to last 1000 years. The intricate nature of the carving both inside and outside is stunning and has lovingly restored an almost lost art and is already influencing other temple projects throughout India and the world.” The temple is said to attract 100,000 visitors on average every week, and about 850 volunteers work there every day.
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