Over 3,000 devotees attended the foundation laying ceremony of a new temple of the BAPS Swaminarayan organisation at North Riding, north of Johannesburg in South Africa.

The new temple will be similar to the one in Nairobi, Kenya, built entirely of stone.

“The first stage of the project, designed by architects from India and South Africa, is a cultural centre which will include classrooms for children to learn about their own culture and South African culture and to learn how to give back,” said Swami Viratswaroop.

“When this project is done, it will be a gift back to the South African community, in terms of what our culture is, and how it informed our experience here, with great leaders such as Mahtma Gandhiji and Nelson Mandela,” he said.