Construction of the first Hindu temple in Europe began in the Paris region

The town of Evry (Essonne) has had a large Buddhist pagoda for almost 10 years, Bussy-Saint-Georges (Seine-et-Marne) will have a traditional Hindu temple in the coming years. This exceptional project, the first in Europe for a building entirely made of stone, has just been launched with handover scheduled for the 2nd quarter of 2026. Designed by the international architectural agency Arte Charpentier, this project is an iconic and cultural space of 5,000 m² located on “The Esplanade of Religions’, a unique city-specific concept that aims to bring together different congregations in the same space to encourage encounter and dialogue between them.

BAPS (Bochasanwasi Akshar Purushottam Swaminarayan Sanstha), an international spiritual organization with numerous temples spread across the world, is behind the project, whose work will be carried out by Bateg, a subsidiary of Vinci construction, accompanied by GS Construction for the interior finishing touches. The building will be organized on three levels, with the cultural center (Haveli, in the original version) on the ground floor and the first floor, where we will find offices, classrooms, gymnasiums, etc. . The second floor is dedicated to the Hindu temple (Mandir) itself with an accessible terrace that can serve as a meditation garden.

Country of origin fragment

How could an architectural agency based in Paris be entrusted with such an extraordinary project? “The story begins more than 5 years ago, when BAPS found its headquarters in Bussy-Saint-Georges, recalls Nahla Jajo-Legrand, one of the people responsible for this project for Arte Charpentier. She then wanted to work with an international French agency that is used to managing multicultural contexts and with an English-speaking team. The flow worked very well with our CEO Andrew Hobson, whose talk mixing the human and the spiritual was very popular. However, if this Paris-based agency manages the architecture, interior design and landscape aspects guaranteeing respect for French standards and know-how, the purely Indian elements will remain very present on this project.

The structure will actually be decorated with natural stone from India and carved there, especially for the delicacy of the decoration of the domes chiseled with typically Indian motifs. “For the client, the use of stone was essential, explains Nahla Jajo-Legrand. It represents natural origins, remarkable resilience and a symbol of strength. It is the material that connects us to the earth and at the same time creates harmony with the divine. As for the selection of the stone from India, it is based on BAPS’s desire to import a fragment from the country of origin. Indian and French masons will be present on site during construction. “Together they will guarantee compliance with European techniques and standards and at the same time they will be able to intervene in the modification or replacement of stones decorated with religious motifs”specifies Georges Souaid, project manager at Arte Charpentier.

As for the budget, the cost of the project has not been revealed, but we can easily imagine that it is in the millions of euros. BAPS appears to have considerable resources, the temple it inaugurated in Abu Dhabi on February 14 would cost more than $84 million. It is true that this building, which can accommodate 8,000 to 10,000 people and which mobilized 2,000 Indian artisans just to carve the stones, is far superior to what will be done in the Paris region.

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