By Prudence Minayo
Kenya is home to hundreds of Hindu temples, some of which were constructed hundreds of years ago. These temples have a magnificent architectural designs and most if not all are lined with marble floors which keep the interior cool even during hot weather. Below is a list of some of iconic Hindu temples in Kenya.
BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir, Nairobi
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Opened on 29th August 1999, this was the first stone and marble Hindu temple to be constructed in the African continent. It was designed according to the ancient Hindu Shilpa Shastras. On 27th June 2000, the temple was awarded the Architectural Association of Kenya’s Millennium Award for excellence in architecture.
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Shri Swaminarayan Mandir, Nairobi (EASS Temple)
This was the first Swaminarayan temple in the African continent and also the first to be built outside the Indian subcontinent. Pictorial images of Swaminarayan were consecrated in India then shipped to Kenya in 1945, when the EASS was built. It was built in the town center and for over five decades it was the Haribhakto place of worship.
Hare Krishna Temple, Nairobi
The landmark Hare Krishna is located in Parklands on Ngara road. The temple has actively promoted the ideals of Krishna consciousness since 1973. They do this through college programs, a vibrant Sunday feast with Sundry School for the children, book distribution and Harinam Sankirtana. The Hare Krishna Training center in Nairobi, is a popular accommodation for local students. The students chant, study and follow the four regulative principles of Krishna Consciousness.
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Cutchi Gujarati Hindu Union Shiv temple (CGHU), Nairobi
The temple is located at temple road and comprises spectacular architecture. It also houses a school.
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Ramgharia Sikh temple, Nairobi
Located in Pangani, the temple’s construction began in 1970. Sardar Gurdial Singh Sian performed the opening ceremony on 30th April 1972. The complex comprises a double storey edifice at the center, with the social hall on the ground floor and the congregation hall on the first floor.
A double storey center was built in the 80s to cater for the youths. The temple also accommodates and operates a library. It prides itself as one of the oldest temples in Africa.
Naivasha Hindu Temple
Located in a serene environment in Nakuru country, the temple is estimated to be over 100 years old. It is in the middle of Naivasha town.
Shiva Temple, Mombasa
With a gold spire on its roof and a wonderful architecture, Shiva Temple is a sight to behold. On the temple’s entrance, four magnificent lion statues stand guard. This enormous temple is open, airy and set off by an interesting sculpture garden.
BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir Temple, Mombasa
This temple attracts tourists from around the world. It is beautifully decorated with gold-like structures that are adored with statues, gold spires among other features.
Shree Swaminarayan, Eldoret
The temple is located near St. Luke’s Hospital. The imposing exterior is made up of a soft pink color and the temple is simply elegant.
Shree Laxminarayan Temple, Kisumu
The temple is located at Ogada street near Catholic University.
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