Swaminarayan Akshardham Temple, New Delhi
Akshardham Temple or Swaminarayan Akshardham Temple in New Delhi is a Hindu mandir and a spiritual-cultural campus. The temple, which attracts approximately 70 percent of all tourists who visit Delhi, was officially opened on 6 November 2005 by Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam. It sits near the banks of the Yamuna adjacent to the 2010 Commonwealth Games village in eastern New Delhi.
According to Swaminarayan Hinduism, the word Akshardham means the abode of almighty Lord Swaminarayan and is believed by followers as a temporal home of God on earth. It is the world’s largest Hindu temple complex, it was included in the Guinness Book of World Records on 26 December 2007. This is not an ancient monument like the rest of the monuments in Delhi but its popularity has increased and made it one of the important places to visit. The crown jewel of over a dozen such magnificent temples from India to the UK, USA, Canada, and Africa.
The main idol of Swaminarayan Akshardham Temple is the idol of Swaminarayan and along with it 20,000 statues of divine legends of India. The temple is said to have been constructed with intricately carved marble and sandstone. The temple complex features an Abhisheka Mandap, Sahaj Anand water show, a thematic garden, and three exhibitions namely Sahajanand Darshan (Hall of Values).
History of Akshardham Temple
The organization behind the Akshardham temple is the hand of Bochasanwasi Shri Akshar Purushottam Swaminarayan Sanstha (BAPS), about $2 billion was spent to build the Shrine and millions of followers worldwide funded for this great cause. It was inspired by HH Yogiji Maharaj (1892-1971 CE). Its chief Swami Maharaj has played a major role in the construction of the temple.
About 60 acres of land was granted by the Delhi Development Authority and 30 acres by the Uttar Pradesh Government for the erection of this temple. The construction started in 2000 and was completed within five years. The temple was opened to the public on 6th November 2005.
The temple has exhibitions on Hinduism, including Bhagwan Swaminarayan’s life and teachings such as prayer, compassion, and non-violence. It has open gardens, water bodies, and a step-well-styled courtyard. Today Akshardham temple has become the main attraction of Delhi city and presently it is not difficult to imagine Delhi city without Akshardham temple.
Historical temples have been built in India like Akshardham Temple, today this temple speaks of the historical and historical artifacts of India. We should always be proud of these temples of India and should be proud that even today we live in a country where people still follow the age-old traditions.
Akshardham Temple Architecture
Akshardham Temple is spread over 86342 square feet complex. The main attraction of Swaminarayan Akshardham Complex is Akshardham Temple. It is 141 feet (43 m) high, 316 feet (96 m) wide, and 356 feet (109 m) long. It is intricately decorated with flowers, animals, dancers, musicians, and followers.
It has been designed according to Maharishi Vastu Architecture. It is mainly made of Rajasthani pink stone and Italian Carrara marble. Its construction has been done according to Hindu Shilp Shastra and at the same time, metal has not been used in it like other historical Hindu temples. Steel and concrete were not even used while making it.
This temple has 234 decorated pillars, 9 domes, and 20000 idols of sadhus, followers, and acharyas. There is also a Gajendra Peeth in the lower part of the temple and there is also a pillar paying homage to the elephant and it is given great importance in Hindu literature and culture. In this, 148 huge elephants have been made, whose weight will be about 3000 tons.
Under the central dome of the temple is 11 feet (3.4 m) high idol of Lord Swaminarayan seated in Abhayamudra. Swaminarayan Temple is surrounded by the statues of the thoughts of the caste gurus. Every idol made in Swaminarayan is made of Pancha Dhatu according to Hindu tradition. There are also idols of Sita-Rama, Radha-Krishna, Shiva-Parvati, and Lakshmi-Narayan in this temple.
The Temple complex has Sahajanand Darshan (Hall of Values) where the exhibition focuses on values of Hindu culture like non-violence, perseverance, morality, prayers, family harmony. Neelkanth Darshan shows Neelkanth Yatra on a giant screen of 85 feet wide and 56 feet tall. Sanskruti Darshan or Boat Ride will take you through ancient Indian history. The Musical fountain is also known as Yagnapurush Kund which shows the circle of life with the help of an amazing combination of water and light.
The temple is surrounded by open gardens, a courtyard built in stepwell style, various water bodies, and other structures. The campus is spread over 100 acres of land. Akshardham Temple is not only a temple but is such an unmatched confluence of different cultures of the country, where India’s 10 thousand years old mysterious cultural heritage is present.
The temple is built according to Vastu Shastra and Pancharatra Shastra. This is the first such Hindu temple in the world whose glory has spread in the world in such a short time and whose name has now been recorded in the Guinness Book of the World Records.
Some interesting facts about Akshardham Temple
A special feature of the Akshardham temple is that steel (iron) and cement have not been used in the construction of the temple.
One of the attractions of Akshardham Temple is the Garden of India, primarily a green lawn built in the area of the temple itself. There are many statues in this garden that are seen paying tribute to some great men of the country, it is made of bronze.
In the Akshardham temple, there is a unique sun chariot of seven horses symbolizing the seven colors of sunlight and a wonderful moon chariot of sixteen deer symbolizing the sixteen arts of the moon, which looks very wonderful.
There is also Yagnpurush Kund in Akshardham temple, which is also called Shabe Bada Kund of the world. 108 small shrines and 2870 steps have been built in this pool made in the shape of a lotus.
Akshardham Temple has another attractive garden which is also called Kamal Bagh, which is named after its size. This garden is the embodiment of purity. It is said that many great men of history, philosophers, and scientists had come to this garden.
This beautiful and enchanting temple also has an attractive musical fountain show. The show lasts for 15 minutes every evening. The show also depicts the cycle of life, which begins with the birth of a human and ends at death, only when the musical fountain is used.
There is a lot of attraction in Akshardham for the attraction of the visitors. There are many buildings and attractive pillars in this temple. Which shows the greatness and culture of Indian history. A movie screen is also installed in this temple in which a film based on the life of Lord Swaminarayan is shown.
The name of the Akshardham temple is also included in the Guinness Book and World Records. Akshardham Temple is considered to be the largest Hindu temple in the world. Another special thing about this temple is that it took only five years to build it, it is definitely surprising.
Akshardham Temple opening and closing timing
Akshardham Temple is closed on Mondays, remaining open on other days. Its opening hours are as follows –
- Entry Timings (Darshan & Puja): 10:00 am to 8:00 pm
- Ticket counters close at 6:00 PM
- Aarti timing: 6:00 pm
- Exhibition Timings: 11:00 am to 6:00 pm
- Akshardham Temple Water Show Timings: 6:30 and 7:30 pm (After Sunset)
- Maha Aarti: Before First Show
- Exhibition Fee: Adults (12 years and above): INR 220
- Senior Citizens: INR 170
- Children (4 to 11 years): INR 120 for children
- Children below 4 Years: Free
Nearest Metro Station: Akshardham Station on Noida-bound Blue Line
Please note – Photography-videography, mobile, camera, radio, or any other electronic device is prohibited in the temple premises. You can’t even take any food items. Bags and other items etc. cannot be taken inside.