Swaminarayan Akshardham temple the large Hindu Temple complex is located in Gandhinagar, Gujarat. It is a product of inspiration from Pramukh Swami, who is the current spiritual head of BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha. The temple complex is nestled in the heartland of Gujarat, and was built over 13 years. It is a fitting tribute to Swaminarayan and his inspiring teachings. The Swaminarayan Akshardham in New Delhi is a representation of 10,000 years of Indian culture in its resplendent grandeur, beauty, wisdom and bliss. It showcases the essence of India’s architecture,traditions and timeless spiritual thoughts and messages.
About the temple
The Akshardham Temple’s experience for any one explains India's art, values, traditions, progress and the harmonious lives of man. The Swaminarayan Akshardham complex was built in five years, with the blessings of HDH Pramukh Swami Maharaj of the Bochasanwasi Shri Akshar Purushottam Swaminarayan Sanstha (BAPS) and came up as a result of the efforts of 11,000 artisans and BAPS volunteers.The complex was inaugurated on 6 November, 2005.
Swaminarayan Akshardham Temple is an architectural phenomenon that is recounting the cultural heritage of India. Having one of the largest temple complexes in Gujarat, Akshardham is a wonderful shrine located in the heart of Gandhinagar. The magnificent monument is easily accessible by the local means of transport available in the city. Predecessor to Akshardham at Delhi, the temple was constructed by the same organization BAPS (Bochasanwasi Shri Akshar Purushottam Swaminarayan Sanstha) with the blessings of Pramukh Swami Maharaj.
In Nov' 1992, Akshardham Mandir was inaugurated by Pramukh Maharaj himself, the promoter of BAPS. In the present day, Akshardham Temple has become a major and popular attraction amongst the devotees and tourists. Prolific effort of BAPS, Akshardham Temple is a center to encourage art, culture and values of India. Akshardham is an excellent specimen of Indian roots, where art is ageless, culture is borderless and values are changeless.
The sanctum sanctorum embraces the seven feet tall, gilded image of Lord Swaminarayan. Hari Mandapam, Prasadi Mandapam and Vibhuti Mandapam are name allotted to the different floors. These floors embrace various sections, where people are engaged in the selfless service to the Lord. The main idea behind these programs is to introduce people with the philosophy of Lord Swaminarayan. The aim of BAPS' is to educate people about the rich spiritual and cultural roots of India.
Designed on the lines of Sthapatya Shashtra, Swaminarayan Akshardham is the paradigm of silence and peace. Akshardham presents a perfect blend of devotion, art, architecture, education, exhibitions and research at one venue. In the temple complex, 'Sahajanand', 'Sat-Chit-Anand' and 'Nityanand' are three permanent exhibition halls that are made to enlighten the visitor on spiritual matters.
Sahajanand is a mind-blowing exhibition, which depicts the life of Lord Swaminarayan by the means of ingenious settings and shows. The exhibition incorporates a video show of 'travel in time', a cosmos of fiber-optics, a miniature replica of Chhapiya village, a 'Journey through India' and not less than three 'sound-n-light' shows.
This is another permanent exhibition that has "Integrovision", a fantastic 14-screen multimedia presentation. It elucidates the Vedic philosophy and man's quest for the eternal truth with amazing imagery. Besides the multimedia presentation, the exhibition comprises a 'tunnel of mirrors', glass mosaic and musical fountains that dance on tunes.
Following Sat-Chit-Anand, Nityanand is an additional presentation where messages of the Upanishads, Ramayana and Mahabharata are displayed in the course of walk-through dioramas and fiberglass figures. The show comprises an audio-animatronics show, a replica of Hastinapur Palace from the Mahabharata, a blueprint of a pleasant Gurukula, devotional compositions of saint-poets and an explanation on 'Harmony of world religions'.
Sahajanand Van is a contemplative garden where nature looks at its apex. The serene beauty of this garden landscapes the magnificent structure of Akshardham. Festooned with flora and fauna, the garden appears enchanting in the company of spray fountains, herbal gardens, swings, waterfalls and lakes. Sprawled in fifteen acres, Sahajanand Van offers truly a sight to behold.
AARSH - Research Center
The Akshardham Center for Applied Research in Social Harmony (AARSH) is an innovative research institute that comprises a loaded library, study centers and archives. The center aims at utilizing insight of the past, studying the present trend and arranging possible solutions for the future.
After employing continuous labor for 13 years, the colossal structure took its complete form. The colonnade to this shrine is approximately 1,751 feet (534 meters) in its length. The massive structure extends to 108 feet in height, 240 feet in length and 131 feet in width. Considered as an architectural masterwork, the imposing temple consumed 6,000 tonnes of pink sandstone that was imported from Rajasthan. The intricate carvings boast of the skilled artisans of Bansipahadpur. No steel or iron has been used in the construction of temple to ensure the maximum life of the monument.
Legend and Stories
The Swaminarayan Akshardham in New Delhi is a representation of 10,000 years of Indian culture in its resplendent grandeur, beauty, wisdom and bliss. It showcases the essence of India’s architecture, traditions.
Swaminarayan Akshardham is situated on the banks of River Yamuna in East Delhi near the Nizamuddin Bridge in New Delhi. The temple is a fine example of ancient Indian culture with all its breathtaking grandeur and beauty. The grand temple showcases India’s ancient architecture, traditions and spirituality. 'Akshardham' means the eternal, divine abode of the supreme God, the abode of eternal values and virtues of Akshar as defined in the Vedas and Upanishads where divine bhakti, purity and peace forever pervades.
The Akshardham Temple is dedicated to Lord Swaminarayan and was constructed by Bochasanvasi Aksharpurushottam Swaminarayan Sanstha (BAPS). In honour the Akshardham temple in New Delhi was inaugurated by APJ Abdul Kalam on 6 November 2005. Pink sandstone and white marble (pink symbolizes bhakti in eternal bloom and white is for purity and eternal peace) is used for the construction of the temple and is replete with about 20, 000 statues, floral motifs, arches and exquisitely carved pillars. The temple sprawls over 100 acres and it took over five years to build with about 11,000 skilled craftsmen. A fusion of various contrasting styles such as Rajasthani, Oriya, Gujarati, Mughal and Jain styles are used to further enhance the beauty of the temple.
Apart from the mandir you can also have an insight of exhibitions, art gallery, musical fountain show and giant screen film in the IMAX theatre inside the temple complex. The source of inspiration behind the construction of the temple comes directly from the Akshardham Temple in Gandhinagar (Gujarat). The temple complex is well known for its unique blend of Hindu religion and Indian culture.
The temple complex is divided into many small structures. The main monument has been built according to the ' Vaastu Shastra' is 141 feet high, 316 feet wide and 370 feet long with 234 ornate pillar eleven 72-foot-high huge domes (mandapams) and decorative arches. There are about about 20, 000 sculptures of various Hindu gods and goddesses adorning all the parts of the temple. The grand and beautiful mandir is built without steel and consists of 234 ornately carved pillars, 9 ornate domes, 20 quadrangled shikhars, spectacular Gajendra Pith (plinth of stone elephants) and 20,000 murtis and statues of India’s great sadhus, devotees, acharyas and divine persons.
The area around the temple building has been converted into lush green lawns with beautiful water fountains. There is an Akshardham Temple Monument to World Peace inside the temple complex. A well known tourist attraction, the Akshardham Temple is one of the finest structures built in the modern India. The temple showcases the beautiful blend of Indian culture through its statues, floral motifs, arches and wonderfully carved pillars.
Best time to visit
The best time to visit Delhi and the Akshardham Temple complex is between October and March, when the weather is very pleasant. The flowers are in bloom in February and culturally it is an active time in Delhi. Summer temperatures are high and the heat can be quite unbearable.
As the Capital City, Delhi has an International airport and is connected to major cities of the country. Flights from major cities of India as well as world are available to Delhi
By train the Askhardham mandir is about 9-10 kms from the New Delhi Railway station while if one takes an exit from platform no.12 (Ajmeri Gate) and not platform no1. (Paharganj). Auto Rickshaws are easily available. The Akshardham Metro Station is a complement of the mandir located nearby. A metro train to the station can be easily boarded from the New Delhi Metro Station. Or even one can go from the Nizamuddin Railway Station which is about 4 kms far.
Delhi is well-connected by good network of roads with rest of the country as it is the Capital City of the Country. The buses are available to the temple from different places of Delhi and other nearby towns.For local transport DTC and State operated buses are available. Rented cars, taxis, auto-rickshaws are also available.
Akshardham Mandir, Sector 20, 'J' Road,
Gandhinagar, Gujarat, India,
Pincode – 382 020.
Devotees visit this temple to seek fulfillment of the following:-
- Freedom from diseases
- Relief from adverse effects from bad planetary aspects
- Relief from bondage
Achutham Keyshavam Rama Narayanam Krishna Damodaram Vasudevam Harim Shridharam Madhavam Gopika Vallabham Janaki Nayakam Ramachandram Bhajey
Meaning -Oh Lord who cannot be perished, who also has names like Keshava, Rama, Damodara, Narayana, Sridhara, Madhava, Krishna, Ramachandra the beloved of Janaki, let me say your name regularly.
Vasudeva Sutham Devam Kamsa Chanoora Mardhanam Devaki Paramanandham Krishnam Vande Jagathgurum
Meaning -I bow to you O Krishna, the ultimate guru, Devaki and Vasudeva's son, and the destroyer of Kamsa and Chanur.
Adharam Madhuram Vadanam Madhuram Nayanam Madhuram Hasitam Madhuram Hridayam Madhuram Gamanam Madhuram Mathuraa Dhipate Rakhilam Madhuram
Meaning -Meaning - Sweet are Your lips, sweet is Your face, sweet are Your eyes, sweet is Your smile, sweet is Your heart, sweet is Your gait, O Lord of Mathura, everything about You is sweet.
Alokya Mathur Mukha Madarena Sthanyam Pibantham Saraseeruhaksham Sachinmayam Devam Anantha Roopam Balam Mukundam Manasa Smarami
Meaning -I think of this Balamukundan as the one who looks lovingly at his mother's face while taking milk from her, who has eyes similar to the red lotus, who is the embodiment of truth and intelligence and other forms.
This temple is open from 9:30 am to 6:30 am.