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Akshardham Temple in New Delhi is one of the largest Hindu temples in the world. The temple lies on the banks of the Yamuna River, near the Nizamuddin Bridge, Delhi. 'Akshardham' means 'the abode of the deity'. Swaminarayan Akshardham is another name for the temple dedicated to Swaminarayan. The main deity, Swaminarayan, is the incarnation of Vishnu. This temple earned a place in the Guinness Book of World Records as the world's largest comprehensive Hindu temple in 2009. It is also listed in Seven Wonders of the 21st Century by Reader's Digest magazine. The temple is also a must-visit tourist place in Delhi.
The spiritual head of BAPS, Yogiji Maharaj, had the idea of building the temple in 1968. Pramukh Swami Maharaj, his successor, started the construction work of the temple in 1982.
The Delhi Development Authority and Uttar Pradesh Government offered 60 and 30 acres of land in 2000 for the project. The temple’s construction was started in November 2000. It took five years to construct the temple as per the ancient Shastras. On November 6, 2005, the Akshardham Temple was officially opened to the public. The late Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, then President of India, inaugurated it. The former Prime Minister of India, Mr. Manmohan Singh, and Mr. L.K Advani attended the inauguration function.
The temple was constructed by Bochasanwasi Shri Akshar Purushottam Swaminarayan Sanstha (BAPS). The temple is in the medieval Hindu architectural style. The builders followed traditional Vastu Shastra as well as Pancharatra Shastra during the construction. The Akshardham Temple is 141 feet high, 316 feet wide, and about 356 feet long. The idols of the prime deity Bhagwan Swaminarayan, Krishna and Radha, Rama and Sita, Lakshmi and Narayana, Shiva, and Parvati bless their devotees from this skilfully carved temple. It also houses idols of great saints, devas, and other deities. 234 pillars support them with beautiful floral carvings. There are 11 huge Mandapas and decorated arches.
The temple complex showcases intricate carvings of musicians, dancers, deities, and animals. Red stone material from Rajasthan strengthens its construction. The Italian Carrara marble also gives an alluring contrast to the structure's beauty. Over 6000 tons of pink sandstone from Rajasthan were used for the temple’s construction. More than 20,000 statues of Hindu deities are made out of pink sandstone and white marble. 11,000 skilled craftsmen worked for five years to build the temple. Besides Hindu architecture, people can see incorporated architectures of Rajasthani, Jain, Oriya, Mughal, and Gujarati here.
Pilgrims can enjoy many attractions on the 100-acre premises of the Akshardham Temple. A big screen special theater premiers many educational films. There is a musical fountain and an art gallery, and exhibitions are held in the temple complex from time to time throughout the year. The World Peace monument is the key attraction in the temple. Akshardham complex has India's largest step well, called the Yagnapurush Kund. It hosts an enchanting water show. There are 2,870 steps and 108 shrines in the step well. The water show features a story from the Kena Upanishad. There is an open garden, Narayan Sarovar, and a pool that surrounds the temple. The pool receives holy water from 151 holy lakes, step wells, and rivers throughout India.
The temple celebrates Vijayadashami, Sharad Poornima, Karwa Chauth, Diwali, and Bal Diwas.
People come to the temple to do meditation and find peace. The temple does not insist that people should worship any particular deity. It advises praying to their teacher or mentor.
Many local and state buses are available.
The nearest railway stations are Hazrat Nizamuddin (NZM) - 6 Km; New Delhi (NDLS) - 11 Km; Old Delhi (DLI) - 10 Km from the Akshardham Temple.
Indira Gandhi International Airport is the nearest airport which is 21 Km from the temple.
The temple remains open all days from 9.30 am to 9.00 pm.
If you wish to have customized spiritual tours or pilgrimages arranged in India for yourself or for a group of people, please contact Brindavan Mystic Services
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