Delhi Akshardham Temple
|Location||Noida Mor, New Delhi|
|Built by||BAPS, Pramukh Swami Maharaj|
|Built in||6 November 2005|
|Managed by||Swaminarayan Sect|
|Inaugurated by||Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, Manmohan Singh|
|Also known as||Swaminarayan Akshardham|
|Architectural styles||Vastu Shastra and Pancharatra Shastra|
|Attraction||Largest Temple complex in India|
|Must See||Intricate architecture & various shows|
Located in Delhi, in India, Akshardham Temple is a temple of hindus. It is also known by name of Delhi Akshardham as well as Swaminarayan Akshardham. The temple complex has plenty of displays showcasing culture of india and Hinduism for the past millennium, along with the architectural glory and spirituality. Spiritual head of the sect of Bochasanwasi Sri Akshar Purushottam Swaminarayan Sanstha, Pramukh Swami Maharaj, was responsible for developing this temple building. About 3000 volunteers of this sect aided in the construction of this temple along with 7000 artisans.
Akshardam temple was opened to the public officially in 2005 on 6th November and presently about 70% of tourists coming into Delhi visit this temple. It is located near river Yamuna, close to the site where commonwealth games village was constructed in 2010, in the eastern part of New Delhi. In the complex’s centre, there is the temple which was constructed, keeping in mind pancharatra shastra and Vastu Shastra. Central temple was constructed entirely with stone, where depictions of incidents from Swaminarayan’s life is seen, along with various other features on history of India, life of Swaminarayan as a yogi in his teenage years as Nilakanth, landscaped gardens and messages derived from Upanishads. The name of the temple has been derived from Hinduism and belief in god Swaminarayan.
Planning of this temple building was done since 1968, by Yogiji Maharaj, who was BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha’s spiritual head at that time. He wanted to construct a grand structure of a temple for a few families who were devotees of Lord Swaminarayan and chose banks of river Yamuna. Initially, before his death in 1971, a few attempts were made towards the construction.
When Pramukh Swami Maharaj succeeded as BAPS spiritual leader in 1982, he wanted to take forward the dreams of yogiji maharaj, and then he asked his followers to find possibilities of going on with the construction work. For this purpose, a plan was presented before Delhi Development Authority who proposed various places such as Faridabad, Gurgaon and Ghaziabad for the purpose. But on constant persuasion of Pramukh Swami Maharaj, land was granted in 2000 by Delhi government and Uttar Pradesh Government to the tune of 60 acres and 30 acres respectively. Construction started at the given site on 8th November 2000 and officially, it was opened to the public by 6th November 2005, after it was completely in nearly 5 years.
At the complex center, there is the main building, which is 316 foot wide, 141 foot high and has length of about 370 foot and the whole building is covered by details of carvings of dancers, deities, musicians, flora and fauna.
It has been designed in line of Sthapatya Shastra, which is a vedic text of ancient times and has styles of architecture belonging to whole of india. Rajasthani pink sandstone has been rampantly used for its construction, along with marble of Italian carrara variety. There are no concrete or steel supports. About 234 pillars with ornate carvings, domes numbering nine and various statues of sadhus, acharyas and devotees along with 20,000 murtis in all are present inside the monument. At the base of the temple is the Gajendra Pith, which is supposed to be a tribute towards importance of elephants in Hinduism and history of india. There are about 148 scale sized structure of elephants up to the plinth level, which in total have a weight of about 3000 tons.
Below the central dome, inside the monument is a statue or murti of Swaminarayan of about 11 foot height. Smaller idols of various other gurus of the sanstha can be found, which are built of paanch daatu or five metals in line with hindu tradition. There are idols of many other hindu deities such as Shiv parvati, Sita Ram, Lakshmi Narayan, Radha Krishna, etc.
How to Reach
Temple of Askhsardham is located at a distance of 10 kms from station of New Delhi, when platform no. 12 is the exit point at Ajmeri Gate and not in Paharganj. People can find autorickshaws easily. Due to the location of the mandir nearby, metro station is named after Akshardham. People can reach this station by getting abroad at New Delhi metro station. At about 4 kms distance is the Nizamuddin Railway station.
Delhi International airport is having connections throughout the country, from where people can reach from different parts.
Roads from different cities of the country have connections with Akshardham temple so that people reaching delhi can take the road route. From delhi, buses are available in plenty.
DTC and buses operated by state transportation corporations are responsible for doing local transport. Also, there are cars on rent, auto rickshaws, taxis etc, which can be hired by people.
In Delhi, most convenient means of transportation is metro train by getting down from metro train, near Akshardham temple, which has been provided in the path because of the temple. This station construction has been in line with the temple. Station is known as Indraprastha, very near to delhi metro railway station.
Akshardham temple in New Delhi is having statue of Lord Swaminarayan as the primary shirne. There are other idols of gods like Shri Sita Ram, Shri Radha Krishna Dev, Sri Uma Maheswar and Shri Lakshmi Narayan. A monument of depicting world peace is present inside the temple premises. There is also a restaurants inside the complex, which is designed according to ellora and Ajanta caves. There is also an Ayurvedic bazaar. Built with combinations of Orissa, Rajasthani, Mughal, Gujarati and jain architectures of temples, this is a great view and counted amongst modern india’s major tourist centres.
Significance of the Temple
Presently, in the modern day, this temple complex has been designated as largest complex of hindu temple in whole world and has been recognized so by Guiness World record. There is never any use of steel in the entire structure.
Among the recent buildings in India, Akshardham temple is having an important place. Located along river Yamuna, this temple was initiated by Bochasanvasi Aksharpurushottam Swaminarayan Sanstha and in November 2005, the temple was inaugurated, while the then president of India, APJ Abdul Kalam was present. The temple building spread on 100 acres area, and was built over a period of 2 years. Style of architecture of this temple is same as of Akshardham temple found in Gujarat. Shtaapatya Shastra was used for inspiring the construction, which doesn’t have any steel structure but whole of it is made of marble and sandstone.
Hall of values
Hall of Values, known by name of Sahajanand Pradarshan has many robotics of life size and incidents from life of Swaminarayan as dioramas where messages given by him on peace, humility, harmony, devotion to God and service to mankind have been portrayed. There are about 15 dioramas displayed with 18th century India background by means of fibre optics, sound effects, music, dialogue, robotics and lights as the theme of Sahajanand Pradarshan. There is a robot form of child Swaminarayan called Ghanasyam Maharaj, which is considered to be the smallest robot animatronic in the world.
There is a theatre by the name of Neelkanth Kalyan Yatra where there is the first such installation in Delhi of a large format screen, of 65 foot by 85 foot. There is a film which is shown in this theatre, especially commissioned, which is known by the name of Neelkanth Yatra, where the story of pilgrimage of seven years, undertaken by Swaminarayan during his younger years, has been depicted. In 2005, an international version by the name of Mystic India was released worldwide in various cinemas with giant screens and IMAX theatres. In front of theatre complex there is a 27 foot high bronze statue of Neelkanth Varni.
Supposedly, india’s largest step well known as Yagnapurush Kund is found in this complex, where a number of steps goes down into a yagna kund. The steps serve as resting place for visitors during the day time, while there is a show of musical fountain during the night where the life circle is presented to the audience who sit on these steps. This fountain has derived its name from Shastriji Maharaj, who was supposed to be the founder of hindu organization. Dimensions of the fountain are 300 feet by 300 feet and a totol of 108 shrines and 2870 steps are found. The centre is adorning a yagna kund in shape of lotus with eight petals, which is in accordance with Pancharatra Shastra’ Jayaakhya Samhita.
Boat ride is done in Sanskruti vihar, which is a place to showcase Indian history through 10000 years in a journey that takes 12 minutes. There is an artificial river on which peacock shaped boats are moved, where Takshashila model of world’s first university is seen along with various hospitals of bygone era, chemistry labs and lots of bazaars, and there is a last message giving hope about India’s future.
Garden of India
There is a garden inside the complex, which is known as Bharat Upavan, with lots of shrubs, trees and laws which are all well manicured. Bronze sculptures depicting India’s history and culture can be found lining the garden, where national fitures, women, children, warriors, freedom fighters and several of India’s notable figures are represented.
Yogi Hraday Kamal
A garden in the shape of lotus as viewed from above is seen where a number of engravings are found in large stones, depicting famous quotes from various important people from all over the world such as Martin Luther King, Shakespeare, Swami Vivekananda as well as Swaminarayan.
An offering known as Abhisekh is done by devotees, where water is poured on Neelkanth Varni’s status, for the purpose of wish fulfillment and upliftment of spiritual attainment.
The main monument is surrounded by Narayan Sarovar, where water from about 151 lakes and rivers has been deposited and Swaminarayan has sanctified it. About 108 gaumukhs are surrounding the Narayan Sarovar depicting janmangal Namavali which means 108 names for gods and holy waters is considered to be issuing from them.
The Premvati Food Court or Premvati Ahargruh is a restaurant serving vegetarian food has been designed in line with ellora and Ajanta caves of Maharashtra along with an Ayurvedic bazaar
AARSH Centre or Akshardham Centre for Applied Research In Social Harmony represents a place inside the comples where various topics related to social harmony are applied and students and scholars conduct research in a practical manner. Researchers can carry out various projects and AARSH can affiliate these researches. These studies are related to topics such as rural and tribal welfare, medicine and health, education, culture and ecology as well as many other social aspects.
Timings and other Important Information
Akshardham Delhi timings
April to September
- Complex: 10.00 am to 7.00 pm
- Exhibitions: 11.00 am to 6.30 pm
- Musical Fountain: 7.30 pm
October to March
- Complex: 9.00 am to 6.00 pm
- Exhibitions:10.00 am to 5.30 pm
- Musical Fountain: 6.30 pm
The temple of Akshardham would be open from Tuesday till Sunday, while on Mondays, the entire complex is closed. On Sundays and Saturdays only, the lighting facilities are seen. Souvenir shops are open from 9.00 am till 8.00 pm Free entry is possible into the temple complex, gardens and mandir Tickets are to be done for seeing exhibitions and other shows which the temple organizes.
Weather and Time to Visit
Climate in delhi is quite variable with extremes in summers and winters.
- Temperature can be scorching to about 47 deg C in summers which extend from March till June, during which time tourists usually avoid coming to delhi.
- Season of winter is from December to February, which can be very cold with temperatures going down to about 1 deg C and fog is usual to the extent of traffic disruption.
- From July to September, it is the season of rains, where heavy flash floods can be seen but gardens are seen to be bright and fresh.
For visiting Delhi, the best time is from July till February although January can be avoided due to high foggy conditions, where vehicular traffic is difficult. For going to the Akshardham Temple, the time from October to March is best. Blooming flowers in February and culturally vibrant time in Delhi can be very attractive.
The hotel of Parkland Retreat can be a good place due to its closeness to the temple, as well as to old Fort, Raj Ghat and few other places. There are amenities of large swimming pool, lounge/bar, and room service of 24 hours.
Address: Chhattarpur Mandir Road Saptbari, New Delhi, Delhi N.C.R, 110074 India
This hotel is located in New Delhi and has Akshardham temple located nearby. There are facilities such as outdoor pool, safes for guests, minibars and airconditioning, along with access to internet and coffee or tea makers
Address: Chhattarpur Mandir Road, Satbari, Next To IIPM, New Delhi, Delhi N.C.R, 110074 India
Tips for Devtees
- Inside the complex of temple, tobacco, alcohol and cigarettes are not allowed.
- cameras, simple cameras, electronic items such as mobiles, etc are not permitted.
- Food cannot be brought inside the premises and devotees can consume items available of pure vegetarian preparations in Premvati Food Court, which has plenty of traditional items in the menu.
- Pets cannot be brought into the complex.