What is special about the Akshardham Temple
Swaminarayan Temple Akshardham in Delhi, India
Akshardham is a huge temple complex in Delhi, India. In addition to the incredibly ornate central temple building, Akshardham also offers an IMAX cinema, a boat tour, botanical gardens and a vegetarian restaurant. An ideal place to relax in the midst of breathtaking buildings.
Akshardham is a magnificent Hindu temple complex in Delhi, India. It belongs to the Swaminarayan Hindus and is therefore often referred to as the Swaminarayan Temple in Delhi. He went (controversial) than that world's largest Hindu temple complex in the Guinness Book of Records in 2007 and is also on our list of the Top 10 Attractions of India.
The relatively young temple complex was only opened in 2005 after four years of construction by the Indian President Abdul Kalam and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. The contemporary architectural wonder represents the Hindu and Indian architecture, culture and spirituality of the last millennia.
Akshardham was designed by the spiritual leader of a major group of Swamirayan Hindus, Pramukh Swami Maharaj, based on the idea of his predecessor Yogiji Maharaj and built by 3,000 of his followers with 7,000 craftsmen. Akshardham is an extremely popular tourist attraction, with 70% of Delhi tourists visiting the massive temple complex.
Central Temple of Akshardham
The absolute highlight of Akshardham is the central monument of the complex, a 40 meter high and almost 100 meter wide temple made of pink sandstone and Italian Carrera marble without any steel or concrete.
Its breathtaking facade with 9 huge domes is covered over and over with masterful engravings and carvings of artistically crafted flowers, animals, mythologies, dancers, musicians and deities. The roofs of the peaceful fairytale palace are supported by a total of 234 columns, all of which also have artistic decorations.
Over 20,000 so-called murtis, representations of Hindu deities and Hindu statues can be found in the Akshardham. Under the central dome is a statue of Swaminarayan over 3 meters tall, surrounded by the gurus of the Hindu sect. The temple complex also contains 148 elephants, all of which would weigh 3,000 tons.
The central temple is surrounded by Narayan Sarovar, a large lake in which water was collected from 151 different rivers that are said to have been blessed by Swaminarayan.
In addition to the temple and its fascinating furnishings, the Akshardham also has a large number of exhibitions to admire.
In the Sahajanad Padarshan, the Hall of Values, scenes from the life of Swaminarayan are depicted by means of 15 movable and immobile diagrams. Light and sound effects put the individual pictures in the limelight. One highlight is that world's smallest electronically controlled figure, Swaminarayan's child, Ghanshyam Maharaj.
Sanskruti Vihar, a 12-minute boat tour on an artificial river, past the first representation of the universe, historical hospitals and bazaars, chemical laboratories and the latest technologies and the expression of future hope for India offers a journey through India's millennia-old culture.
Neelkanth Kalyan Yatra
At 26 by 20 meters, the screen in the Neelkanth Kalyan Yatra is Delhi's first and largest large format screen. In a film specially developed for the theater, visitors learn about Swaminarayan as a teenager. The film is known internationally and can be seen in IMAX cinemas under the title “Mystic India”. A statue of Neelkanth Varni (Swaminarayan adopted this name as a 7-year-old pilgrim) sits enthroned in front of the theater.
Neelkanth Kalyan Yatra
Not far from the gigantic statue is the Neelkanth Kalyan Yatra, which is 91 by 91 meters mightiest stepwell in India. During the day its steps are used as seating for exhausted temple visitors, in the evening the fountain draws attention through a musical water feature, which is supposed to symbolize the circle of life.
Social studies and research are carried out at AARSH, the Akshardham Center for Applied Research in Social Harmony.
Gardens at Akshardham
Aside from the impressive architecture, nature lovers will also get their money's worth. The Bharat Upavan, the garden of India, inspires with its masterfully trimmed lawns, trees and bushes. Bronze sculptures of important personalities line the idyllic paths.
The second botanical highlight is the Yogi Hraday Kamal, a sunken garden in the form of a lotus flower, in which quotes from luminaries from all over the world are engraved in large stones. Visitors are guided by the words of Shakespeare, Martin Luther King and of course Swaminarayan.
Premvati Ahargruh restaurant
After so much splendor at Akshardham, you have a refreshment at Premvati Ahargruh, a vegetarian restaurant with Indian delicacies, well deserved. From there you can once again let your gaze wander over the breathtaking, beautifully manicured grounds and see your fill of the magnificent buildings.
Akshardham Official Website
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