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Home Special Destinations Akshardham
SPECIAL DESTINATIONS
AKSHARDHAM TEMPLE
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Swaminarayan Akshardham reflects the essence and magnitude of India's ancient architecture, traditions and timeless spirituality.

The main monument, depicting ancient Indian "vastu shastra" and architecture, is a marvel in pink sandstone and white marble that is 141 feet high, 316 feet wide and 370 feet long with 234 ornate pillars, over 20,000 sculptures and statues of deities, eleven 72-foot-high huge domes (mandapams) and decorative arches. And like a necklace, a double-storied parikrama of red sandstone encircles the monuments with over 155 small domes and 1,160 pillars. The whole monument rises on the shoulders of 148 huge elephants with 11-feet tall panchdhatu statue of Swaminarayan presiding over the structure.

The other attractions of the complex are three exhibition halls spaced around two huge ponds, where one is a venue for light-and-sound show. The three halls are "Sahajanand Darshan", "Neelkanth Darsdhan" and "Sanskruti Vihar". "Sahajanand Darshan" is where life of Swaminarayan is displayed through robotic shows, while "Neelkanth Darsdhan" has a huge I-Max theatre screening movie based on the life of the Lord. Another amazing presentation is "Sanskruti Vihar" with 12-minute boat ride experience of India's glorious heritage. 

sanskruti

The sprawling Swaminarayan Akshardham complex spread over 30 acres on the banks of the Yamuna near Noida Mor in East Delhi.

neelkanth

For visitors, entry to the complex is free. However, those who want to visit exhibition halls and theatres, Rs.125 is to be paid and for children and senior citizens the charges are Rs.75. "Over 6,000 visitors could easily witness the shows and enjoy boat-rides everyday, while over 25,000 people can visit the temple. We have deployed almost 140 guides who will facilitate visitors during their visit. It requires at least four hours to visit the entire complex thoroughly and see all the shows," said a temple management committee member, adding that the opening ceremony would be telecast live on Aastha channel. Elaborate security arrangements have also been made for the entire complex. Besides installing close circuit television cameras it has also deployed hundreds of its own security personnel.

The Rs.400-crore cultural complex, inspired by Pramukh Swami Maharaj of the Bochasanwasi Shri Akshar Purushottam Swaminarayan Sanstha (BAPS), will be popularised by its builders as "a place for cultural education and entertainment". The temple complex has drawn inspiration for its architecture from the historic temples of Badrinath (Uttaranchal), Somnath (Gujarat) and Konark (Orissa). It is the second Akshardham complex in the country after the one at Gandhinagar in Gujarat.

Even as last-minute preparations are now on for the inauguration, curious visitors have started coming in for a look or for offering "puja" and "abhishek".

exhibition

exhibition

At the heart of the complex is a palace-like monument built of at least 12,000 tons of pink sandstone and white marble brought in from Rajasthan. Topped with a series of domes, it stands 129 feet high, 275 feet wide and 315 feet long. Almost every square inch of the exterior has been exquisitely carved with statues and motifs of Hindu deities and Indian flora and fauna.

Pramukh Swami Maharaj, the 83-year-old spiritual leader of the Swaminarayan sect that has over 10 lakh followers across the globe, has closely monitored every detail of the complex. It took over 7,000 builders, masons and polishers to build the complex in record time. The place is built to withstand major quakes "and to last at least a thousand years".

The complex also has two huge exhibition halls; one will take visitors on a visual journey through India's cultural heritage, while the other "will depict Indian moral values through a light-and-sound show". The complex also boasts of an Imax cinema, a canteen big enough to accommodate 5,000 people at one sitting, a research centre for "social harmony" and meditation gardens dotted with fountains and bronze sculptures.


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