Showcasing 10,000 years of Indian culture through its splendid monument, awe-inspiring exhibitions, flourishing gardens and many other lures, the Akshardham Temple is one of the most fantastic wonders of India . Visit here to get drenched into the essence of India's age-old architecture, rich traditions and spiritual messages. The Akshardham complex, located along the bank of River Yamuna, is dedicated to Lord Swaminarayan. The temple sprawls over 100 acres of lush lawns and is known for its unmatched architecture constructed by around 11,000 artisans and BAPS (Bochasanwasi Shri Akshar Purushottam Swaminarayan Sanstha) volunteers.
The word 'Akshardham' stands for 'the divine abode of the supreme power, as written in Hindu Vedas and Upanishads. Dedicated to 18th century saint 'Swaminarayan', the temple is managed by the Swaminarayan Sect. Over Rs. 200 crore were spend to raise this pink sandstone cultural complex. The final temple complex was inaugurated on November 6, 2005 in the presence of Former President Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam. Its architectural style is quite similar to that of the Akshardham temple in Gujarat.
Mirroring the richness of Indian history, art, culture and values, Akshardham temple is constrcuted in white marble and red sandstone. One can see the influence of architectural patterns of Mughal and Jain pilgrimages here apart from designs fromRajasthan, Orissa and Gujarat. The most striking part about the temple is that despite featuring 234 unmatched carved pillars, 20 shikhars, 9 domes, floral motifs, archs, a massive Gajendra Pith (plinth of stone elephants) and more than 20,000 statues, no steel or cement has been used for its construction.
The main hall of the temple comprises the 11 feet high statue of Lord Swaminarayan. Apart from a matchless glimpse of the Hindu religion and Indian culture, the main temple shows paintings and statues of some great Indian saints. Constructed according to the ancient Sthaapatya Shastras of India, the temple was built using 6000 tons of pink sand-stone from Rajasthan. The temple complex also houses an IMAX theatre, a food court, a gallery and an open-air theatre to showcase some unknown stories to the devotees.
Major Attractions Of The Akshardham Temple
Hall of Values: Here audio-animatronics and unique 3-D dioramas are deployed to let devotees learn about universal values for mankind and the life of Lord Swaminarayan. Devotees also learn about ahimsa, prayer, endeavour, morality, vegetarianism and family harmony.
Giant Screen Film: A unique period film 'Neelkanth Darshan' narrating the story of an 11 year old child Yogi Neelkanth Varni. The film is unique as it was shot in 108 different locations across India.
Musical Fountain (Yagnapurush Kund): A unique melange of a musical fountain and a Vedic Yagna Kund. This is the world's largest Yagna Kund with 2,870 steps and 108 small shrines.
Garden of India: Also known with the name of 'Bharat Upvan'; this garden features well maintained lawns, lush gardens and magnificent bronze statues of great saints, warriors, freedom fighters, and much more.
Yogihriday Kamal: This artificial lotus was raised in the memory of Yogiji Maharaj who dreamed about Akshardham. Every petal of Yogihriday Kamal spreads the messages of faith in God and human being.
Boat Ride: This is a 12 minute exciting boat-ride that takes you back into the glorious past of India. Spectators learn about various discoveries and inventions of some renowned rishi-scientists of India, including the world's first university of Takshashila and the enchanting caves of Ajanta- Ellora.