Akshardham is a Hindu temple complex in Delhi, also referred to as Delhi Akshardham or Swaminarayan Akshardham, the complex displays centuries of traditional Indian and Hindu culture, spirituality, and architecture.The Delhi Akshardham is an imitation of the Akshardham in Gandhinagar, Gujarat.
The temple is situated in East Delhi area, near the Akshardham Flyover. Spread over an area of 100 acres, it stands adorned with 20,000 statues, floral motifs, arches and exquisitely carved pillars. The construction work on this huge temple complex started in the year 2003 and it took approximately 2 years to complete it fully.
Around 1997 and 1998, the idea to start development on the temple, by beginning the stone carving, had been requested. However, this idea was denied by Pramukh Swami Maharaj who believed that the construction should only start after the land was acquired. The initial work done on the site was on the foundation. Due to the soft river bank, the site wasn't considered ideal for construction. As a result, a deep foundation was imperative. To construct a stable foundation, 15-foot (4.6 m) of rocks and sand were entwined with wire mesh and topped by five feet of concrete. Five million fired bricks raised the foundation another 21.5-foot (6.6 m). These bricks were then topped by three more feet of concrete to form the main support under the monument.
On 2 July 2001, the first sculpted stone was laid.The team of eight sadhus consisted of scholars in the field of the Pancharatra Shastra, a Hindu scripture on architecture and deity carving. The sadhus watched over stone work as well as the research on carvings on Indian craftsmanship from between 8th and 12th century. This research was done at various sites such as Angkor Wat, as well as Jodhpur, Jagannath Puri, Konark, and other temples in South India.
Seven thousand carvers and three thousand volunteers were put to work for the construction Akshardham.With over 6,000 tons of pink sandstone coming from Rajasthan, workshop sites were set up around places within the state. Amongst the carvers were local farmers and fifteen hundred tribal women who had suffered from a drought and received economic gain due to this work. The initial stone cutting was done by machine, while the detailed carvings were done by hand. Every night, over one hundred trucks were sent to Akshardham, where four thousand workers and volunteers operated on the construction site.
Sit Around :
Yagnapurush Kund, A Musical Fountain. Also World's Largest Yagna Kund (Sacrificial Fire).
Must See :
Epic Period Film Featuring an Exciting and Inspiring Pilgrimage of Neelkanth Varni a Child-yogi of 18th Century.
There are three halls inside the premises of the Akshardham Temple, where exhibitions are organized on a regular basis.
Hall 1 (Sahajanad Pradarshan)
Sahajanad Pradarshan exhibition is organized in hall number one and showcases life like robotics and panoramas. Scenes from Swaminarayan's life, conveying his message of peace and harmony, also form a part of the exhibition.
Hall 2 (Nilkanth Kalyan Yatra)
Hall number 2 has Delhi's first format screen and showcases Nilkanth Kalyan Yatra, the journey of Lord Swaminarayan during his teenage years.
Hall 3 (Sanskruti Vihar)
The Sanskruti Vihar exhibition of hall number three provides you a peek into the 10,000 years of Indian history in just 10 minutes.
Some Amazing Facts About The Temple
1. It is one of the biggest and most intricate religious places of worship ever constructed.
2. The Akshardham monument, built without steel, is entirely composed of sandstone and marble
3. It consists of 234 ornately carved pillars, 9 ornate domes, 20 quadrangled shikhars, a spectacular Gajendra Pith (plinth of stone elephants) and 20,000 murtis and statues of India's great sadhus, devotees, acharyas and divine personalities
4. The monument was built after over 300 million man hours of services rendered by 11,000 volunteers, sadhus and artisans
5. The ornate external wall (Mandovar) is the only and largest, intricately carved structure with dimensions of 611ft x 31ft that is built in the last 800 years
6. The Gajendra Pith stretching for 1,070 ft and weighing 3,000 tons, has 148 full-sized elephants, 42 birds and animals, 125 human sculptures!
7. The Akshardham parikrama (circumambulatory path) consists of 1,152 pillars, 145 windows and 154 samvaran shikhars; amounting to a total of 53,956 stones.
Entry Formalities: Only small female purses or male wallets allowed .Cell phones and other electronic devices are prohibited. Entry to the complex is free. But for exhibitions and light and sound show inside the complex, one has to take tickets
How to Reach Akshardham temple:
The mandir is about 9-10 kms from the New Delhi Railway station if you exit from platform no. 12 (Ajmeri Gate) and not platform no1. (Paharganj). Auto Rickshaws are easily available.
The Akshardham Metro Station is a complement of the mandir located nearby. A metro train to the station can be easily boarded from the New Delhi Metro Station.
It is around 4 kms from the Nizamuddin Railway Station. You can take an auto from the prepaid counter at the station.
Timings of Akshardham Temple at Delhi:
Tuesday - Sunday 9 AM-7 PM (The entire complex is closed on Mondays)
The Swaminarayan Akshardham Temple has recently entered the Guinness Book of World Records for being the worlds largest Hindu temple complex. The temple is spread over an area of 86,342 square feet. It is 356 feet long, 316 feet wide and 141 feet high.
Things to do:
Murti Darshan: 9 AM to 7 PM
Exhibitions: 9 AM to 6 PM (Fees Apply)
Musical Fountain Show: 6.45 PM (Fees Apply)
Premvati Food Court: 11 AM to 10 PM