The Akshardham or the Swaminarayan Akshardham Temple located in Delhi is a true depiction of Indian culture, architecture and spirituality. The temple complex took around 5 years to be completed under the guidance of Pramukh Swami Maharaj who was the spiritual lead of the Bochasanwasi Shri Akshar Purushottam Swaminarayan Sanstha.
Around 11,000 artisans, among whom 3000 were volunteers, have worked on the construction of the Akshardham Temple Complex. The complex was officially inaugurated on the 6th of November, 2005. The temple was built following Vastu Shastra and Pancharatra Shastra.
The whole temple complex is divided into 5 major portions. The main temple is situated at the centre of the complex. The 141 ft high structure consists of 234 wonderfully carved pillars, 9 ornate domes, 20 quadrangled shikhars, an imposing Gajendra Pith (plinth of stone elephants), around 20,000 idols and statues of divine personalities, rishis, devotees and saints.
Being built with pink sandstones and white marble, the monument doesn't have any steel or concrete in its structure. There is a “Hall of Values” or the Sahajanad Pradarshan which exhibits incidents from the life of Swaminarayan using animated robotics and dioramas. The incidents leave messages that tell us about the importance of peace, harmony, humility, service to others and devotion to the Almighty.
The Neelkanth Kalyan yathra, which is a motion film screened on a giant screen is also an attraction of the complex. The film screened shows various religious places in India, their culture, festivals, etc. It is called the “Mystic India”. One can also take a boat ride which takes you to the history of Indian heritage and discoveries made by the Indian rishis through its models and portraits.
This gives you a clear idea about the vast Indian culture. The musical fountain of the Yagnapurush Kund is another attraction of the complex. It is a rare combination of a Vedic yagna kund and a musical fountain. The kund or the stepwell is the largest stepwell of the world, and in the evening it also has musical fountain shows.
To the centre of the stepwell there is an eight-petalled lotus which is designed in perfect geometry to define the advanced knowledge of mathematics in India. The Bharat Upavan or the “Garden of India” is a huge lush garden which is lined up with bronze sculptures of children, women, freedom fighters, eminent personalities and notable figures of India.
The other attractions of the complex include the Yogi Hraday Kamal, Neelkanth Abishek, Narayan Sarovar, Premvati Ahargruh and the AARSH Centre. The temple is a must-visit attraction of Delhi and is not to be missed if you have set your feet at the capital city.