A sublime architectural marvel : Akshardham Temple, Delhi

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Akshardham Temple, or the Swaminarayan Akshardham complex, in Delhi is a Hindu shrine epitomizing the essence of India’s ageless art, borderless culture, architecture, timeless values and spirituality. The exquisite temple is dedicated to Swaminarayan, an Indian yogi and spiritual soul who existed during the 18th century. Praised as the world’s largest comprehensive Hindu temple by the Guinness World Record, Delhi’s Akshardham is known for its aesthetic beauty, unique exhibitions, sprawling campus and tranquillity.

‘Akshardham’ means the divine abode of God. It is hailed as an eternal place of devotion, purity and peace. The mandir stands as a humble tribute to Bhagwan Swaminarayan, the avatars, devas and great sages of Hinduism. Standing on the banks of River Yamuna, Akshardham was opened to the public on 6th November 2005. The temple, at the centre of the complex, was built according to the Vastu Shastra and Pancharatra Shastra.

Each part of the Akshardham Temple complex is a work of intricate art that exhibits flawless craftsmanship and echoes with spirituality. The temple has been constructed using Italian Carrara marble and Rajasthani pink sandstone and has no support from steel or concrete. It is surrounded by open gardens, a courtyard built in stepwell style, various water bodies, and other structures.

The main attraction of the temple is the Mandir which is beautifully decorated with carved statues of dancers, deities, fauna, flora and others. The temple holds 234 pillars, 2000 deity statues, 9 domes and much more. It also holds 148 life-size elephant statues weighing a total of 3000 tons. The Yagnapurush Kund or musical fountain inside the temple is the largest one of its kind in the world. Premvati Ahargruh, the food court here is designed on the theme of Ajanta and Ellora caves in Maharashtra.

A visit to Akshardham is a spiritually enriching experience. It is one of the top tourist places in Delhi and draws visitors from all parts of the World. The temple complex is arguably the largest one to be built in India in the last 800 years. It is not just a temple but a journey into the heart of ancient India. If you plan to visit the nation’s capital any time soon, keep aside some time to explore this attraction as well. And also, get ready to be amazed by the splendorous visual treat!!!