Akshardham, also known as Swaminarayan Akshardham, is a Hindu temple and spiritual-cultural campus in Delhi, India. The temple is close to the border with Noida. Akshardham Temple is a magnificent display of traditional and modern Hindu culture, spirituality and architecture. Inspired by Yogiji Maharaj and created by Pramukh Swami Maharaj, it was constructed by BAPS (Bochasanwasi Akshar Purushottam Swaminarayan Sanstha). Famous tourist attraction in Delhi.
The temple was officially opened on 6 November 2005 by Pramukh Swami Maharaj in the presence of A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, Manmohan Singh, L.K. Advani and B.L. Joshi. Visit during Delhi Local sightseeing by cab
Overview of Akshardham
Akshardham is a grand complex that consists of various attractions and features that showcase the essence and beauty of Hinduism. The main attraction of the complex is the The temple, a majestic temple that rises 141 feet high, spans 316 feet wide and extends 356 feet long. It is intricately carved with flora, fauna, dancers, musicians and deities.
The temple is entirely constructed from Rajasthani pink sandstone and Italian Carrara marble, without the use of any ferrous metal. The temple is dedicated to Bhagwan Swaminarayan (1781-1830), the founder of the Swaminarayan sect of Hinduism, and his successors. The temple houses the murtis (sacred images) of Swaminarayan and his spiritual successors, as well as other Hindu deities such as Sita-Rama, Radha-Krishna, Shiva-Parvati and Lakshmi-Narayana
The complex also features various exhibition halls that provide information about the life and teachings of Swaminarayan and the history and culture of India. The exhibitions use contemporary modes of communication and technology to create an immersive and interactive experience for the visitors. The exhibitions are:
- Sahajanand Darshan (Hall of Values): A hall that depicts the values and principles of Swaminarayan through audio-animatronic figures, dioramas and video presentations.
- Neelkanth Darshan (Giant Screen Film): A film that portrays the early life of Swaminarayan as the teenage yogi Neelkanth, who travelled across India for seven years in search of truth and enlightenment.
- Sanskruti Darshan (Cultural Boat Ride): A boat ride that takes the visitors through 10,000 years of India’s glorious heritage, featuring scenes from ancient civilizations, empires, festivals, arts and sciences.
The complex also features an Abhishek Mandap, a ritual bathing chamber where visitors can offer water to a marble murti of Neelkanth Varni; a thematic garden called Bharat Upvan, which displays bronze statues of India’s great personalities; a musical fountain show called Sahaj Anand Water Show, which depicts the message of Upanishads through water, light, sound and laser effects; and a food court called Premvati Food Court, which serves vegetarian delicacies from various cuisines.
Akshardham Location/ Timing and Entry Fees
Akshardham is located in Pandav Nagar, East Delhi. It is easily accessible by metro, bus, auto-rickshaw or taxi. The nearest metro station is Akshardham on the Blue Line, which is about 500 meters away from the complex. From there, one can walk or take an auto-rickshaw to the entrance gate.
The Temple is open from Tuesday to Sunday, from 9:30 am to 8:00 pm (last entry at 6:30 pm). It is closed on Mondays and on public holidays. The entry to the complex is free of charge.
How to Reach Akshardham
There are various ways to reach Akshardham from different parts of Delhi and nearby cities. Here are some of the options:
- By Metro: The most convenient and economical way to reach Akshardham is by metro. The nearest metro station is Akshardham on the Blue Line, which is about 500 meters away from the complex. From there, one can walk or take an auto-rickshaw to the entrance gate.
- By Bus: There are several buses that ply to and from Akshardham from different parts of Delhi. Some of the bus routes are 118, 120, 125, 211, 347, 348, 392, 534A, etc. One can alight at Akshardham bus stop and walk to the complex gate.
- By Auto-Rickshaw or Taxi: One can also hire an auto-rickshaw or a taxi from any part of Delhi to reach Akshardham. The fare may vary depending on the distance and traffic conditions.
- By Car: If one has a private car or a rented vehicle, one can drive to Akshardham by following the directions on Google Maps or other navigation apps. There is a parking lot near the entrance gate where one can park their vehicle for a nominal fee.
Significance of Akshardham
Akshardham is not only a stunning and splendid place but also a sacred and spiritual site that showcases the essence and beauty of Hinduism. It is a place where one can experience the grace and glory of Bhagwan Swaminarayan and his successors, who are revered as the manifestations of God by millions of devotees. It is a place where one can learn about the rich and diverse history and culture of India, which has been shaped by the teachings and contributions of various sages, saints, kings, poets, scientists and heroes. It is a place where one can enjoy the harmony and tranquility of nature, art and architecture, which reflect the wisdom and creativity of Hindu civilization.
Akshardham also represents the vision and mission of BAPS, which is a socio-spiritual organization that strives to serve humanity by promoting spiritual values, social harmony and human excellence. BAPS has been involved in various humanitarian activities such as disaster relief, health care, education, environmental protection and cultural preservation. BAPS also operates several other temples and cultural centers around the world, such as Swaminarayan Akshardham in Gandhinagar (Gujarat), Swaminarayan Mandir in London (UK), Swaminarayan Mandir in Houston (USA), Swaminarayan Mandir in Toronto (Canada) and Swaminarayan Mandir in Robbinsville (USA).
Q: How long does it take to visit Akshardham?
A: It depends on how much time one wants to spend in the various attractions and features of the complex. Generally, it takes about three to four hours to visit Akshardham and enjoy its beauty and splendor.
Q: What are the timings of the exhibitions and shows at Akshardham?
A: The timings of the exhibitions and shows at Akshardham are as follows:
Sahajanand Darshan (Hall of Values): 10:00 am to 7:30 pm
Neelkanth Darshan (Giant Screen Film): 10:30 am to 7:30 pm
Sanskruti Darshan (Cultural Boat Ride): 10:00 am to 7:30 pm
Sahaj Anand Water Show: After sunset (varies according to season)
Q: Can one perform rituals or ceremonies at Akshardham?
A: No, Akshardham does not allow any rituals or ceremonies to be performed inside or outside its premises. The complex is meant for individual and collective homage only.
Akshardham is a unique and inspiring place that offers a glimpse of the Hindu culture and spirituality.