The sacred place of Hindus is Akshardham Temple. It is situated in Delhi (India).Another name of this temple is Swaminarayan Akshardham or Delhi Akshardham. This temple is the visualization of architecture, spiritualism and culture of Hindus and India with respect to different eras. The shrine has got its solid structure by Pramukh Swami Maharaj.The temple’s building support the format of Pancharatra Shastra and Vastu Shastra. This sanctum is devoted to god Swaminarayan. The moral values, art and glory of India is symbolizes by this temple. According to the Guinness World Record it is the Largest Comprehensive Hindu Temple. The inauguration of this temple had taken place on 6 November, 2005. The temple consists of divinely engraved pillars as well as archways, flower-patterned designs and idols which are 20,000 in number.
For reaching Delhi there is a facility of buses, railways and airplane. After reaching Delhi one can reach the temple by mean of regional vehicle, bus, metro, auto-rickshaw and cabs or by making choice of local cabs.
Security and Some Tips
Electronic items like camera, pen drive, mobile etc., bags, purses, food & drinks, toys, tobacco & alcohol products and all personal belonging are not allowed in the temple premises for the purpose of security. All the items have to be deposited at the counter of cloak rooms. For that one has to fill the form and in return a coupon has been provided. After that the process of security checking takes place. There are CCTV cameras installed into the shrine so as to visualize each and every activity of the devotee. A large number of security guards and volunteers are there for crowd management. Yatris should not carry cash and ornaments with them. They should keep their luggage at safe and secure place.
When to Visit
The best time to visit the temple is during October and March. The Temple of Akshardham is opened for all the days of the week except Monday. The timings of the temple are: 9:30 AM to 6:30 PM. The duration of the visit is 6 to 10 hours. For visiting exhibition the entry fees for adults per person is Rs 170, for children per person Rs 100 and for senior citizens per person is Rs 125. For visiting Musical fountain the entry fees for adults per person is Rs 30, for children per person Rs 20 and for senior citizens per person is Rs 30.
What To See And Do
The temple consists of the presiding idol of saint Swaminarayan which is placed in the principal sanctum of the temple. The height of the idol is 11 feet. This shrine also entails other idols like Parvati-Shiva, Laxmi Narayan, Radha-Krishna and Sita-Ram. The other features of the temple are:
- Halls of Values: It is a combination of number of robotics, dioramas and optics which delineate the incidents of the Swaminarayan life. It is also known as Sahajanand Pradarshan.
- Theatre: It is a film theatre of 85-foot (26 m) by 65-foot (20 m) in which the film of Neelkanth Yatra is shown which is about the seven-year journey of Swaminarayan throughout India at the time of his teenage.
- Musical Fountain:It is also known as Yagnapurush Kund and is the largest step well of India. It comprises a long sequence of steps down to the traditional Yagna kund. During day time yatris take rest on these steps and at night they use to sit on these steps and watch the musical fountain show which shows the play of circle of life.
- Garden Of Indian
It’s another name is Bharat Upavan. It consists of trees, shrubs and lawn. This garden also entails sculptures of women, children, freedom fighters, national figures and warriors of India like Mahatma Gandhi.
- Yogi Hraday Kamal
It is a sunken garden having the shape of lotus.
- Neelkanth Abhishek
A ritual followed by devotees in which milk is poured on the idol of Neelkanth Varni is Neelkanth Abhishek.
- Narayan Sarovar
The main monument is surrounded by this lake.
- Premvati Ahargruh
The Premati Ahargruh or the Premvati Food Court is a restaurant providing vegetarian food.
- AARSH Centre
It is a centre of research which does work on social harmony and related topics.
Where To Stay
Yatri can have their stay at dharamshalas in Delhi at reasonable price. They are: Jain Dharamshala, SAI Dham, Agarwal Dharamshala, Maharaja Agarsain Bhawan, Khandelwal Dharamshala and Marwari Dharamshala.
Where Else To Stay
Yatri can also have their stay at hotels near this temple as they provide luxury. These hotels are: The Oberoi, New Delhi, JP HOTEL & RESORTS, Jukaso Inn, Shervani New Delhi, Crowne Plaza New Delhi Mayur Vihar Noida and La Sagrita.
The festival of annakut is celebrated in the Akshardham Temple with full and true devotion. In this festival food is first of all offered to the deity and then it is distributed among devotees as a Prasad.
There are many places near this temple for having a visit. These places are: Umang Theater, Fun Cinemas Laxmi Nagar, Prachin Sanatan Dharam Mandir, Maharaja Surajmal Park, Waves Kaushambi and Sanjay Lake.
Yatris should take a personal diary with them so as to have a written record of the whole journey. They should hire a tourist guide in order to have a complete knowledge of the temple including its history. They should also take first aid for curing the frequent injury.
Hence, Akshardham Temple is the finest instance of India’s art, architecture and culture.