Akshardham: Temple of cosmos
If I say, akshardham in delhi is wonder of modern world then it is not overrated statement, It is indeed a marvel of the world.
Guinness World Record Main Management Committee, presented the awards to BAPS Akshardham temple in delhi under two categories: Most Hindu temples consecrated by a single person and secondly, the world’s largest comprehensive Hindu temple.
What is akshardham?
It is not just temple. It is divine abode of god. The meaning of ‘Akshar’ is place where god stay and reside. Swaminarayan akshardham at delhi is house of God with splendour ancient indian architecture. It is modern marvel but design derived from ancient scripture. Akshardham temple at delhi has over 2000 murtis! Temple complex spreads in 100 acres of area.
Background of akshardham temple
In year 1968, Head of BAPS swaminarayan sanstha Sri Yogij maharaj in ‘Vicharan’ at bank of river yamuna, he foreseen from his divine insight and told to devotees that a magnificent and grand temple of Lord swaminarayan built on river bank of yamuna.
His holiness Sri yogiji maharaj (1892-1971 CE)
(Source : BAPS sanstha)
The wish and ‘sankalp’ of yogiji maharaj has been fulfilled in after 32 years and land was allocated in April 2000 after many hindrances due to country’s bureaucracy.
The first foundation Yagya performed after acquiring of land in April 2000 only. On MAY 2000, Pramukh swami maharaj (Head of BAPS in 200) visited first time on land and performed puja. Temple’s ‘shilanyas’ ritual performed in November 2000.
Pramukh swami oversee every details for foundation of akshardham temple.
On 6 Nov 2005 Temple is inaugurated by Pramukh swami maharaj with presence of President of India, Prime minister of india and all political party’s main politician and many other influential person from all other area of life.
Some statistics of temple
|Opened on||6th November, 2005|
|Volunteers hours devoted||300,000,000 volunteer hours|
|No of volunteers||8,000|
|Number of artisan participated||11, 000|
|No of gates||10|
|Main Temple Height-width-length||141.3 – 316-356 ft|
|Total area of temple complex||100 acre (3rd largest in world)|
|God worshipped||Lord swaminarayan bhagvan|
|Architecture inspiration from||Shilp sastra, nagara style,|
|Foundation||Steel less foundation|
Dr Abdul kalam has said on inauguration that the monument is one of the most extraordinary architecture of last thousands years in india.
Let us take voyage of this splendour architecture. Fasten your seat belt!
The ten gates: Welcoming all ten directions.
Akshardham temple has 10 gates to enter, it symbolize all ten direction. All gates are carved from stones and. Ten gates symbolize vedic way of attracting peace and happiness from all side. One of the main gate is bhakti dwar and it symbolize dual worship of bhakt to bhagwan, like lakshmi-narayan, akhar -purshotam, ram-sita, krishna-radha, etc.
Another beautiful gate called as mayur dwara. Mayur means peacock, peacock is symbolized as self control in indian culture. There are two mayur dwara in temple. Each mayur dwara has 869 intricately carved stone peacock.
Swaminarayan akshardham temple has 234 intricately carved pillars, 9 ornate domes, 20 spires and 20,000 statues of Hinduism spiritual lineage. Temple is 141.3 feet height, 316 feet in width,and is 356 feet long.
Source: akshardham dot com
Inner sanactum of garbhgriha consist main murtis of bhagwan swaminaryan (1781-1830CE), Gunatitanand swami, bhagatji maharaj, yogiji maharaj, pramukh swami maharaj. Also beautiful murtis of Ram-sita, radha-krishna, shiv-parvati. Inner sanctum is so peaceful and you can feel like heaven. It has divine positive vibration.
Mandaps – Divine Domes
Swaminarayan mandapam is situated at main sanctum where lord swaminarayan bhagwan murti situated. It is so detail architecture that many architecture takes as a case study. One can easily visualize if heaven has architecture design then this is it!
Most beautiful mandapam from my point of view, Ghanshyam as a child is carved with trees. A ‘krida’ of ghanshyam is nicely crafted with details, clearly it’s heavenly work and believe me such work can not be done in hurry and this temple with full of such architecture just created in 5 years!
Image Source: Akshardham dot com
Sahajanand mandapam has 8 pillars and it is UFO shaped built. Bhagwan swaminaryan murti is resting between sprawling neem tree. Sahajanand swami was name given when bhagwan swaminarayan started as an ascetic
Purshotam manapam metaphors Akshar and purshotam. This dome symbolizes supreme reality of Akshar (abode of purshotam) and purshotam ( Supreme god) and devotees of them, we should be resident of akshar.
Gajendra pith is symbolically presents base of entire temple. It narrates legends of elephants and god, carved many stories. Ancient architecture scriptures like diparnav, shilp ratnakar, vedic vastu and maymatam (ancient indian treatise on temple construction) suggested to have gajasthar (plinth of elephants) as foundation of temple. If you take a look at kailash mandir of ellora you can find such foundation. Gajnedra pith at akshardham narrates story of elephants which are legend in hindu culture. Gajendra pith presents innovative way of storytelling. It has a famous story of ‘let barking dogs bark, elephant doesn’t stop to listen and react on his path’
Why we do ‘pradakshina’ (doing walking in circular way keeping god in center)? Because we find that god is our center of life. Narayan pith is 60 ft long bronze made panels in path of this circular motion at temple. Narayan pith depicts events of life of bhagwan swaminarayan.
Yogi hriday kamal
Yogi hriday kamal is lotus shape eye catching garden beside main temple. It is named after honor of yogiji maharaj – guru of pramukh swami maharaj. Famous personalities quotes like vivekanand, martin luther king written on stones.
Image source: Akshardham dot com
Bharat upvan is main garden of akshardham temple and welcoming visitor with very lushy green landscape. It has bronze statue of great role model of indian culture. It includes sculpture of mahatma gandhi, freedom fighters, and many more, there are total 67 such sculpture.
Sahaj anad water show
Image source: akshardham dot com
Sahaj anand water show tells story of ken upnishad. It is 24 minute show. It is a very unique and innovative representation of show. Show uses water jets, lasers, underwater flame projection, synchronized fountain dance with story and 3D sound. All these technologies integrations gives a very innovative and great experience of storytelling.
Sanskurti Darshan – Exhibition of ancient india
This is a boat ride of ancient india. It voyages through thousands years of history of india. It is 12 minute boat ride passes through oldest university of world, surgery technology of ancient india, vedic era of life, yoga exhibition, and many more.
Neelkanth darshan- Film on life of Neelkanth varni
Film is showing on very huge screen, it is a life journey of Bhagwan swaminarayan in child age. In this age, he was famous as neelkanth varni, he started travel across indian continent at age of 11 on barefoot. He travelled total 12,000 kilometers in 7 years at such early age of life from himalaya to rameshwaram and to gujarat in west. It is a story of devotion, fearness, courage and perseverance.
Sahajanand darshan- Presentation of values and ethics
This section in temple describes importance of value and ethics in life. It has unique style of presentation which called as 3D dioramas. It describes importance of nonviolence, morality, prayers, family values and many others. 3D dioramas presentation gives amazing experience to watch. It is perfect use of technology to portray topics in best way.
BAPS swaminarayan research institute
Temple has research institute on subjects of spirituality, indian culture, philosophies, and religion. It also offers language studies in detail like sanskrit. It has very vast book library and employs many ancient books. Recently world’s sanskrit conference recognize aksharpurshotam darshan as distinct vedantic tradition. Aksharpurshotam darshan is work of research institute.
About – BAPS swaminarayan sanstha
In 18th century, Bhagwan swaminarayan established ‘swaminarayan’ sampradya in India. He established how to live spiritual way of life with highest ethics, his teachings and wisdom helpful to live blissful and happy life. BAPS is bochasanwasi aksharpursotam sanstha. BAPS has built more then 1100 shikharbadhh temples around world. Delhi Akshardham is one of the temple which had been built by BAPS santha under the spiritual leadership of Pramukh swami maharaj.
One of the BAPS’ core activity is humanitarian activity, during Gujarat earthquakes BAPS built villages and support human lives, and many such humanitarian activities are being done on daily basis.