“I feel I am in a different world. It has become a place of education, experience, and enlightenment. It creatively blends the tradition of stone architecture and art, Indian civilization and culture, ancient wisdom and values, and the best of modern media and technology. What has happened today at Akshardham inspires me and gives me the confidence that ‘we can do it.’ The realization of a developed India is certainly possible before 2020 with millions of ignited minds like you.” (6 Nov. 2005)
– Dr A. P. J. Abdul Kalam, 11th President of India (2002 – 2007)
The Akshardhâm complex was constructed by the Bochâsanwâsi ·rî Akshar Purushottam Swâminârâyan Sansthâ (the BAPS or the Sansthâ), said to be the quickest developing Hindu faction on the Earth today. With an organization of dynamic focuses on four landmasses, upheld by numerous prosperous supporters and supporting conspicuous public celebrations and temple structures, the BAPS is one of the most apparent indications of transnational Hinduism today. The BAPS is one of a few subsects among the supporters of Swâminârâyan, a Hindu-reformist evangelist in nineteenth-century Gujarat. Pushing peacefulness and debilitating suttee and female infanticide, his faction invited all classes, including the lowest, those who had been restricted from entering the temple. As a result, the Swâminârâyan organization pulled in an enormous ﬂock of householders and renunciants and became one of the main orders in Gujarat.
Around 60 acres of land were conceded by the Delhi Development Authority and 30 acres of land by the Government of Uttar Pradesh for the erection of this temple. The development began in 2000 and was finished within five years. Remaining on the banks of River Yamuna, Akshardham Temple was opened to the general public on sixth November 2005. Pramukh Swami Maharaj initiated the temple within sight of remarkable personalities like Dr A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, L.K. Advani, B.L. Joshi, and Dr Manmohan Singh – the then Prime Minister of India. Perhaps the most significant temple in Delhi, just as in India, this profound spot was developed by BAPS. Over 8000 volunteers took part, and 300,000,000 volunteer hours were spent in the development of this temple.
Swagatam (The Welcome)
The journey of Akshardham starts at the Ten Gates – meaning ten directions – as guests go through the Gate of Devotion, the Visitor Center, and the Peacock Gate to show up at the Charnarvind. En route, conventional Hindu images of energy, commitment, excellence, and immaculateness make a heavenly mood. Thus, every guest dives into the experience of Akshardham imbued with the power of this promising start.
- Welcome Gates- The ten entryways represent the ten directions depicted in Indian culture. They mirror the feelings of tolerating all that is promising and acceptable from each heading. Such transparency of brain and heart cultivates the soul of widespread love, fraternity, and harmony on the Earth.
- Bhakti Dwar- This grand stone entry represents the contribution of new bhakti – dedication – towards God and his lover (Bhakta-Bhagwan). Dedicated Hindus offer their bhakti to Akshar-Purushottam, Lakshmi-Narayan, Sita-Ram, Radha-Krishna, Parvati-Shiv, Nar-Narayan, and others. The Bhakti Dwar has 208 delightfully cut sets of Bhakta-Bhagwan giving their gifts on all.
- Visitor Center- Through the Bhakti Dwar or Gate of Devotion, one enters Akshardham’s Visitor Center. The Visitor Center welcomes everybody with a presentation of chimes to invite all that is acceptable. In the Visitor Center, one will observe volunteers prepared to help arrange one’s time at the Akshardham complex. Enlightening banners assist with presenting the complex and its various parts.
- Mayur Dwar- The peacock represents magnificence and restraint in Indian culture. It is the public bird of India and cherished by individuals the nation over. It is worshipped by the righteousness of its relationship with divine manifestations and stories in the Hindu shastras. The two Mayur Dwars have 869 complicatedly cut stone peacocks inviting guests with their charming excellence and balance.
- Charnarvind (Holy Footprints)- An enormous marble reproduction of the sacred impressions, or ‘charanarvind,’ of Bhagwan Swaminarayan (1781-1830 CE) between the two Mayur Dwars honor his manifestation on Earth. The sixteen heavenly images which mark God’s feet according to the Hindu shastras are found in these blessed impressions. In humble adoration to Bhagwan Swaminarayan, four conch shells shower water at his lotus feet.
The internal sanctum or garbhagruh of the Akshardham mandir is home to Bhagwan Swaminarayan and his heavenly progression of masters – Gunatitanand Swami, Bhagatji Maharaj, Shastriji Maharaj, Yogiji Maharaj, and Pramukh Swami Maharaj. Assigns of Aksharbrahma, the masters, indications of Aksharbrahma, are God’s timeless workers and goals of purity and dedication. They dwell in the garbhagruh unceasingly, offering administration and love to Bhagwan Swaminarayan. Things blessed by Bhagwan Swaminarayan during his lifespan are likewise saved for darshan straightforwardly behind the garbhagruh. Around the garbhagruh, exceptional particular stepped areas are dedicated to other Hindu gods of Sanatana Dharma: Shri Sita-Ram, Shri Radha-Krishna, Shri Lakshmi-Narayan, and Shri Shiv-Parvati.
The inside of the Akshardham mandir can be partitioned into nine mandapams or topical spaces. These nine mandapams are loaded with unpredictably cut murtis and columns and covered by unique arches and roofs. Going through these mandapams, one meets eminent aficionados, special symbols, and cheering divine creatures. The grandiose plans and complicated carvings of the mandapams move the impression of God’s incomprehensible excellence and the magnificence he carries in creation.
- Swaminarayan Mandapam- The focal sanctum or garbhagruh of the mandir structures the Swaminarayan Mandapam. Akshardham is God’s timeless residence, a particular spot of incredible splendor, quietness, and magnificence. The Swaminarayan Mandapam is a human work to carry a part of the eternality to this planet and gift it back to God as his natural home.
- A spectacular, lavishly cut arch covers Paramsansa Mandapam- The 72 ft high Paramhansa Mandapam with the murtis of the paramhansas of Bhagwan Swaminarayan. These paramhansas were started into monkhood by Bhagwan Swaminarayan and taught in yoga, sacred writings, and starknesses. The four-sided and eight-sided columns are called ‘Swastik Sthambhs’ in the old Shilpa shastras. Columns in the Paramhansa Mandapam highlight murtis of the 24 unique types of Lord Keshav. The Keshav structures have unique names regarding the heavenly items they convey, as per the antiquated Panchratra Shastra. The foundation of God’s 24 Keshav structures and four Chaturvyuh structures is a remarkable recovery of an old practice.
- Ghanshyam Mandapam- The Ghanshyam Mandapam, laying on eight columns, has a 38 ft wide saucer-structured vault, 32 ft from the beginning, a remarkable engineering accomplishment. This vault is one of four such arches in the mandir. The luxurious roof of Ghanshyam Mandapam highlights the fragile murti of Ghanshyam, the child form of Bhagwan Swaminarayan. Mainstays of this mandapam have wonderful carvings portraying the youth episodes of Bhagwan Swaminarayan.
- Lila Mandapam- The Lila Mandapam is 72 ft high and has a lavishly etched arch. On its four-colored columns are carvings depicting stories from the existence of Bhagwan Swaminarayan as a child, an adolescent, and as the head of the Swaminarayan confidence.
- Neelkanth Mandapam- At the age of eleven, Bhagwan Swaminarayan disavowed his home and became known as Neelkanth Varni, performing extraordinary starknesses during his seven-year journey of India by walking. The captivating accounts of Neelkanth have been cut in stone on the eight-sided columns and saucer-molded arch that is 32 ft high. At the arch community lies the captivating murti of Neelkanth Varni performing starknesses at Muktinath, an antiquated traveler place in Nepal.
- Smruti Mandapam- As tokens of Bhagwan Swaminarayan’s experience on this Earth, the rearmost nook of the Akshardham Temple is home to the ‘Smruti Mandapam’ in which the sacred relics of Bhagwan Swaminarayan are saved for darshan. His impressions, hair, mala, garments, and different antiques help us remember his manifestation on this Earth somewhat over 200 years ago. On all peripheries of the mandapam, paramhansas and lovers cheer in God’s essence on Earth.
- Sahajanand Mandapam- Resting on eight-sided columns is a 32-ft high saucer-molded vault, at whose middle lies an excellent stone murti of Bhagwan Swaminarayan situated underneath a rambling neem tree. The mandapam gets its name from Sahajanand Swami, given to Bhagwan Swaminarayan when he was started as an austere. Before long, at age 21, Sahajanand Swami gave his adherents the ‘Swaminarayan’ mantra and established the Swaminarayan cooperation, starting his divine mission of spreading ekantik dharma. Before long, he came to be prevalently known as Bhagwan Swaminarayan.
- Bhakta Mandapam- In Bhagwan Swaminarayan’s lifetime, around 2,000,000 individuals in western India considered themselves his bhaktas or fans. Through his heavenly impact, he raised valuable individuals from the obligations of obliviousness to the lifted otherworldly territory of God-acknowledgment. As a result, freed spirits or muktas unceasingly experience his rapture in the heavenly residence, Akshardham. Addressing these raised spirits are 148 sculptures of a portion of his passionate adherents. Each layer of this vault has models addressing muktas dwelling in Akshardham.
- Purushottam Mandapam- In the focal point of the arch of the Purushottam Mandapam, one finds the beautiful marble murti of ‘Purushottam’ Bhagwan Swaminarayan with his ideal fan ‘Akshar,’ Gunatitanand Swami. Various freed spirits encompass Akshar and Purushottam as godlikeness emanates toward each path from their gathering. Each layer of this vault has models addressing muktas living in Akshardham.
The outer veneer of an ancestral stone temple is known as a handover. Swaminarayan Akshardham’s handover is the most significant, most unpredictably cut handover constructed in India in the last 800 years. It is 25 feet high, 611 feet in length, and elements 200 designed stone figures of a significant number of Hinduism’s incredible rishis, sadhus, aficionados, acharyas, and symbols. The foundation of the handover is known as the jagati. In this layer, one tracks down carvings of living creatures from our ordinary world. To begin with, we have the elephant, which is an image of solidarity, then, at that point, the lion, which represents dauntlessness and fierceness. From there on, one finds the vyal (a Pauranic creature) that was famous for speed.
In the resulting layers, one tracks down carvings of blossoms that represent excellence and scent. The handover, known as vibhuti, are symbols, sages, devas, acharyas, and specialists. What’s more, on top inside this layer are the samarans that urge individuals to take a stab at otherworldly tallness throughout everyday life. The whole mandovar moves a person to free his life from the shackles of ordinary delights and rise to the traditional territory of God-acknowledgment.
It is an old Hindu practice to perform pradakshinas or circumambulations as a worthy gesture and supplications. Hence, the steadfast walk clockwise around mandirs to support the conviction that God should be the focal point of one’s life. At the Akshardham mandir, the way for conducting these circumambulations is adorned with three 60 feet in length bronze help boards. These boards represent divine episodes from the existence of Bhagwan Swaminarayan and help the dedicated strolling these ways to recollect God as they perform circumambulations. The layer of the mandir where these boards are introduced is known as the Narayan Peeth.
A mandir stands, customarily and emblematically, on the shoulders of elephants. But, in an exceptionally innovative transformation, the elephants at the foundation of Swaminarayan Akshardham are not simply stopping. The Gajendra Peeth or Elephant Plinth gives stories and legends of elephants’ nature, with people and with God. This portrayal of elephants respects these fantastic yet delicate creatures and shares harmony, excellence, and tenderness messages.
- The Goat, The Lion, and The Elephant- A lost goat in a dull wilderness takes asylum in a lion’s impression to save itself from being assaulted by wild creatures. When the lion shows up, it is appeased and satisfied to see the little goat’s confidence in his impression. He favors her with insurance and requests an elephant, putting the goat on the elephant’s head to move her securely and respectably to her home. The lesson of this Panchtantra story is that even a conventional soul is secured and accomplishes significance by taking shelter of the extraordinary.
- As Much Gold as An Elephant- Once, a lord is satisfied with a writer’s ability and vows to reimburse him with gold comparable to the heaviness of an elephant. In any case, that makes a test – how might one gauge an elephant? A splendid clergyman finds the arrangement. First, an elephant is driven into a boat. The profundity to which the ship dunks into the water is stamped. Then, at that point, the elephant is forced out of the ship, and the ship is loaded up with gold till it plunges to a similar imprint. This is the heaviness of gold comparable to one elephant. The lord is intrigued with his pastor’s knowledge – and they presently realize how to track down the heaviness of an elephant.
- Samudra Manthan (Churning of the Ocean)- The Devtas and Danavs get together to beat the sea for ‘amrut’ – the nectar of everlasting status. Utilizing the snake Vasuki as a rope and Mount Mandrachal as the beating bar, they produced 14 valuable things from the sea, every one of which is asserted by either the Devtas or the Danavs. The seven-trunked trinket, Airavat, is claimed by Lord Indra. Airavat is viewed as an image of favorability, abundance, and power.
- Bhima Brings Airavat- Airavat is proclaimed as the lord of the creature world and the vehicle of Indra, leader of the sky. Airavat is a trinket with seven trunks, a typically heavily clad body, and heavenly insusceptibility to fire and wounds. When Kunti, mother of the Pandavas, sees an impression of Airavat in the supernatural floor of the royal residence of Indraprastha, she wishes to see and love it face to face. To satisfy his mom’s desire, Bhima arrives at the sky, overcomes the powers ensuring the heavenly elephant, and gladly brings Airavat from the sky. Bhima makes a pathway of arrows among paradise and Earth for the cosmic elephant’s plummet. This story from the Mahabharat expects to show that the child must satisfy their parent’s desires.
- Let Barking Dogs Bark- A bunch of wild canines’ plots against moving toward elephants. They endeavor to assault it and hurt it. However, the elephant is too enormous and solid. They chose to panic it by woofing and wailing, yet the elephant is too spectacular to even think about paying any notice. It is said that “Let yelping canines bark, the elephant doesn’t stop to tune in or think back, nor change its way or step.”
The shows are shown in three huge lobbies, each with a unique presentation style. They are provenance of training, education, and motivation; they are a fourfold mix of craftsmanship, science, culture, and devotion. A decent combination of antiquated qualities and intelligence and the best of current media and innovation, the shows give an incredible, soul-blending experience of Hindu legacy and general attributes. The three lobbies are Sahajanand Darshan – Hall of Values; Neelkanth Darshan – Large Format Film; Sanskruti Darshan – Cultural Boat Ride.
- Sahajanand Darshan (Hall of Values)- Visitors stroll into a universe of qualities that can transform them and the world. Overall attributes like love, ahimsa (peacefulness), courage, administration, lowliness, empathy, profound awareness, trustworthiness, solidarity, and harmony are shown through a progression of displays utilizing animatronic figures, dramatic portrayals, and brief recordings.
- Neelkanth Darshan (Giant Screen Film)- This exceptional goliath screen theater gives the experience of the highest mountains and most profound canyons of the Himalayas, journey across the tropical jungles of Assam and the Rameshwaram mandir. Then, it continues in the strides of Neelkanth, an energetic Bhagwan Swaminarayan, on his excursion across the Indian subcontinent in this epic huge organization film.
- Sanskruti Darshan (Cultural Boat Ride)- Board a boat and sail through millennia of antiquated Indian history. Experience the way of life of the Vedic time. Pass through the most established college and watch an eye on a medical procedure happening more than 1,000 years prior. This brief boat ride presents a portion of India’s significant commitments to the world.
The Akshardham grounds’ two gardens further the opinions indicated by the Ten Gates toward the beginning one’s visit to Akshardham: ‘May great contemplations come to us from all headings and rouse our lives.’ Both the nurseries assist guests with unwinding while at the same time investigating the public history and global learnings. With sculptures of extraordinary individuals and statements from across the world, these nurseries encourage shrewdness in their shade.
- Bharat Upavan- Bharat Upavan radiates a tremendous everyday and social mood through its green gardens and bronze sculptures of some extraordinary good examples of India. India’s brave heroes, political dissidents, incredible women, and other public figures motivate guests with qualities and pride for our great country.
- Yogi Hriday Kamal- The Yogihriday Kamal is a lotus-structured garden that brings the insight of extraordinary pioneers from around the world and across time. It is named to pay tribute to Yogiji Maharaj, the fourth heavenly replacement of Bhagwan Swaminarayan and the master whose call to construct a mandir on the Yamuna is at the core of Akshardham’s motivation. Yogiji Maharaj consistently asked, “May God do the benefit of all.” He had boundless confidence in God and God-enlivened humankind. In this uplifting garden devoted to him, every petal mirrors his propitious feelings of gaining from everybody and doing useful for all, with confidence in God and in the decency that lives in each ‘hriday’ – the heart.
Sahaj Anand (Multimedia Water Show)
This Multimedia Water Show gives the immense experience of eternality as sunsets. It has the following components:
- The Arena- The Sahaj Anand Water Show calls the Yagnapurush Kund its home. A reproduction of excellent customary advance wells measures 300′ x 300′ and has 2,870 stages and 108 little sanctums. The nine-lotus plan of the focal pool is a replication of a custom yantra or course of action utilized in hallowed Hindu services. At the top of the progression well is the 27 feet tall bronze murti of Neelkanth Varni. He directs the passage well, motivating assurance, dedication, and mental fortitude in all who get his sight.
- The Show- The Sahaj Anand Water Show is a unique 24-minute show which joins an assortment of magnetic media to rejuvenate a story from the Kena Upanishad. Multicolor lasers, video projections, submerged flares, water planes, and sound in the orchestra with lights and live entertainers produce an enthralling and moving show. Worldwide specialists contributed their skills with BAPS volunteers and sadhus to create this unique show.
- The Story- Children play around a lake and are amazed to see the water participating in their good times. Before long, through their dance and tune, a blossom is made from the water of the lake. Notwithstanding, their cheerfulness upsets the devas – divine forces of the components – who are commending a triumph over the devils. The youngsters’ weak blossom is at risk of being annihilated by the fury of the divine beings. The honesty and any expectation of a child are set in opposition to the powers and self-image of the devas. As the situation transpires, find whether the blossom endures. Become familiar with the mystery of Sahaj Anand – natural, unconstrained rapture. This story is taken from the Kena Upanishad, one of the many fortunes of information and astuteness from the Vedic period.