Dedicated To: Swaminarayan
Near Nizamuddin Bridge, New Delhi
Constructed By: BAPS
Year of Construction: 2005
Akshardham reflects the essence and magnitude of India's ancient
architecture, traditions and timeless spirituality.
monument, depicting ancient Indian "vastu shastra" and
architecture, is a marvel in pink sandstone and white marble that is 141
feet high, 316 feet wide and 370 feet long with 234 ornate pillars, over
20,000 sculptures and statues of deities, eleven 72-foot-high huge domes
(mandapams) and decorative arches. And like a necklace, a double-storied
parikrama of red sandstone encircles the monuments with over 155 small
domes and 1,160 pillars. The whole monument rises on the shoulders of
148 huge elephants with 11-feet tall panchdhatu statue of Swaminarayan
presiding over the structure.
other attractions of the complex are three exhibition halls spaced
around two huge ponds, where one is a venue for light-and-sound show.
The three halls are "Sahajanand Darshan", "Neelkanth
Darsdhan" and "Sanskruti Vihar". "Sahajanand Darshan"
is where life of Swaminarayan is displayed through robotic shows, while
"Neelkanth Darsdhan" has a huge I-Max theatre screening movie
based on the life of the Lord. Another amazing presentation is "Sanskruti
Vihar" with 12-minute
boat ride experience of India's glorious
The sprawling Swaminarayan Akshardham complex spread
over 30 acres on the banks of the Yamuna near Noida Mor in East Delhi.
the heart of the complex is a palace-like monument built of at least
12,000 tons of pink sandstone and white marble brought in from
Rajasthan. Topped with a series of domes, it stands 129 feet high, 275
feet wide and 315 feet long. Almost every square inch of the exterior
has been exquisitely carved with statues and motifs of Hindu deities and
Indian flora and fauna.
Pramukh Swami Maharaj, the 83-year-old
spiritual leader of the Swaminarayan sect that has over 10 lakh
followers across the globe, has closely monitored every detail of the
complex. It took over 7,000 builders, masons and polishers to build the
complex in record time. The place is built to withstand major quakes "and
to last at least a thousand years".
The complex also has
two huge exhibition halls; one will take visitors on a visual journey
through India's cultural heritage, while the other "will depict
Indian moral values through a light-and-sound show". The complex
also boasts of an Imax cinema, a canteen big enough to accommodate 5,000
people at one sitting, a research centre for "social harmony"
and meditation gardens dotted with fountains and bronze sculptures.