Here are some facts you should know about Akshardham Temple.
The Akshardham temple is the second largest Hindu temple in India, situated on the outskirts of Delhi. It is also referred to as Swaminarayan Akshardham or Delhi Akshardham. The construction and completion of the temple took five years with the help of 3,000 volunteer and 7,000 artisans.
The Hindi term Akshardham means the abode of God. A ‘Dham’ in Hindi is otherwise also supposed to be a place where people visit as a pilgrimage site to attain ‘moksha’ or salvation. The temple has been built with hand-carved stone without structural steel. The stone that is used is mostly sandstone and marble, everything else that has been used or made in the temple has some of the other spiritual or religious significance.
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Let’s find out about the other related facts you should know about Akshardham Temple, New Delhi:
- The initiative to build this beautiful structure was taken by the Bochasanwasi Shri Akshar Purushottam Swaminarayan Sanstha (BAPS). While the idea was inspired by Yogiji Maharaj (1892-1971 CE) and the construction took place under the supervision of his holiness Pramukh Swami Maharaj.
- It has 10 gates which are representative of ten different directions according to the Vedas.
- It has also earned its name in the Guinness Book of World Records in the year 2007 for being World’s Largest Comprehensive Hindu Temple. The magnificent temple is spread across 86,342 sq ft (8,021.4 m2).
- The lush green lawns of Akshardham temple are known as ‘Garden of India’ or ‘Bharat Upavan’. Since the temple is also built in the memory of Bhagwan Swaminarayan ( 1781-1830), the bronze statues that are placed in the gardens are not only confined to divine gods but also figures of some eminent real-life personalities of India.
- The temple consists of more than 200 sculptures and idols of many great saints, sages and other divine incarnations. With it, the temple is replete with 234 pillars, 9 domes and over 20,000 statues in total.
- The ‘Gajendra Pith’ situated at the base of the temple has 148 life-size elephants. It was created to pay tribute to the animal as it holds a great importance in the culture and history of the country. The elephants in the past played a significant role in maintaining the forests and the ecosystem.
- Even though the temple represents the Vedic Hindu culture and the many figurines introduce us our supreme history and marvels of ancient art and literature, the Temple is equally modern. The Garden that is in the shape of a Lotus flower has many inscriptions and quotes by Swami Vivekananda, Shakespeare, Martin Luther King, and other distinguished personalities.
- The Musical fountain in the Akshardham complex ‘Yagnapurush Kund’, is India’s largest step well. The well’s steps work as a place to rest for the visitors who come to witness the multimedia water show known as Sahaj Anand water show.
- The lake that surrounds the Akshardham Temple is known as ‘Narayan Sarovar’. It carries water from 151 lakes in India; the water that falls out of the mouth of 108 cows represents the 108 Hindu deities.
- The orbital path meant for Parikrama around the Akshardham temple is a 3,000 feet long path made of red stones which were brought from Rajasthan.
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