One of the largest temple complexes in Gujarat, Swaminarayan Akshardham Temple is an architectural marvel. Located in the heart of Gandhinagar city, Akshardham was commissioned by Bochasanwasi Shri Akshar Purushottam Swaminarayan Sanstha (BAPS) after initiation by its promoter, Pramukh Swami Maharaj. This magnificent temple has a predecessor in Delhi.
Akshardham Mandir was inaugurated in November 1992 by Pramukh Maharaj and today it is one of the most popular attractions as well as religious sites in Gandhinagar. The temple complex is not only visited by the devotees but it is also a hub that promotes, Indian culture, art and values.
The main sanctum of the temple houses the gilded statue of Lord Swaminarayan, which is 7 feet tall. The floors of the temple have been given different names such as Vibhuti Mandapam, Hari Mandapam and Prasadi Mandapam. There are several sections on all the floors where the devotees are involved with unselfish services to the Lord. The organization that runs the temple wishes that the people should gain knowledge about the cultural roots and fine spirituality of the country.
Boasting of extremely peaceful surroundings, Akshardham in Gandhinagar takes its cue from Sthapatya Shastra. Promoting spirituality, art, devotion, education, research, and architecture, the temple complex has 3 permanent exhibition halls- Sat-Chit-Anand, Sahajanand, and Nityanand.
Belonging to the Hindu Swaminarayan group, this colossal temple was completed in a span of 13 years. The length of the arcade of the temple is around 1751 feet. The enormous construction has a height of 108 feet, a length of 240 feet and a width of 131 feet. Famed for being an architectural achievement, the temple was made using 6000 tons of pink sandstone brought in here from Rajasthan. Trained artisans from Bansipahadpur, around 1000 in numbers, have done the detailed carvings. Iron and steel was not used in the construction of Akshardham temple of Gujarat.
This is a wonderful exhibition that is an illustration of the life of Lord Swaminarayan, using creative shows and settings. This exhibition also has ‘travel in time’, a small copy of Chhapiya hamlet, a cosmos of fiber-optics, another show a ‘Journey through India’ along with 3 ‘sound-n-light’ shows.
Presented in fiberglass figures and a walk-through orbit, Nityanand is that presentation that has special messages from the Ramayana, Mahabharata and Upnishads. The exhibition show consists of a scheme of a Gurkula, a copy of Hastinapur Palace of Mahabharata, a description on ‘Harmony of world religions’, an audio-animatronics show and devotional works of different saint-poets.
A beautiful meditative garden where the magnificent Akshardham is also positioned, Sahajanand Van offers stunning views of nature’s beauty. Adorned with colorful flora, this garden looks charming with scatterings of lakes, spray fountains, swings, herbal gardens and waterfalls. The garden spreads in an area of 15 acres.
AARSH (Research Center)
The Akshardham Center for Applied Research in Social Harmony (AARSH) is an inventive research institute, which includes of study centers, a well-loaded library as well as archives. The main aim of this center is making use of the past knowledge, study the modern trends and search for some good solutions for the future times.
Location: Sector 20, J Road, Gandhinagar
Dedicated to: Lord Swaminarayan
Built by: Pramukh Swami Maharaj and BAPS
Built in: Between 1979 -1992
Attractions: One of Gujarat’s largest temple complexes, it has elaborate architecture and several exhibitions.
Timings: 09.30 AM- 06.30 PM (Closed on Monday)
Note: Cell phones, cameras, and bags are not permissible in the temple