[Jan 4]NEW DELHI,India--The Akshardham
temple in Indian capital New Delhi measures 356 ft. long, 316 ft.
wide and 141 ft. high, covering an area of 86,342 sq. ft. and has
set the world record for the Largest Hindu Temple.
The grand, ancient-style, ornately hand-carved stone
temple has been built without structural steel within five years
by 11,000 artisans and volunteers. (enlarge
His Holiness Pramukh Swami Maharaj, revered spiritual
leader of BAPS, consecrated the temple on 6 November 2005.
Spread over 30 acres, the temple was opened to
public two years ago and now gets over one lakh people visitors
every week.It draws 8,000 visitors on an average everyday.
This complex is surrounded by a sacred water lake,
Narayan Sarovar which contains holy waters from 151 rivers and lakes
sanctified by Bhagwan Swaminarayan, including Mansarovar. (enlarge
Consecrated on November 6, 2005, by Pramukh Swami
Narayanswaroopdas of temple trust Bochasanwasi Sri Akshar Purushottam
Swaminarayan Sanstha (BAPS), the temple has 234 ornately carved
pillars, nine domes and 20 quadrangular shikhars.
is home to the idols of all the 24 avatars (incarnations) of Hindu
god Vishnu, not the usual 10 as is believed. The temple, according
to officials, has 208 sculptures of the almost all Indian deities
like the Radha-Krishna, Sita-Ram, Parvati-Mahadev, Laxmi-Narayana,
Revati-Balram, Savitri-Brahma, Nar Narayan and Aksar-Purushottam.
Around 7,000 artisans from Rajasthan, Orissa and Bengal
carried out the intricate carving on the walls. A specialty of the
temple is that no steel was used in its construction. “Steel leads
to corrosion due to harsh weather conditions which in turn leads
to reduced life of the structure,” said Janakbhai Dave, temple’s
public relation officer.
'In 2000, we were told by our spiritual teacher
that a temple had to be built on the banks of the Yamuna. Initially,
we gathered 1,000 stone crafters. They were not enough and so we
then told them to bring all their male relatives, teach them the
art of crafting stones, as the skill is inherited, and hired them
A visitor's view (Blogreen):
The complex is such a grandeur which epitomises 10,000
years of Indian culture. It is a rare example that showcases the
essence of India’s ancient architecture, traditions and timeless
spiritual messages. The Akshardham experience is an enlightening
journey through India’s glorious art, values and contributions for
the progress, happiness and harmony of mankind.
Only small female purses or male wallets allowed.Cell
phones and other electronic devices are prohibited. Entry to the
complex is free. But for exhibitions and light and sound show inside
the complex, one has to take tickets.