Akshardham Temple is a marvel of architecture
that is unfolding the cultural legacy of
10,000 years. The construction of this grand
structure took around 5 laborious years.
Today, this imposing structure, standing
on the banks of serene Yamuna River near
Nizamuddin Bridge in Delhi, attracts millions
of tourists and devotees to its doorstep.
In Nov' 2005, Akshardham Mandir was inaugurated
by Dr. Abdul Kalam, the honorable President
and Mr. Manmohan Singh, the Prime Minister
The term 'Akshardham' is derived from two
words 'Akshar' and 'Dham', where 'Akshar'
means the eternal and 'dham' means 'abode'.
Consequently, Akshardham means the abode
of the divine, the eternal. It is actually
the abode of eternal values, principles
and virtues that are mentioned in the scriptures
(Vedas, Puranas) of the Hindu mythology.
Within the temple, the 11 feet high gilded
image of Bhagwan Swami Narayan appears mesmerizing
to the beholder. The image is encircled
by the preachers (gurus) of the cult.
The meticulous flora, fauna, dancers, musicians
and deities drape the complex of Akshardham
Temple. The imposing structure was built
with the blessings of Pramukh Swami Maharaj,
the promoter of BAPS (Bochasanwasi Shri
Akshar Purushottam Swaminarayan Sanstha).
This NGO has built majestic and ostentatious
temples worldwide, other being Akshardham
Temple of Gujarat in India.
Swaminarayan Akshardham Temple is the quintessence
of the Indian rich legacy, traditions, ancient
architecture and everlasting spiritual messages.
The grand structure, lush gardens, exhibitions
and various other attractions peep into
the heritage of India in all its aspects
and insights. The temple complex showcases
the Indian heritage through various exhibitions
like 'Sahajanand Pradarshan', 'Nilkanth
Kalyan Yatra',' Sankruti Vihar', 'Yagnapurush
Kund' , 'Bharat Upavan' and 'Yogi Hraday
'Sahajanand Pradarshan' (Hall of Values)
is a hall that displays life-like robotics
and dioramas. Through the medium of audio-animatronics,
the events from Bhagwan Swaminarayan's life
are portrayed. These events leave the message
of peace, harmony, modesty, kind service
and devotion to God. This hall embraces
the world's smallest animatronic robot in
the outlook of Ghanshyam Maharaj (the child
figure of Bhagwan Swaminarayan).
Nilkanth Kalyan Yatra
'Nilkanth Kalyan Yatra' is another hall
that comprises a giant screen film. This
85' x 65' screen is the first and only large
screen of Delhi. The theatre portrays a
movie, which is specially designed to show
the epic pilgrimage made by an 11 year old
child (Bhagwan Swaminarayan) across India.
The third destination is 'Sanskruti Vihar',
which involves a boat ride of 10 minutes.
This enthralling ride is made through peacock
shaped boats that make their way in a non-natural
river. This river passes through the world's
first university of Takshashila, chemistry
laboratories, ancient hospitals, bazaars
and Ajanta-Ellora caves. The ride concludes
with a message for the future of the World.
Yagnapurush Kund / Musical Fountain
Yagnapurush Kund is the fourth destination
embracing largest step well of India. This
has a huge series of steps that take down
to a traditional 'yagna kund'. In the daytime,
these steps make a place to relax for the
tired visitors, while in the night; these
steps make the seats for the audience that
come to watch the musical fountain show.
Bharat Upavan / Garden of India
Bharat Upavan encompasses lush manicured
lawns with trees and shrubs. Sprawled in
the area of sixty acres, the garden is adorned
by the bronze statues of contributors to
Indian culture, values and national pride.
Yogi Hraday Kamal
Yogi Hraday Kamal is a sunken garden that
is wrought like a lotus. This magnificent
garden features massive stones stamped with
quotes from legends of the world. The variety
of quotes ranges from Shakespeare, Martin
Luther King to Swami Vivekananda and Bhagwan
Swaminarayan Akshardham has been accredited
for being the largest temple complex of
India. It is amazing to know that this temple
is built wholly in stone as per Sthaapatya
Shastra, the architectural science of India.
No iron or steel has been used in the construction
of this temple. The beams, used for support
are 22ft long single piece of stone. The
intricately carved pillars appears, as if,
whole poetry has been carved in stone. The
temple extends to the height of 10 stories,
where inch to inch of stone is delicately
imprinted and what is more, the fascia appears
This colossal structure comprises 234 intricately
carved pillars, 9 flamboyant domes, 20 quadrangled
spires and magnificent a Gajendra Pith.
It also boasts of 20,000 idols and statues
that depict the great Indian souls in the
form of sadhus, devotees, acharyas and divine
celebrities. Elevated to the height of 141
feet, the tallest spire of the temple makes
the house of the image of Lord Swaminarayan.
An enormous amount of 2 million was spent
for the erection of this majestic place
of worship. The structure swallowed around
6000 tons of pink sand stone that was all
brought from Rajasthan. This technique guarantees
the fact that the shrine would last for
a thousand years. The edifice took not less
than 12 million man hours of 11,000 practiced
craftsmen to carve every nook and corner.
The splendid architecture of this temple
provides glimpse of different architectural
styles prevalent in India.
A part of lush green Aravalis in the plains
of Northern India gave way to the capital
of India - Delhi, several centuries ago.
Like Agra, the city of Taj, it is also situated
on the banks of river Yamuna. It has Himalayas
to its north and is surrounded by land from
all sides. Position inland, far away from
sea, it has extreme continental type of
climate. The weather conditions of Delhi
are quite varied with scorching summers
and chilling dry winters.
In summers, the days are unbearably hot
due to scorching heat of the sun. The day
temperature can soar up to as high as 48
deg C. Tourists are advised to exercise
extreme precaution during summers. They
should drink lots of water and liquids before
venturing out to face the heat waves. Comfortable
clothes should be worn to avoid inconvenience.
Sticking to cottons is a very good option.
In contrast, during the winters, the mercury
can dip down to as low as 2 deg C.
Misty mornings, foggy evenings and delightfully-mild
sunny afternoons make up for a normal winter
day. During Monsoon, in July and August,
Delhi gets an average rainfall of approximately
714 mm (28.1 inches). However, the annual
rainfall is extremely variable, with the
lowest recorded since 1864 being 261mm (10.27
inches) and the highest 1,583mm (62.3 inches).
The average date of the advent of monsoon
winds in Delhi is 29 June.
The best time to visit Delhi, especially
for tourism purposes, is the spring season,
from February to April, and the autumn season,
from August to November. Besides, the blooming
seasons in February and March are often
accompanied by various colorful spring festivals
such as Vasant Panchmi, the festival of
flowers and Holi, the best-known festival
New Delhi is the capital of India. Therefore,
it is well connected to almost all the parts
of the country. A number of people travel
to Delhi everyday, for different reasons.
For reaching Delhi, you can take effective
means of transport like bus, train or airplane,
depending on your location and pocket. Thus,
you need not worry regarding how to reach
Delhi. There are a number of national as
well as international flights to and from
the Indira Gandhi International Airport
that will help you in traveling to the city.
This makes the city reachable for both national
and international tourists.
- Air: Delhi is well
connected with domestic and international
flights, to all the major cities within
and outside India. Almost all the major
airlines have their flights operating
from Indira Gandhi International Airport
of New Delhi.
- Rail: The railway network
connects Delhi to the all major and, nearly,
all the minor destinations in India. The
three important railway stations of Delhi
are New Delhi Railway Station, Old Delhi
Railway Station and Hazrat Nizamuddin
- Bus: Delhi is well
connected, by a network of roads and national
highways, with all the major cities in
India. The three major bus stands in Delhi
are Inter State Bus Terminus (ISBT) at
Kashmiri Gate, Sarai Kale-Khan Bus Terminus
and Anand Vihar Bus Terminus. Both the
government and private transport providers
provide frequent bus services. One can
also get government as well as private