Akshardham Temple, Delhi, A Complete Guide. In today’s busy schedule, it is very hard to find any relaxation from our daily, monotonous lives. Not only the long, boring hours make us feel negative, but it also drains out all our positivity. We often tend to feel low spirited and less motivated.
There are numerous temples and holy shrines in our country that have been motivating people for centuries now.
People from all caste, religions and creed visit these sacred places to seek positivity and blessings. Akshardham Temple is one such divine place that attracts pilgrims and followers from all over the country.
About Akshardham Temple
Commonly known as Swaminarayan Akshardham Complex, the Akshardham Temple is a complex of spiritual and cultural manifestation and is located in Delhi. The architecture of the temple was built strictly following the Vashtushastra and blends in rich Hindu and Indian culture.
The temple was opened for the mass public on November 6, 2005, and was inaugurated by Pramukh Swami Maharaj. A.P.J Abdul Kalam, Manmohan Singh, L.K Advani and B.L Joshi were also present during the ceremony.
The central shrine of the temple houses the main deity, Swaminarayan. There are other exhibition halls that show the work of Swaminarayan and gardens that add to the complex of the temple.
Other than these, there is also an Abhishek Mandapa, a cultural boat ride, a water show and a thematic garden along with few other halls.
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The Architecture of Akshardham Temple
The main Akshardham Temple of the Swaminarayan Akshardham Complex has a height of 141 feet and a width of 316 feet. It is completely built from Rajasthani pink sandstone and Italian Carrara marbles.
As the temple is built maintaining the traditional Hindu guidelines, it uses no metal and thus has no concrete or steel support.
The temple has nine domes, 234 pillars that are ornate and more than 20,000 sculptures of swamis, devotees, and saints. It also has 148 life-sized elephants. The entire temple has stone carvings depicting flora, fauna, deities, musicians and dancers.
Lying under the central dome of the temple is the 11 feet high statue of Swaminarayan that is built from five metals. The temple also has idols of Sita Ram, Radha Krishna, Shiva Parvati and Laxmi Narayan.
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Things to Do At Akshardham Temple
Swaminarayan Akshardham Temple Complex is not only about the Akshardham Temple, but it also offers numerous activities and things to do for the visitors and entertain their guests.
Sahajanand Darshan or the Hall of Values
This exhibition hall offers robotic displays of Swaminarayan and has the smallest robot in the world, Ghanshyam Maharaj, the childhood form of Swaminarayan.
The hall has audiovisual displays that teach morals to the visitors and promotes non-violence, vegetarianism, etc. You can spend an hour or so in this hall gaining knowledge about the deity.
Cultural Boat Ride
The cultural boat ride lasts for about 15 minutes. It, with the help of robots, explains the contributions of various people in the courses of study. It also then focuses on the lineage of time, starting from the Takshila University to middle age and then finally the modern age.
This is actually an IMAX theatre that runs a 40-minute show on the pilgrimage of Swaminarayan. The show is very informative and can be enjoyed by all visitors.
Yagnapurush Kund or Musical Fountain
The Musical Fountain is actually a stepwell and the largest one in India. During the day, it is used as a resting place for sages and pilgrims, but at night the place hosts a spectacular fountain show that uses actors, lights, water jets, dancing fountains to explain the life of a sage.
Bharat Upavan or The Garden of India
The Bharat Upavan is actually a garden that has numerous bronze sculptures of deities, freedom fighters, leaders and important personalities of our country.
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Akshardham Temple Timings
The Akshardham Temple is open for visitors from 10.30 AM in the morning to 6.30 PM in the evening, when the night aarti is done, and the temple is closed for the day. You can visit the temple anytime during these hours.
Akshardham Temple Entry Fees
Akshardham Temple receives numerous visitors every day, and thus it has kept the entry fee charges at a minimum price. For adults, the fee is Rs 175, and for children, the ticket is priced at Rs 100.
If you are a senior citizen or you have a senior citizen travelling with you have to pay Rs 125 for the ticket.
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How to Reach Akshardham Temple
As Akshardham Temple is located just at the centre of the city, Delhi, you can book a flight to the Delhi airport and after reaching there, take a cab to the temple which is located just an hour away from the airport.
Delhi is the capital city of India and well connected with all the other major cities of the country. You can also choose a metro to reach the temple. The nearest metro station is the Akshardham Metro station, located 3 kilometres away from the temple.
If you are travelling from within the city or neighbouring cities, you can board a rickshaw or private cab, and there are numerous buses travelling to the temple complex bus terminal.
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Best Time to Visit Akshardham Temple
As Delhi receives high temperatures during summers and very low temperatures during winter, it experiences both scorching heat and freezing winter. As a result, both the winter and summer months are climate-wise unfavourable to visit the temple.
The months from July to October are the most comfortable and best time to visit Akshardham Temple.
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Tourist Attractions Near Akshardham Temple
The Humayun’s Tomb is the tomb build for the Mughal Emperor Humayun. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and of huge historical importance. It was ordered to be built by Humayun’s wife Bega Begum, and she chose the architects herself.
With fine intrinsic artwork and carvings, Humayun’s Tomb was the first Mughal piece of architecture to use red sandstone at such a large scale.
Other than the main tomb, the complex has numerous other monuments and graves of Empress Bega Begum, Hamida Begum and Dara Shikoh, the great-great-grandson of Humayun.
Build in the arch form and resembling the Arch of Constantine in Rome, India Gate is actually a War Memorial that was built to commemorate the more than 70,000 soldiers from India who died fighting in the First World War and Third Anglo-Afghan War.
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The monument is an iconic building and has a black platform build underneath the arch which has a rifle and a helmet that depicts a soldier and pays tribute to the unknown soldiers that died for our country.
Raj Ghat is the memorial that was built on the crematoria site of the Father of our Nation, Mahatma Gandhi. It is located on the banks of the River Yamuna and is built on a lush green lawn.
The memorial is a simple one, made up of black marble and has the last words of Mahatma Gandhi “Hey Ram” written on it. There is also an ever-burning lamp placed on the slab.
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Besides Raj Ghat numerous other memorials exist like that of Indira Gandhi, Rajiv Gandhi, Jawaharlal Nehru, Atal Bihari Vajpayee, etc.
Also known as Lal Qila, the Red Fort was one of the main residences of the Mughal Royal Family after their capital was moved to Delhi from Agra. It was built by Shah Jahan and was the capital of his city Shahjahanabad.
The fort is made up of Rajasthani Sandstone which gives the red colour and has multiple apartments build inside the walls that stands on individual pavilions connected by the Stream of Paradise.
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Today, on every year Independence Day and Republic Day, the Prime Minister of India hoists the National Flag from the Red Fort.
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