Swaminarayan Akshardham Temple, Gandhinagar, Gujarat

Written by Sejal Agarwal (Guest Post).

God indeed is omnipresent. But we, tired of the hustle-bustle of the world, when looking for a moment of solace, find peace in the vestibule of a temple. And how can we not talk about “India”, when we are talking about “temples”?

India, with a majority of her population following Hinduism, is a land of temples. Each temple has its remarkable style, history, and story. Out of the long list of beautiful and intriguing temples of India, let’s know about “The Akshardham Temple”, one of the most famous temples of our country.

The word Akshardham refers to the divine abode of Swaminarayan by his adherents. The visitors are mesmerized by the driving beauty of the temple. People visit the temple to worship God Swaminarayan. 

Location And Architecture Of The Akshardham Temple 

Swaminarayan Akshardham Gujarat
Image Credit- Swaminarayan Akshardham Gujarat Official Website

The Akshardham temple is located in Gandhinagar, Gujarat. It is one of the largest and most prominent temples in Gujarat. The famous Akshardham temple consists of several things under one roof like craft, pedagogy, architecture, exhibitions, and research.

The temple is an architectural masterwork. The Akshardham temple was built for the devotion of Lord Swaminarayan in 1992. The credit for of the Akshardham temple at Gandhinagar goes to Bochasanwasi Akshar-Purushottam Swaminarayan Sanstha. 

The Akshardham temple consists of the 7 feet long icon of Swaminarayan, the chief divinity at the temple. The temple is a modern complex, built in traditional Indian architectural style from 7000 metric tons of pink sandstone. The sculpture was built by superior artisans from Bansipahadpur. 

The Akshardham temple is a huge temple located in the Gandhinagar district of Gujarat. It took 13 long
years to build the temple. It is spread over 22 acres in area, the temple is applauded to Swaminarayan. Six hundred metric tons of pink sandstone was brought from Rajasthan to build the Akshardham temple.

Swaminarayan Akshardham Gujarat
Image Credit- Swaminarayan Akshardham Gujarat Official Website

The temple emerges from the Vedic architecture principles, which means that no iron and steel were used in the construction. To support the temple, a stone pillar was made, each 20 feet long, and 6 tons heavy.

The epicentre of the temple is 108 feet high, 130 feet wide and 230 feet long. There are 97 carved pillars, 17 domes, 8 corridors, 220 stone rods, and 264 carved sculptures. ln, the middle section of the temple a 7.5 feet long, gold-plated statue of Swaminarayan is made. The statue is built upon a 3-feet pedestal.

The Akshardham temple has exhibition halls, open green garden, house theatres, etc. The basement of the temple is called Prasad Mandapam, in which various holy memorials of Swaminarayan’s life are displayed.

The first floor of the temple also known as the Vibhuti Mandapam has a lotus-shaped display interpreting the religious symbol of Swaminarayan.

Akshardham Temple Attack

Swaminarayan Akshardham Gujarat
Image Credit- Swaminarayan Akshardham Gujarat Official Website

On 24 September 2002, Akshardham Temple was attacked by two terrorists, resulted in the killing of 32 people and the wounding of 70 people. The Indian National Security Guard entered the temple and ended up killing both the terrorists but it was late.

Pramukh Swami organized a praying assembly, 5 days after the attack. All the attendees were praying for the peaceful departure of the souls and their families. More than thirty thousand people gathered from the assembly.

The temple was reopened 14 days after the attack. The initiative of Pramukh standards for the communal and sectarian of the spirit was termed by a brigadier general as the Akshardham and described it as a replica to maintain peace and unity in society.

Construction Of Akshardham Temple

Swaminarayan Akshardham Gujarat
Image Credit- Swaminarayan Akshardham Gujarat Official Website

The beautiful Akshardham mandir was constructed by Pramukh Swami in 1979, and the body was completed in 1981. The stone of the temple was built with artistic skill in stonework, the process of building the stone was contouring, labelling, smoothing, and polishing.

Smoothing means chiselling the stone into smaller pieces, labelling and contouring involves stencilling the designs upon the stone, and to give layout patterns to the stone; the artisans used slices to list the designs into stone and finally, emery is used to polish the stone.

The structure of the temple was completed in 1985, the notions and techniques for the ceremony halls were developed in the next three years, and work on the exhibitions began in 1989. The Akshardham Temple was fully completed on 4 November 1992.

Also Read: Control Your Mind With Mind Control Techniques

Spiritual Significance

Swaminarayan Akshardham Gujarat
Image Credit- Swaminarayan Akshardham Gujarat Official Website

The element of Akshardham temple echoes with spirituality – the mandir, the exhibitions, and even the gardens. The Akshardham mandir has over 200 idols. The moral belief of Akshardham is that each soul is potentially holy.

This means whenever we are helping our family, neighbours, the country, or people all around the world, each act of tenderness can help people move towards a deity. The visit to the Akshardham temple is an enriching occurrence.

The worshiper realizes the strength of prayer, the advantage of non-violence, people also become aware of the nature of Hinduism’s ancient principles, or admiring the beauty of God’s home on Earth – each element has a vibrant significance.

The Akshardham temple consists of many holy statuses. One of the most unique structures is a man chiselling himself out of a yellow boundary conveys a beautiful message; Man is the creator of his own happiness.

Also Read: History And Ancient Architecture of Modhera Sun Temple

The Water Show

The Akshardham temple is also famous for its Sat-Chit-Anand Water Show. The show was initiated by Pramukh Swami. The vibrant show employs flame, fountain beam, water screen projections, melody, and live characters of Nachiketa choice. 

Swaminarayan Akshardham Gujarat
Image Credit- Swaminarayan Akshardham Gujarat Official Website

Nachiketa was the son of a rishi Udalak, who established a yanda in which he gifted barren cattle to Brahmin attendees. Nachiketa did not like his father’s betrayal and asked his father to offer himself in charity. 

Angered by this, Udalak banished Nachiketa to the world of Yama, the underworld. Nachiketa stayed at King Yama’s door for 3 days waiting for him. King Yama was impressed by Nachiketa and gave him three boons.

Nachiketa’s first wish was that his father welcomes him lovingly when he returns home; next was his father be given the knowledge so that he be worthy of living in the heavens; and lastly he attains an understanding of the eternal soul, which transcends death.

The story of Nachiketa gives lessons in realizing one’s self, the face of complications, and keeping a spiritual standpoint in any situation. The water show in the temple revolves around Nachiketa Story.

The temple is indeed a modern-day architectural miracle and reminds the Kingsley vision of a huge palace. The Akshardham temple is not only a temple where you go and pray to an idol but also have fun things like IMAX theatre captioning stories and the life of Swaminarayan.

People can know about the rich Indian history at the exhibition halls. One is bound to visit the temple once in a lifetime. Now pack your bag and start your wonderful trip to the Akshardham Temple.

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Sejal Agarwal is a Business student but has a vocation for writing. She loves to explore new things and read tales. She is living her dream of writing with Vibe Indian. Vibe Indian is a website that assimilates religious and spiritual sentiments among millions of Indians and Sanatani’s.

guest writer- the strong traveller

8 thoughts on “Swaminarayan Akshardham Temple, Gandhinagar, Gujarat

  1. The landscaping is beautifully crafted and the atmosphere is excellent for ya advice to effect with Spirituality the causes of discontent that assail us daily. 🙏🐕♒️🎈🥳

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