The Akshardham Temple is 28 kilometers from Ahmedabad. It is one of the finest contemporary Gujarat temples in India. The temple exhibits a blend of traditional sandstone carving with the latest technologies like fibre-optics, sound and light shows, multi-media, audio-visual shows, etc.
Video - In and Around Akshardham Temple
Akshardham Temple of Gujarat is not just a temple, but also a place of education, entertainment and enlightenment. The temple consists of 73 richly patterned and 63 partially carved pillars. The area is spread across 23-acres, where the temple complex is flooded with shrines, sculptures, parks, lakes and rides. All these embedded and come together to create the most powerful experience of Indian culture.
The temple is dedicated to Lord Swaminarayan and inspired by Pujya Pramukh Swami Maharaj. Akshardham Temple is a miracle worked by the service and devotion of thousands of volunteers.
Significance of the temple
This imposing 10 story high monument is made entirely of intricately carved designs , 6000 tons of pink sand-stone from the land of Rajasthan, with no steel or cement used at all, which ensures that the monument will last for a thousand years. More than 12 million man hours of 900 skilled craftsmen have created this very magnificent monument of 93 sculpted pillars, 40 windows carved from both sides, and a feast of forms and filigrees. The temple is built inch to inch according to the ancient Sthaapatya shastras of India.
The Akshardham temple at Gujarat has been constructed under the aegis of Bochasanwasi Akshar-Purushottam Swaminarayan Sanstha (BAPS) of India, which is headed by Pramukh Swami Maharaj.
On 2nd November, 1992 the Akshardham Swaminarayan Temple of Gujarat was inaugurated. The temple is beautifully carved stone edifice, which stands surrounded by expansive gardens. Akshardham Temple enshrines as much as seven-foot high, gold-leafed, idol of Lord Swaminarayan.
Hari Mandap which is the Main Floor has been the Prime attraction of Swaminarayan Temple where devottees start their day with prayers and meditation, work or study honestly and spend hours in serving other visitors. In addition, five principal vows are being followed here that include No Adultery, No Alcohol, No Stealing, No Meat and No Impurity of body and mind. By following these moral purity and spiritual thoughts it is believed that one can add a deeper brilliance to all the social services performed for betterment of life.
Prasadi Mandap is where one can see the garments, articles and other holy relics used by Lord Swaminarayan. The scientifically restored and honorably displayed holy relics provide satisfaction to the spiritual thirst of the devotees and visitors visiting the Scared temple.
Vibhuti Mandap which is the Upper Floor presents the divine philosophy and personality of Lord Swaminarayan by the way of his own sacred scriptures - The Vachanamrut. Here there are many people who are involved in voluntary services and if one wishes to can also involve himself/herself in such services.
Hall 1 (Sahajanand)
Hall 1 called (Sahajanand) exhibits and uses imaginative settings for showing and illustrating the life of Lord Swaminarayan. The exhibition showcases 'travel in time' through a video show, a fiber-optics cosmos, miniature recreation of Chapala village, three 'sound-n-light' shows, etc.
Hall 2 (Sat-Chit-Anand)
Hall 2 (Sat-Chit-Anand) is an exhibition which has a 14-screen multimedia presentation on display and even there is "Integrovision", an exposition of Vedic philosophy and of man's search for the eternal truth, "Tunnel of Mirrors", a glass mosaic, and dancing musical fountains.
Hall 3 (Nityanand) This exhibition has walk-through dioramas and fiberglass figures which displays the message of the Upanishads, Ramayana and Mahabharata. There are Audio-animatronics show and a re-creation of the Hastinapur palace (Mahabharata) and a peaceful Gurukula; consists even the compositions of saint-poets and an exposition on 'Harmony of world religions' which are the other attractions of the exhibition.
AARSH - Research Center – it is an Akshardham Center for Applied Research in Social Harmony (AARSH) for an innovative research institute that comprises a loaded library, study centers and archives. This center in the temple complex aims at utilizing insight of the past, studying the present trend and arranging possible solutions for the future.
Time to Visit
The Best time to visit the Akshardham temple is during October to March.
Other places to Visit
Adalaj is situated just 10 km from Gandhinagar and it is one which is known for one of the finest baodi (step well) in the state of Gujarat. In 15th Century AD, it was built by Queen Rudabai, this place was the favourite retreat for women of the royal family, especially during the hot summer months.
Gandhi Ashram is just situated on the banks of the Sabarmati River, the ashram of Mahatma Gandhi was known as the Satyagraha Ashram during those ancient times. It was here that Gandhi spent many years of his life and began his famous 'Dandi March' to protest against the salt ta imposed by the Britsh.
Hatheesing Jain Temple
Hatheesing Jain Temple was bulit in the year 1850 by a Jain Merchant. The temple is dedicated to the 15th century Jain apostle Dharamnath. This temple is built of pure white marble and is one among the best examples of Jain architecture with neatly carved walls and pillars.
Jama Masjid it is one of the most beautiful and largest mosques in India which consists of more than 260 pillars supporting its 15 domes. The mosque, built in 1423 by Ahmad Shah is located in the old part of Ahmedabad city.
By Air- the airport at Ahmedabad is very much situated just 13 km from the city, from where there are local buses and taxis easily available to reach the city.The Indian Airlines has regular flights for Ahmedabad from Delhi and other major Indian cities. There are even flights available from Delhi twice each day at 6:00 and 18:15
By Railways- Ahmedabad is a major railway station and is conveniently connected with all the major Indian cities. There are a number of passenger and superfast trains which start from and terminate at the Ahmedabad station. Daily trains between Delhi and Ahmedabad are the Ashram Exp. and HW ADI Mail.
By Road - the city of Ahmedabad is well connected by roads to other cities in Gujarat. State transport buses and private operators provide regular services to cities within and outside the state.