This year, we selected Akshardham Temple, Delhi to celebrate my parents-in-law anniversary. Since June days are too hot to go anywhere with kids, we planned in a way that will reach Akshardham Mandir around 5:00 PM. It took us 45 minutes by car to reach Akshardham Mandir from Ghaziabad. Not only kids but we(my parents in law and me) were too excited about visiting it. It’s not like I had not visited this place but never been able to see it completely.
Time Required to see complete temple+ Exhibitions: minimum 3 hours
Akshardham Temple, Delhi was inaugurated in the year 2005. It is one of the temples which has laid emphasis on “Sanatan Dharam” and rich cultural history of India. More than 600 small and big temples have been built by BAPS trust all over the world to promote “Sanatan Dharam”.
related posts: Options for weekends in Delhi/NCR
Akshardham’ means the divine abode of God. It is hailed as an eternal place of devotion, purity and peace. Swaminarayan Akshardham at New Delhi is a Mandir – an abode of God, a Hindu house of worship, and a spiritual and cultural campus dedicated to devotion, learning, and harmony. Timeless Hindu spiritual messages, vibrant devotional traditions, and ancient architecture all are echoed in its art and architecture. The mandir is a humble tribute to Bhagwan Swaminarayan (1781- 1830), the avatars, devas and great sages of Hinduism. The traditionally-styled complex was inaugurated on 6 November 2005 with the blessings of HH Pramukh Swami Maharaj and through the devoted efforts of skilled artisans and volunteers.
The half of our excitement vanished as soon as we encountered with the crowd. From the outer road only, we can see the pools of cars, buses, and lakhs of people. Mostly standing in the queue to go inside. Before getting in one has to get through a tough security check which has separate lines for males and females. It took us half an hour to pass through the security check lines. Since the temperature was close to the 40-degree water was the only savior. Thank God! we took two bottles from home only.
After passing through the security check, who kept Yashu’toy and toffees, we entered the temple premises. In the temple, the water and toilet facilities are available at every distance. Instead of the crowd, the toilets were clean and properly managed. Even the temple premises were clean and amazingly managed.
Then, after the main gate, we pass through the ten gates which symbolizes the ten directions. These ten gates signify, whatever divine, magnificent, and full of power should travel to us from these ten directions. Then we entered The Bhakti Door. This door took us to the world of devotion and worship. We purchased a guidebook, which is available in many languages at just Rs.5/-. As we pass by the large hall inside the Bhakti door which has many spiritual paintings, next stop was “The Peacock Door”. Only at a distance of few metres, we saw the mesmerizing transition from Indian traditional style of art to intricate carving of 869 peacocks.
Accordingly, the mandir is made without the use of ferrous metal in construction. The Akshardham mandir consists of 234 intricately carved pillars, 9 ornate domes, 20 quadrangle spires and 20,000 statues of India’s Hinduism’s spiritual personalities. The mandir reaches 141.3 feet into the sky, spans 316 feet in width,
and is 356 feet long.
After having the darshan of “Hari Charan” we headed towards the main temple of Shri Swaminarayan. Before entering the temple, we submitted our shoes at boot house. There are few stairs that take you to the temple. The exterior of the temple is very similar to that of Indan ancient temples like Jagannath Puri, Padmanabha Swami, Lingraj and others. Inside the temple, special altars are devoted to other Hindu deities of Sanatana Dharma: Shri Sita-Ram, Shri Radha-Krishna, Shri Lakshmi-Narayan, and Shri Shiv-Parvati.
It is the main temple and named as GARBHAGRUH. The interior of Garbhagruh is each filled with intricately carved murtis and pillars and capped by unique domes and ceilings. Traveling through these mandapams, one meets renowned devotees, great avatars and rejoicing celestial beings. The base of Swaminarayan Mandir is incarnated with the stories of Elephants sharing the message of peace, beauty, and gentleness.
Then, after having Darshan and eating food items which were very reasonably priced- Dosa @RS.80, Chhole Bature @Rs.80, we headed for the exhibition and waited for another half an hour. The Exhibition is divided into three parts. During I, we saw the various movies, moving sculptures and other paintings which were showing the teachings of Swami Narayan and the life course of Shri Neelkanth Maharaj to Swami Narayan.
In Part 2, there is light and water show in which through laser lights and colored fountains, the story of Gods’ arrogance and how it is being challenged by a small boy “the supreme power” was shown. Kids just loved it watching with popcorns and Ice cream.
Though we were very late and tired still we managed to see the boat show which was one of the best of three. For 15 minutes, boat ride, we were taken to the route of ancient India which was more cultured and developed than now. Whether plastic surgery, the invention of Pythagoras theorem, airplane, Ayurveda, yoga, India beholds the supreme power than any other country.
Timings & fees: There are no entry fees. Even the exhibition fees are very nominal and worth. Parking charges are Rs. 20 for two-wheeler and Rs. 30 for Car.
Timings: 9:30AM-6: 30 PM from Tuesday to Sunday.
Items Allowed in Akshardham Mandir: Nonleather Shoes, Nonleather Belts, Water bottles, Non-Leather wallets, handbags (up to 6″-4″ only), passport, money, jewelry.
Not allowed Items: There is a long list of Items which are not allowed in Akshardham Temple. Mostly items like Mobile phones, camera, USB, tobacco, toys, weapons, umbrella, luggage or any electronic item, marker pen are not allowed inside the temple. Baby food and bottles are subject to close check.
- If it’s not very urgent, then prevent visiting on Sundays. It is overcrowded and that may lead to standing in long queues for hours.
- Carry water bottle from home, which can be refilled easily inside the temple premises. For purchasing bottle, you have to go a long way and stand in queues.
- If there is too much rush and waiting for the exhibition, then it is better to get your tickets stamped first, confirm the tentative time for the show and go for having some food. The complete exhibition can take more than 2.5 hours, subject to the number of people waiting.
- It is better to seat near the exit Gate, so as to get the complete view of the exhibitions.
- Exhibition tickets include Water and light show. One can also enjoy light and water show separately.
- Cold drinks, popcorn, sandwich, and Icecream are available during Light and water show.
Charge: Free for the physically challenged, elderly and needy
Available: At entrance before the security clearance
Refundable Deposit: Rs. 100
It includes three shows- The exhibition, water show and boat show. The exhibition projects the life cycle of Shri Neelkath to Swami Narayan.
Adults (Age 12+): ₹ 250
Seniors (Age 60+): ₹ 205
Children (Age 4 – 11): ₹ 150
Children (Below Age 4): Free
Tickets include all three exhibitions.
WATER SHOW TICKETS:
It is must see the show. Starts after 8:00 PM, its one of the mesmerizing show projecting, superpower
Adults (Age 12+): ₹ 80
Seniors (Age 60+): ₹ 80
Children (Age 4 – 11): ₹ 50
Children (Below Age 4): Free
Per person: ₹ 50
(Darshan – Free)
Premvati Food Court
At Premvati food court in Akshardham Temple, Delhi you can enjoy multiple varieties of pure veg food from chaat to sweets, Cakes to South Indian at very reasonable rates. Food is hygienic and fresh. It opens till late in the night until there are the shows running.
Akshardham Mandir is a must visit, as it not only shows our rich cultural glory but delivers the message of Humanity and makes one believe in our culture. The time and money we spend there were may be equal to that we spend in watching a movie but the message we got is something more than any movie. At very nominal cost, we were shown the things we should be proud of and adhere to.
*As mobile or camera is not allowed inside the temple all photos are taken from Google.com