Akshardham Temple in AhmedabadOne of the most significant, traditional and religious monuments near Ahmedabad is Akshardham temple. The temple is a piece of art, devotion, architecture, education and research. The term “Akshardham” means divine abode of Supreme God and the term as defined in Vedas is a place where divinity and peace lies.
Establishment of Akshardham TempleThe temple was constructed by the religious organization, Bochasanwasi Sri Akshar Purushottam Swami Narayan Sanstha. The Sanstha is a spiritual organization revealed by Bhagwan Swami Narayan in the late 18th century and founded by Shastriji Maharaj in 1907.During the centenary celebrations of Yogiji Maharaj held on November, 2, 1992, the temple was successfully inaugrated. The temple is solely dedicated to Lord Swami Narayan.
Structure of Akshardham TempleThe temple was constructed across 23 acres of land and comprises of shrines, sculptures, parks, lakes and rides. Akshardham Temple stood for seven foot high comprising 1.2 ton Gold plated Lord Swami Narayan as main deity of worship. Significance of the deity and the structure of temple can be summed up as below:
- Constructed in 6000 tonnes of pink stones admeasuring 240 feet in length, 131 feet in width and 108 feet in height.
- Built according to the Vasthu sastra and no steel have been used for construction.
- Idol is built in sitting posture and showing Abhay Mutra.
- Idols of swami gunatitanand and swami gopalanand are erected side by side to Main deity.
Art on Display in Akshardham TempleThe temple exhibits many spiritual halls as mentioned below:
Sahajanand HallThe entire life of Swami Narayan is displayed in this hall and comprises of:
- Travel in time through video shows
- Fiber optic cosmos
- Miniature recreation of chappala village
Sat-Chit-Anand HallThis hall is comprised of:
- 14 screen multimedia presentation
- Integrovision to expose Vedic philosophy
- Tunnel of mirrors
- Dancing musical fountains etc.
Nityanand HallThis hall displays the spiritual messages from Upanishads, Ramayana and Mahabhartha.The hall also comprises of
- Shows on the recreation of hasthinapur palace and gurukul.
- Composition of spiritual poets
- Exposition on ‘Harmony of world religions’
Hari Mandap: Hari mandap is a place where devotees of the Sanstha start their daily prayers and meditate for peace and spirituality.Mandap is also used for studying and routine work by devotees. In addition to the daily activities, five major vows are followed in this mandap namely:
- No Alcohol
- No Adultery
- No Stealing
- No Meat
- No impurity of Body and mind
Prasadi Mandap: At this mandap, the sacred personal belongings and other holy relics of Swami Narayan are displayed.
AARSH Research Center in Akshardham TempleAARSH refers to Akshardham center for Applied Research in Social Harmony. The center is a research institute comprising of:
- Library of books
- Study centers and archives.
Sahajanand Van: Sahajanand Van is a garden comprising of lake, waterfall, park and rides. The garden also comprises of a Marble made statue of Swami Narayan.
Attack on Akshardham Temple AhmedabadDuring 2002, the temple premises were attacked by two armed persons. During the attack, nearly 600 people were inside the temple. Out of 600, 30 persons were killed and more than 80 persons were injured. Meanwhile, National Security Guard interfered and killed both the armed person, the next day in an operation called ‘Vajra Sakthi’.
Even after the attack the temple has been constantly gaining popularity. People come from far places to be here as there is so much to see and fall in love with. To conclude if one wants to relax their mind and soul, then Akshardham temple is an apt place to be in.
Rs.50 per adult (Exhibition)
Rs.35 per child (Exhibition)
Rs.75 per adult (Leisure Show)
Rs.35 per child (Leisure Show)
Open Days: Tuesday to Sunday
Timings: 9:30am to 6:30pm
How to get there: The Temple is situated at about 23 km to the northern part of Ahmedabad, which is a 40 minute drive. You can also go through the National Highway 8C from Ahmedabad to Gandhinagar, crossing Chamanbhai Patel Bridge once you are on Ashram Road. Then you will reach Sector 20, where the temple is located.
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