The magnificent temple of Akshardham is located at the capital city of Ahmedabad, Gandhinagar. The temple was built by Pramukh Swami Maharaj directions and is dedicated to Lord Swaminarayan. Spread across a sprawling campus of 23 acres, the temple is constructed out of pink sandstone and has been a great attraction for tourists since 1992.
Standing tall at a height of 108 feet, the temple is built in accordance to Vastu Shastra, without using any steel. The main shrine contains a 1.2 ton gold plated idol of Lord Swaminarayan that is 7 feet. Apart from the main shrine there are various other places that are eye-catching.
A beautiful garden that surrounds the temple and is encompassed by a waterfall, a lake, a herbal garden and a children’s park with exciting games and rides. There is a marvellous statue of Lord Swaminarayan that is frequented by visitors throughout the year.
There are three enormous halls in the premises of the temple itself and they act as a place for various exhibitions. These halls mainly depict the history of the temple and Swami Narayan’s life through beautiful imagery.
Hall 1 – Sahajanand
This hall showcases Lord Swaminarayan’s history in the form of shows and other imagery settings.
Hall 2 – Sat-Chit-Anand
This hall introduces ‘Mystic India’ – a format film in IMAX which throws light upon the history of India and Lord Swaminarayan’s travels ever since his childhood.
Hall 3 – Nityanand
Through this hall, the message of Ramayana, Mahabharata and Upanishads is spread to the people. The wall paintings and historic figures depict the various teachings of these epics. There are exhibitions on the era of ancient Indian other religions in the world.
The temple can be visited conveniently from Gandhinagar and Ahmedabad. One can take a state transport bus or hire a rickshaw to the temple from either of the cities. This visit bestows knowledge besides offering excitement.
By – Avni Mehrotra