Akshardham: The divine abode of God
Swaminarayan Akshardham temple is one of the most visited places in Delhi. It was built in 2006 right next to the 2010 Commonwealth Game Village. It is spiritual-cultural campus. It has been preserving 10,000 year old Indian culture. The temple is known for showcasing ancient Indian traditions, values, architecture, art and heritage.
The unique part of the Akshardham temple is that it teaches Hinduism beliefs and values by using different and interesting ways, from a big format movie to a beautiful water show. It shows the journey of how this glorious culture contributed in the harmony and happiness of all mankind.
As soon as you enter the temple, you are surprised by it magnificent entrance. The spiritual journey in this temple begins with the “Swagatam- the welcome”. It starts with the ten gates which indicate the ten directions in the Indian culture. It basically tells us to accept the good from every direction. This will maintain peace and love in the world. After the gate, you will cross the Peacock Gate and the Gate of Devotion to reach the Charnarvind. While you are exploring the place, you will come across various Hindu status symbolizing devotion, positivity and purity.
The most important attraction of the temple is the Akshardham Mandir. It is devoted to Bhagwan Swaminarayan. The Mandir tell us about the beauty and purity of the Indian culture and art. The Mandir has 234 involved carved pillars, lavish 9 domes and 20,000 Hinduism’s divine personalities. Each of these either depicts a story from Bhagwan Swaminarayan’s life, tell us a story of devotion or offer prayer to a deity. The complex of the Mandir consists of the Garbhagruh, Mandapams, Mandovar, Narayan Peeth and Gajendra Peeth.
The best part of Akshardham are the three exhibitions that are held here. First is the Sahajanand Darshan- Hall of Values. It gives you the eternal teachings of the Hindus culture. This show has a number of exhibits, each portraying a new experience, and a new teaching. They teach values like, morality, non- violence, family harmony and determination. They use different technologies like 3D dioramas, immersive projection and robotics with audio.
Second is the Neelkanth Darshan- Giant Screen Film. This is one of the most wonderful and breathtaking experiences. It is the movie that shows the Neelkanth Yatra. The movie is about an 11 year old Indian boy, who leaves the comfort of his home and goes on a journey to discover the world, nature and help people. They show how he was exploring India and the rich culture and history of this great nation. He walked over 12,000 kms. They showed us his 7 year journey on foot, with little belongings. It is a story of timeless trek of determination and courage, through freezing cold Himalayas to the scorching hot beaches in the south of India. It is a spiritually inclining film.
The last exhibition is Sanskruti Darshan- Culture Boat Ride. It is one of its kind in India. You get on a boat and sail though Indian ancient history. You get to witness the lifestyle during the Vedic era. This boat ride shows you what India has contributed to the world.
Tickets are available for all three exhibitions together. The counter for the tickets is open from 10:00am- 8:00pm. The pricing are as follow:
Seniors (60+): Rs.125
Children: (4-11): Rs.110
Children bellow 4 have free entry.
The last attraction is the mesmerizing Musical fountain- Circle of Life. This show happens once a day after the sunset. It teaches us the cycle of birth to life to death as shown in the Indian philosophy.
The overall experience is just amazing and splendid. Once you enter the complex there is nothing that will not surprise you or blow your mind. The architectural and spiritual beauty here is worth a visit.