Friday, October 5, 2007

Akshardham is a must visit Marvel in Delhi

BAPS Swamy Narayan Sanstha’s Akshardham is a magnificent architectural marvel situated very close to Delhi in the Delhi-Noida highway. It is a Hindu temple but no restrictions as such. Anyone can visit the temple without any entry fee. To its credit, it is the temple built in India after a long gap of 800 years, in complete stone without use of concrete or steel. Only interlocks were used to construct this temple. Some 7000 sculptors worked for some 5 years to carve the sculptures on the rocks. Almost all the temple is constructed with Pink sandstone.

There are a number of landscape designs which please the visitors. The only disadvantage for an average visitor is that the Digital Cameras or Handycams are not allowed inside the temple, mainly due to the Security reasons (Mostly in all Hindu temples in India). But if you wish you can have a photo made by the dedicated professional photographers appointed by the Temple committee.


You have also the options to buy some video CDs at a reasonable good price (DVD for INR 80) which show the inauguration ceremony of the Akshardham somewhere in 2005. Some landscaped images of Akshardham are also being sold in the shopping complex inside this temple which you can buy for cheaper prices (INR 40 for 20 Photo cards)




Brief History

Ghanshyam also called as ‘Neelkant’ and as ‘Swami Narayan’ lived in India around 1750 – 1850 AD and traveled some 12000 Km in India on foot visiting all the pilgrimage places and spiritually awakening the people he met during his long journey. The temple is built for him just like we have all the churches for Lord Jesus, temples for Lord Krishna, Lord Rama, etc.

Other Features

To the visitors delight, there are 3 shows in the Temple complex, again at a reasonable price (3 shows for INR 120 + Musical Fountain for INR 20. We can select Individual shows too)
  1. Sahajanand – First show, showing the 3D animatronics puppet show with all the robotic movements of the puppets – depicting Swami Narayan’s life story
  2. Neelkant Darshan – It is a feature film (like in our normal Cinemas) about Swami Narayan’s life story.
  3. Sanskruti vihar – a boat ride organized in a completely isolated tunnel where in you see the two banks of the river showing India’s ancient and Cultural heritage. This show is offered with English commentary too.

For the first two shows too, I think there is English commentary, but if you visit the temple, you can enquire about it. If not available, simply you can attend the Boat ride show.

Musical Fountain - Another option but not the least is the Musical Fountain, organized every evening after 6.30 pm. This again is an excellent show with Indian Classical music played in the Background and the Colorful fountain display before our eyes in harmony with the Music. Representing 3 main forms of the supreme God – Brahma (the Creator), Vishnu (the Ruler) and Shiva (the Destroyer) – the classical music varies and so varies the fountain colors and water flow.

There is much more to see, feel and enjoy every moment of our stay in this temple complex and it can’t be described just in one or two pages of text.