The grand, ancient-styled Swaminarayan Akshardham complex was built in only five years through the blessings of HDH Pramukh Swami Maharaj of the Bochasanwasi Shri Akshar Purushottam Swaminarayan Sanstha (BAPS) and the colossal devotional efforts of 11,000 artisans and BAPS volunteers. The complex was inaugurated on 6 November, 2005.
Akshardham means the eternal, divine abode of the supreme God, the abode of eternal values and virtues of Akshar as defined in the Vedas and Upanishads where divine bhakti, purity and peace forever pervades.
For the first time ever in the world witness the heritage of India in all its facets, insights and beauty at the Swaminarayan Akshardham through its mandir, exhibitions, verdant gardens and other attractions.
Mandir:The beautiful mandir built without steel, consists of 234 ornately carved pillars, 9 ornate domes, 20 quadrangled shikhars, a spectacular Gajendra Pith (plinth of stone elephants) and 20,000 murtis and statues of India’s great sadhus, devotees, acharyas and divine personalities.
The mandir is a fusion of pink stone and pure white marble, where pink stone symbolizes bhakti in eternal bloom and white marble that of absolute purity and eternal peace. Akshardham was created by HDH Pramukh Swami Maharaj in fulfillment to the wish of his guru, Brahmaswarup Yogiji Maharaj, the fourth successor in the spiritual hierarchy of Bhagwan Swaminarayan. In only a short timespan of five years Swaminarayan Akshardham became a reality through the blessings of Pramukh Swami Maharaj, 300 million man hours of epic services rendered by 11,000 volunteers, sadhus and artisans and the immense sacrifice, austerities, prayers of hundreds of thousands of young and old devotees of BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha.
Height: 141.3 ft
Width: 316 ft
Length: 356 ft
Inauguration: 6-11-2005, Kartik Shukla Panchmi, Labh Pancham, V.S. 2062
Organizer: BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha.
Creator: HDH Pramukh Swami Maharaj
The majestic mandir has 9 magnificent domes, 234 intricately carved pillars, 20 quadrangle-shaped shikhars, 20,000 carvings of great sages, deities, celestial beings, 500 murtis of paramhansas of Bhagwan Swaminarayan and many statues of devotees, birds and animals embellish the inside and outside walls of the mandir.
The inside of the mandir has 8 ornately carved mandapams, each featuring the forms of Bhagwan Swaminarayan, avatars and the deities of Sanatan Dharma.
The ornate external wall of the Swaminarayan Akshardham mandir is known as the Mandovar.
In the last 800 years this is the only and largest, intricately carved Mandovar in India with dimensions of 611ft x 31ft. It comprises 200 sculptured stone figures of India’s great rishis, sadhus, devotees, acharyas and divine incarnations.
The Mandovar is made of different layers: Gajstar, Sinhstar, Vyalstar, Kumbhstar, Kalashstar, Gavakshstar, Jangha and Chhajja with a total of 4,287 carved stones. The Kumbhstar includes 48 ornately carved murtis of Shri Ganeshji.
Beautiful bronze relief panels illustrate the divine incidents from the life of Bhagwan Swaminarayan.
The Gajendra Pith is a unique, captivating feature of Swaminarayan Akshardham mandir. It pays tribute to elephants, symbolizing the entire animal kingdom. Sculptured according to the ancient shilpa shastras of India it is ornately carved in pink stone, stretching for 1,070 ft and featuring stories and legends of elephants with nature, man and God. Every panel reflects the messages of social harmony, peace and spiritual faith.
The Gajendra Pith, weighing 3,000 tons, has 148 full-sized elephants, 42 birds and animals, 125 human sculptures and decorative stone backdrops of trees, creepers and royal palaces.
Gajendra Pith is presented in three categories:
Elephant and Nature : In the lap of India’s lush jungles elephants frolic and live in their elements.
Elephant and Man : For thousands of years a unique relationship exists between man and elephant.
Elephant and the Divine : Wonderful stories illustrated in stone of elephants with God.
From Vedic times India has a glorious tradition of water pilgrim places in the form of rivers, stepwells and lakes. Following this tradition, a sacred water lake, Narayan Sarovar, surrounds the main Akshardham mandir. The lake contains holy waters from 151 rivers and lakes sanctified by Bhagwan Swaminarayan, including Mansarovar.
Surrounding the Narayan Sarovar are 108 gaumukhs, symbolizing 108 names of God, from which holy water issues forth. Fully-bloomed lotus flowers in the lake impart an inspiring message of purity and detachment.
The Yagnapurush Kund is a fascinating combination of a Vedic yagna kund and a musical fountain. It is the world's largest yagna kund measuring 300' X 300' with 2,870 steps and 108 small shrines. In its center lies an 8-petaled lotus shaped yagna kund designed according to the Jayaakhya Samhita of the Panchratra scripture. Its perfect geometric forms testify to ancient India's advanced knowledge in mathematics and geometry. At night the center comes to life with a colorful musical water fountain that echoes the Vedic sentiments of India.
Yagnapurush Kund has been so named after the founder of BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha and the third successor of Bhagwan Swaminarayan, Swami Yagnapurushdasji (Brahmaswarup Shastriji Maharaj).
N. H. 24,
Near Noida Mor, New Delhi,
INDIA - 110092
Tel: (011) 2201 6688, 2202 6688
Fax: (011) 2201 5757