With more than ample time to spare and running out of places to visit, I decided to include the much talked about, newest attraction of Delhi, Swaminarayan Akshardham Temple.
With this is mind, hoped into an auto after taking a metro ride to Connaught Place, and it faithfully landed me right at the doorstep of the huge 'Temple Campus' (Working in Hitech City this is the easiest similie that came to my mind, need not be the best or the most appropriate). The Temple compound was almost immeasurably huge, much larger than the Infosys People Factories constructed across the country.
The first thing that crosses one's mind or rather that should cross the mind is the name of the mandir, Akshardham. The very sound of it proposes great meaning to the plenary nomenclature. 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.
The entire tour of the mandir can be considered to consist of the following sub itenaries for every darshanarthee or devotee
- The magnificent Central Monument
- Other Monuments of religious importance, like the foot prints or the ten doors
- Hall of Values (Paid) – 45 mins Audio Animatronics show
- IMAX Screen Film on Neelkanth (Paid) – 40 mins movie
- Boat Ride through the Indian Heritage artifacts and models(Paid) – 12 mins
The Central Monument
The beautiful monument 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 monument 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. The specifications of the monument are as follows
Height: 141.3 ft
Width: 316 ft
Length: 356 ft
The roof has intricate carvatures which have the power to mesmerize any roaming sight.
There are many other splendid monuments like the fore mentioned The star attraction of the whole tour however is the three paid audio visual shows, which are so superbly crafted that they take you to a different realm altogether, almost making you feel that you are transported to the time when neelkanth quit his home in search of truth.