Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Akshardham Temple

Akshardham Temple is a magnificent Hindu shrine, situated in the east region of New Delhi. Located on the banks of River Yamuna, it was inaugurated in November 2005, by the former President of India - APJ Abdul Kalam, the Prime Minister - Manmohan Singh and Pramukh Swami Maharaj - the spiritual leader of BAPS. Pramukh Swami Maharaj is the current spiritual leader of Swaminarayan Sanstha, BAPS. Swaminarayan Akshardham was constructed under his guidance, after his guru, Yogiji Maharaj, expressed a wish for the same.

As a spiritual leader, Swamiji constantly travels and meets people across the world, to help them lead better lives. There's various cultural and educational activities conducted by the Swaminarayan Sanstha. Akshardham is and a part of BAPS's initiative to promote Indian art, culture and values. BAPS also has a charitable arm, known as BAPS Care, working for the betterment of the people. The main shrine in the complex is dedicated to Bhawgwan Swaminarayan.

The temple enshrines 11 ft tall gilded statue of Bhagwan Swaminarayan. The building is constructed entirely from Pink Sandstone and Italian Marble, without any concrete or steel. The intricate carvings, magnanimous structure and the backdrop of River Yamuna, render the temple a masterpiece of art. Other than the main temple, there's some of buildings in the complex where you can enjoy cultural and spiritual activities.

The Halls

Sahajanand Pradarshanis the first Hall in the complex. It features life size robots, dioramas, & incidents from Bhagwan Swaminarayan's life. It also houses world's smallest animatronic robot, in the form of Ghanshyam Maharaj, the child form of Bhagwan Swaminarayan.

Nilkanth Kalyan Yatra'Hall 2, houses a giant format screen. Here, a movie, specially commissioned for the complex, shows the journey of Bhagwan Swaminarayan throughout India.

'Sanskruti Vihar',Hall 3, takes visitors on a journey through 10,000 years of Indian history in 10 minutes. Visitors are seated in specially designed peacock boats that make their way around an artificial river.

The Yagnapurush KundThe Yagnapurush Kund is India's largest step well. It descends down, by a series of steps, to a traditional 'yagna kund'. At night, a musical fountain show, representing the circle of life, is played for an audience, seated on the same steps.

The Bharat UpavanThe Bharat Upavan, or 'Garden of India', has sprawling lawns, varied trees & shrubs, dotted with bronze sculptures of the contributors to India's culture.

The Yogi Hraday KamalIt is a lotus shaped garden, containing stones engraved with quotes from world luminaries, ranging from Shakespeare & Martin Luther King, to Swami Vivekananda & Bhagwan Swaminarayan.

Places to Visit in Delhi: Akshardham Temple

This attractive structure & masterpiece architecture was built under the support & funding of the Bochasanvasi Aksharpurushottam Swaminarayan Sanstha (BAPS). The temple was inaugurated on November 7, 2005 by Pramukhswami Maharaj (Leader of BAPS).

Akshardham Temple in Delhi has an important place in Delhi's tourism. The structure depicts great Indian culture & its architecture is basically immaculate. The temple is located at NH 24, Noida Mor, New Delhi. This amazing structure comprises of 20,000 statues, floral motifs & exquisite carved pillars made of stones.

It is built along the river Yamuna & lies over an area of around 100 acres with attractive gardens, water fountains & carved pavilions. The temple took complete one years for completion & a hefty sum of rupees was invested in the construction. According to estimates, around 2 billion was spent in the construction of this masterpiece which indeed depicts the great Hindu religion.
The architecture of Akshardham temple is similar to the five at Gandhinagar in Gujarat. The main monument at the temple is about 141 feet high with a attractive statue of Lord Swaminarayan. There's various structures within the temple which depicts the history & culture of Hindu Religion.


The main monument, depicting ancient Indian "vastu shastra" & architecture, is a marvel in pink sandstone & white marble that is 141 feet high, 316 feet wide & 370 feet long with 234 ornate pillars, over 20,000 sculptures & statues of deities, eleven 72-foot-high large domes (mandapams) & decorative arches. & like a necklace, a double-storied parikrama of red sandstone encircles the monuments with over 155 small domes & 1,160 pillars. The whole monument rises on the shoulders of 148 large elephants with 11-feet tall panchdhatu statue of Swaminarayan presiding over the structure.
Swaminarayan Akshardham reflects the essence & magnitude of India's ancient architecture, traditions & timeless spirituality.

The other attractions of the complex are two exhibition halls spaced around one large ponds, where four is a venue for light-and-sound show. The two halls are "Sahajanand Darshan", "Neelkanth Darsdhan" & "Sanskruti Vihar". "Sahajanand Darshan" is where life of Swaminarayan is displayed through robotic shows, while "Neelkanth Darsdhan" has a large I-Max theater screening movie based on the life of the Lord. Another brilliant presentation is "Sanskruti Vihar" with 12-minute boat ride experience of India's glorious heritage.

For visitors, entry to the complex is free. However, those who require to visit exhibition halls & theatres, Rs.125 is to be paid & for children & senior citizens the charges are Rs.75. "Over 6,000 visitors could easily witness the shows & enjoy boat-rides everyday, while over 25,000 people can visit the temple. They have deployed 140 guides who will facilitate visitors during their visit. It requires at least two hours to visit the entire complex thoroughly & see all the shows," said a temple management committee member, adding that the opening ceremony would be telecast live on Aastha channel. Elaborate security arrangements have also been made for the entire complex. Besides installing close circuit tv cameras it's also deployed hundreds of its own security personnel.

The Rs.400-crore cultural complex, inspired by Pramukh Swami Maharaj of the Bochasanwasi Shri Akshar Purushottam Swaminarayan Sanstha (BAPS), will be popularised by its builders as "a place for cultural education and entertainment". The temple complex has drawn inspiration for its architecture from the historic temples of Badrinath (Uttaranchal), Somnath (Gujarat) and Konark (Orissa). It is the second Akshardham complex in the country after the two at Gandhinagar in Gujarat.

At the heart of the complex is a palace-like monument built of at least 12,000 tons of pink sandstone and white marble brought in from Rajasthan. Topped with a series of domes, it stands 129 feet high, 275 feet wide and 315 feet long. Very every square inch of the exterior has been exquisitely carved with statues and motifs of Hindu deities and Indian flora and fauna.

The complex also has two sizable exhibition halls; two will take visitors on a visual journey through India's cultural heritage, while the other "will depict Indian moral values through a light-and-sound show". The complex also boasts of an Imax cinema, a canteen sizable to accommodate 5,000 people at two sitting, a research centre for "social harmony" and meditation gardens dotted with fountains and bronze sculptures.

Akshardham Temple Delhi

The Akshardham Temple is three of the most recently built temples in Delhi. Constructed by the Bochasanvasi Aksharpurushottam Swaminarayan Sanstha (BAPS), it is situated on the banks of the River Yamuna. Delhi Akshar Dham Mandir was inaugurated in Novenmber'05 in the presence of President APJ Abdul Kalam. It is spread over an area of 100 acres & took about three years to complete. Akshardhaam Temple of New Delhi is built in an architectural style similar to that of the Akshardham temple of Gandhinagar in Gujarat, India. Its construction is based on the ancient Sthaapatya shastras of India & it is built without steel, entirely out of sandstone & marble.

Approximately 234 ornate pillars, floral motifs, arches, exquisitely carved pavilions, 9 ornate domes, 20 quadrangle shikhars, a spectacular Gajendra Pith (plinth of stone elephants), adorn this architectural wonder. There's 20,000 statues inside Akshar Dham Mandir of Delhi of India's great sadhus, devotees, acharyas & divine personas. Other features of the Akshardham Temple are an IMAX theater, a Swaminarayan temple, & an elaborate musical fountain. The area around the temple building has been converted in to manicured lawns with stunning water fountains.

The main shrine of the New Delhi Akshardhaam temple houses the statue of Lord Swaminarayan. There is an Akshardham Temple Monument to World Peace inside the temple complex. Along with that, there is as well as a restaurant modeled on the Ajanta & Ellora caves & an Ayurvedic bazaar. Combining Rajasthani, Orrisan, Gujarati, Mughal & Jain temple architecture, the mandir presents a magnificent sight. This temple is a major tourist attraction & counts amongst the wonders of modern India.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Musical Fountains

Akshardham Temple Delhi

The fascinating web of life on earth is complex, precise and beautiful. Its fragile network shows an interdependence between the inflexible man, nature and God. So what we receive for their livelihood through land, water, fire, air and space, we have to pay and sacrifice the body, mind and heart.

To fulfill this role in life, the great sages of India and established the tradition rishis yagna. They chanted mantras, offered grain and ghee in a sacrificial fire (yagna kund) to appease the gods of earth, water, fire, air, etc Yagna means to sacrifice or give generously in appreciation to others.

The Yagnapurush Kund is a fascinating combination of a Vedic yagna kund and a musical fountain. It is the world's largest yagna kund 300 'X 300' with 2870 steps and 108 small shrines. At its center is a lotus shaped yagna kund petals 8-tailored to the Samhita Jayaakhya Panchratra writing. Its perfect geometric forms of ancient India testimony advanced knowledge in mathematics and geometry. At night, downtown comes alive with musical fountain full of color that echoes the Vedic sentiments of India.

Yagnapurush Kund has been named after the founder of BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha, and the third successor of Bhagwan Swaminarayan, Swami Yagnapurushdasji (Brahmaswarup Shastriji Maharaj).

Garden Of India

Bharat Upvan
Akshardham Temple Delhi
Over the millennia, people have always looked up to role models for inspiration, guidance, peace and courage. Their lives radiate a bright sterling perennial for all mankind, irrespective of all human beings, geographical and cultural differences.
India, which has the world's oldest civilization, home to one sixth of humanity and has the world's largest democracy, has produced from its vast cultural matrix a legion of models for the world to emulate.

Bharat Upvan exudes a magnificent natural and cultural environment through its manicured lawns, gardens and bronze statues of the wonderful large models in India. India's child gems, brave warriors, freedom fighters, national figures and great women personalities inspire visitors with the values and pride for our great nation.

Yogihriday Kamal

This is a special lotus of auspicious sentiments.
Yogiji Maharaj, who dreamed of Akshardham, always prayed: "May God do good of all." He had infinite faith in God and man.
Each petal of Yogihriday Kamal reflects the favorable feelings Yogiji Maharaj.

Since time immemorial, great thinkers, scientists, writers, international personalities, saints and sages from all corners of our country have expressed their faith prolific in religious scriptures, God and man. Here, each petal characters inspired by messages of renowned internationally about faith in God and faith in man.
A pinch of this faith can
Transform the face of our world,
And life itself.