Yesterday we visited Akshardham temple in Delhi. It is situated very close to the India gate on the banks of Yamuna. Photography is not allowed in the site. We had to be content with those gate / road side view of the marvellous temple.
I think for someone visiting Delhi this is a must visit. Akshardham means abode of immutable God. There are not many temple existing of this size and grandeur in India. It is an attempt to relive India's rich heritage and philosophy. The stone temple is created by some 7000 craftsmen over a period of 5 years. The entire construction is on sandstone. It has a grand movie theatre, heritage boat ride and a light sound show with in the temple compound. The shrine is dedicated to Swami Nayarayanan of Swami Narayanan sect, a saint from 17th-18th century from Loj in Gujarat. Swami Narayanan or Neelkanth born in a small village near Ayodhya in Uttarpradesh. He took austere life at the age of 11 and took a pilgrimage running into 7 years and spanning himalayas, eastern India and the peninsula before finally settling in at Loj. He founded a hindu sect based on Swami narayanan sampraday.
The temple emulates our cultural elements in architecture, sculpture and in the mythological elements in the sculptures. The platform is carved with elephants in their most lively forms, in jungle, as domesticated and as portrayed in hindu mythology. The main monument is made out of marble. There is no steel used anywhere, its all based on the traditional means of construction which is centuries old.
Whats different about Akshardham. Akshrdham temple is a recreation of the marvellous temples structures once used to exist. It espouses a puritanical philosophy aimed towards moskha attained by content way of living in devotion. It less ritualistic and lot less symbolic. You wont find any dieties in the temple other than Swami Narayanan himself. With all this you feel a new thinking in everything, the way it is conducted at Akshardham.
The visit will take close to 4-5 hours. So it you need to have half a day dedicted to this in Delhi. I saw some more images of Akshardham published in flickr.