Reckoned as India’s largest Hindu shrine, Akshardham is undoubtedly one of the major tourist puller sites in Delhi. Located on the bank of the Yamuna, the iconic temple is devoted to Swaminarayan boasting ample of monuments, statues and ponds. Epitomising more than 10,000 years of Indian customs, the architectural brilliance and enticing grandeur of the temple portrays a true essence of India’s antique artefacts blending with ancient values, enduring spiritual messages and accord of mankind. It is said that the temple was constructed in merely 5 years with immense efforts of more than 10,000 artisans and volunteers. After getting established in the year 2005, Akshardham Temple became the harbinger by the Guinness World Record as the World’s Largest Comprehensive Hindu Temple. Today, besides witnessing a huge influx of international footfalls, the shrine evenly welcomes plenty of local visitors as well.
If you are yet to make it there, here’s what you should explore when in Akshardham Temple:
Mandir: Constructed with domes, white marbles and pink stones, the mandir is the center of attractions in the premises. The main shrine was designed without any steel. The breathtaking pillars, carved designs and over 20,000 statues and floral monuments are truly wondrous to behold.
Hall of Values: One more attraction in the temple premise is its tempting exhibitions. Hall of Values is one of these attractions. This is basically an audio-animatronics exhibition portraying the significance of non-violence, wisdom, harmony and vegetarianism. An array of statues structured inside the hall takes you to a different level of imagination.
Giant Screen Film: This is something amazing and usual things to behold in the temple. The Giant Screen Film showcases a motion picture based on a child yogi, Neelkanth Varni, which is quite influencing to the spectators. Besides, one more attraction here is its six stories high screen, which is quite big in size.
Boat Ride: Joyful boat riding is always blissful. The overall duration of the ride in Akshardham is nearly 12 minutes that will take you through the ancient periods of India’s legacy ranging from Takshashila to Vedic life! Therefore, don’t skip the actual fun of boat riding when in Akshardham.
Musical Fountains: Akshardham Temple has no dearth of attractions to offer. One such amazing attraction here is the musical fountain show, which takes place every evening reflecting the interdependency between divinity, natural world and human being.
Garden of India: Nestled in lush bush and manicured lawns with bronze statues, the Garden of India is one of the tranquil sites in the temple premises. The key attraction of the garden is its special lotus, which reflects propitious sentiments of Indian heritage and essence. In addition, sprawled over 60 acres of lawn areas, the garden also honours India’s national patriots, child heroes, brave warriors and other great personalities who have reached our country to a new feat of values and success.
Abhishek Mandap: As the name suggests, this is a religious activity performed in the temple by pouring water on the idol of deity Neelkanth Varni. The entire activity is followed by religious prayers and chanting. Everyday plenty of Hindu devotees flock here to pay their reverences and perform the abhishek of the idol.
Water Show: The 24 minutes water show mesmerises all the visitors through its colourful flames, vibrant lasers, water jets and video projection. This is a sure visit site when in Akshardham Temple. The entire show is portrayed through different captivating media highlighting the story from the Kena Upanishad. Besides, the musical fountain show around the temple illustrates the human lifecycle as described in Indian philosophy. The timing of the show is after sunset and lasts for 15 minutes.
Timings and entry charges:
The temple can be visited from 9.30AM to 6.30PM every day except Mondays. Exhibition timing is from 10.30 AM to 6 PM, and the exhibition tickets are available from 10 AM to 5 PM. If you wish to see the Musical Fountain show, it starts at 7.45PM.
There is no entry fee to access the temple complex. However, for exhibition and fountain shows, visitors need to pocket some nominal charges as listed below:
|Categories||Exhibition Charges||Musical Fountain Charges|
|Adults||INR 170||INR 80|
|Senior Citizens||INR 125||INR 80|
|Child ( 4-11 years)||INR 100||INR 50|
|Child Below 4 years||Free||Free|
|Note: Charges are decided by the temple authority, which may vary from time-to-time.|
No visitors are allowed to carry any electronic devices or objectionable items inside the complex. A Cloakroom is available in the temple complex where you can keep your belongings.
Facilities: Considering the daily footfalls of tourists, the temple authority provides various facilities that include fresh vegetable food court, ATM, telephone booth, restrooms and wheelchairs for elderly and physically challenged people.
Located in NH 24, Akshardham Setu, New Delhi 110092, the Swaminarayan Akshardham can be reached quite conveniently. For local commuters, the feasible way to get there is by Delhi Metro. The nearest Metro station is Akshardham (towards Noida City Centre) that runs on Blue Line.
Anyone travelling there from Old Delhi and New Delhi railheads, the distance is nearly 45 minutes and 40 minutes respectively. From both of these railway stations, visitors can either travel there via metro (via Yellow Line and then Blue Line), cab or by auto rickshaws.
If you are travelling from Delhi Airport, the temple is located nearly 21Kms away. From airport, you can hire a cab or commute via Orange Line Metro till New Delhi Metro station and from there board HUDA City Centre bound Yellow Line Metro and deboard at Rajiv Chowk Metro Station. Now get into the Blue Line (Towards Noida City Centre) and deboard at Akshardham Metro station.
- Since this is a religious destination, visitors can remove their footwear near the checking counter
- No electronic devices are allowed inside the temple complex
- If you are travelling there by your own car, parking space is available near the temple.
- Wear decent outfits to respect the dignity of the religious site
- Keep all our belongings in the clock room
- No food items are allowed to take inside, the complex has its own food court
- Photography is not permissible
So if you visiting Delhi for the first time make sure you count on Akshardham temple. Besides, if you are still looking for a wondrous house of worship to visit in Delhi with your family, look no further than this iconic temple.
Image courtesy: Google