akshardham

Akshardham

Akshardham' means the divine abode of God. It is hailed as an eternal place of devotion, purity and peace. Swaminarayan Akshardham at New Delhi is a Mandir – an abode of God, a Hindu house of worship, and a spiritual and cultural campus dedicated to devotion, learning and harmony. Timeless Hindu spiritual messages, vibrant devotional traditions and ancient architecture all are echoed in its art and architecture. The mandir is a humble tribute to Bhagwan Swaminarayan (1781- 1830), the avatars, devas and great sages of Hinduism. The traditionally-styled complex was inaugurated on 6 November 2005 with the blessings of HH Pramukh Swami Maharaj and through the devoted efforts of skilled artisans and volunteers.
Each element of Akshardham echoes with spirituality – the Mandir, the Exhibitions and even the Gardens.
The Akshardham mandir has over two hundred murtis, representing many of the spiritual stalwarts over many millennia. The spiritual premise of Akshardham is that each soul is potentially divine. Whether we are serving the family, the country our neighbours or all living beings the world over, each service can help one move towards divinity. Each prayer is a call towards improving oneself and moving closer to God.
A visit to Akshardham is a spiritually enriching experience. Whether it is in realising the power of prayer, in feeling the strength of non-violence, in being aware of the universal nature of Hinduism’s ancient principles, or just in admiring the beauty of God’s abode on Earth –- each element has a spiritual significance.

SWAGATAM – THE WELCOME

A pilgrimage at Akshardham begins at the Ten Gates – signifying ten directions – and continues as visitors pass through the Gate of Devotion, the Visitor Center and the Peacock Gate to arrive at the Charnarvind. Along the way, traditional Hindu symbols of positivity, devotion, beauty and purity create a divine ambience. Each visitor delves into the experience of Akshardham infused with the energy of this auspicious beginning.

WELCOME GATES: आ नो भद्राः क्रतवो यन्तु विश्वतः
“Let noble thoughts come to us from all directions.” - Rig VedaThe ten gates symbolize the ten directions described in Indian culture. They reflect the sentiments of accepting all that is auspicious and good from every direction. Such openness of mind and heart fosters the spirit of universal love, brotherhood and peace in the world.

BHAKTI DWAR: This ornate stone entrance symbolizes the offering of pristine bhakti – devotion – towards the dual forms of God and his devotee (Bhakta-Bhagwan). Devout Hindus offer their bhakti to Akshar-Purushottam, Lakshmi-Narayan, Sita-Ram, Radha-Krishna, Parvati-Shiv, Nar-Narayan and others.
The Bhakti Dwar has 208 beautifully carved pairs of Bhakta-Bhagwan bestowing their blessings on all.

VISITOR CENTER: Through the Bhakti Dwar or Gate of Devotion, one enters Akshardham's Visitor Center. The Visitor Center greets everyone with a display of bells to welcome all that is good. In the Visitor Center, one will find volunteers ready to assist in planning one's time at the Akshardham complex. Informative posters help introduce the complex and its different components.

MAYUR DWAR: The peacock stands for beauty and self-control in Indian culture. It is the national bird of India and loved by people across the country. It is revered by virtue of its association with divine incarnations and stories in the Hindu shastras. Each of the two Mayur Dwars has 869 intricately carved stone peacocks welcoming visitors with their enchanting beauty and poise.
A large marble replica of the holy footprints, or 'charanarvind', of Bhagwan Swaminarayan (1781-1830 CE) between the two Mayur Dwars commemorate his incarnation on Earth. The sixteen holy symbols which mark God’s feet as per the Hindu shastras are seen in these holy footprints. In humble reverence to Bhagwan Swaminarayan, four conch shells shower water at his lotus feet.

MANDIR

The heart of the Swaminarayan Akshardham complex is the Akshardham mandir.
Inaugurated on 6 November 2005, the mandir is an effort to offer a home to God that honors. His glory and divinity –- a timeless, beautiful and peaceful home for God here on Earth. It is a temporal abode of God and the devotion, values and culture He inspires.
Architecturally, the mandir is homage to traditional Indian Hindu architecture. It is designed with an eye to The ancient and middle-age medieval Indian treatises on architectural science, - the shilpa shastras, have guided the mandir’s design and construction from its distinctive style of carving and its proportions to its avoidance of . Accordingly, the mandir is made without the use of ferrous metal in construction.
The Akshardham mandir consists of 234 intricately carved pillars, 9 ornate domes, 20 quadrangle spires and 20,000 statues of India’s Hinduism’s spiritual personalities. The mandir reaches 141.3 feet into the sky, spans 316 feet in width, and is 356 feet long.
Inside the mandir, each worshipfully carved pillar, ceiling and dome shares a story of devotion, offers darshan of a deity, or captures an incident from the life of Bhagwan Swaminarayan.

GARBHAGRUH: In the central sanctum, the 'Garbhagruh', one has darshan of the murti of Bhagwan Swaminarayan (1781-1830 CE), to whom the Akshardham mandir is dedicated. He is accompanied in the central shrine by the succession of divine gurus of the fellowship, each depicted in a posture of service and devotion. The spiritual succession includes Gunatitanand Swami, Bhagatji Maharaj, Shastriji Maharaj, Yogiji Maharaj and Pramukh Swami Maharaj. Surrounding the garbhagruh are special shrines for the great avatar-and-devotee pairs: Shri Sita-Ram, Shri Radha-Krishna, Shri Lakshmi-Narayan, and Shri Shiv-Parvati. As a vibrant, active mandir, Akshardham is truly home to these deities and devotees offer prayers on a regular basis as per traditional practice. Visitors are welcome to join in the arti rituals at 10:00am and 6:00pm.

BHAGWAN SWAMINARAYAN (1781-1830 CE): Bhagwan Swaminarayan has been hailed by contemporary civic leaders and modern historians as a great social reformer and inspirational leader. Nineteenth-century figures –Indian and British; Hindu, Muslim and Christian – praised his contributions to the abolition of vice and superstition. Among other reforms, he preached the equality of all as atma, the soul; he empowered women with education; he stopped female infanticide and the ritual of sati; he forbade violent sacrifices; and he preached a life free of addictions.
But Bhagwan Swaminarayan did not simply reform society; he spiritually transformed it with faith, spirituality, virtue, and integrity. He re-established 'ekantik dharma' - faith founded on the pillars of bhakti, dharma, spiritual knowledge and detachment from worldly ignorance. From his own lifetime until today, millions have recognized him as the manifest form of Parabrahman Paramatma- supreme God himself. Swaminarayan Akshardham is dedicated to him.

GUNATITANAND SWAMI (1785-1867 CE): Gunatitanand Swami was the first spiritual successor of Bhagwan Swaminarayan. Like all the gurus that have followed him, he was the incarnation of Aksharbrahman, the eternal servant and foremost devotee of Parabrahman. He was the ideal of saintly virtues and the greatest exponent of Bhagwan Swaminarayan’s true identity and philosophy. After Bhagwan Swaminarayan’s return to his divine abode, Gunatitanand Swami continued his work of liberating individuals from spiritual ignorance and granting them eternal bliss. His teachings and discourses have been recorded in the sacred text 'Swamini Vato', read daily by thousands of devotees around the world.
As God’s eternal servant, Gunatitanand Swami kneels before Bhagwan Swaminarayan, ever ready in his service.

BHAGATJI MAHARAJ (1829-1897 CE): Bhagatji Maharaj was the second spiritual successor of Bhagwan Swaminarayan after Gunatitanand Swami. His life, a shining inspiration to all seekers of truth and liberation, is a story of ultimate devotion and unconditional surrender. His birth in a humble tailor family in a caste-bound society did not stop Gunatitanand Swami from recognizing Bhagatji Maharaj's divinity and revealing him as the next spiritual successor. Bhagatji Maharaj preached Swaminarayan's true philosophy of Akshar Purushottam despite great difficulties. He followed the dharma of a celibate renunciant and was respected by lay devotees and renunciants even though he had not been initiated as a sadhu. To those who accepted the Swaminarayan Akshar Purushottam philosophy, he promised, "I shall take away your robes of illusion and give you robes eternal.” In honour of his fearless preaching of the truth of Akshar Purushottam, Bhagatji Maharaj stands in the central sanctum with scripture in hand, extolling the greatness of God and Guru.

SHASTRIJI MAHARAJ (1865-1951 CE): Revealed as Bhagwan Swaminarayan's third successor by Bhagatji Maharaj, Shastriji Maharaj exhibited extraordinary intellectual and divine powers from early childhood. There seemed to be no field which he could not master, ranging from Sanskrit and scriptures to mandir architecture. Behind his warm smile lay a spirit of fire - never compromising on truth nor yielding to unfair opposition. Ordained as Sadhu Yagnapurushdas, he emerged matchless in spiritual disciplines. He left comfort and security to propagate the philosophy of Akshar Purushottam as revealed by Bhagwan Swaminarayan. Although he faced scathing abuse and opposition, his saintliness refused to answer insult with insult. To him, animosity was alien.
In 1907 CE, he established the Bochasanwasi Shri Akshar Purushottam Swaminarayan Sanstha and erected five beautiful mandirs with the sacred images of Akshar Purushottam installed in the central shrines.
Shastriji Maharaj stands offering hands full of flowers as a symbol of his total sacrifice for the cause of propagating the faith.

YOGIJI MAHARAJ (1892-1971 CE): Yogiji Maharaj was the fourth spiritual successor. He was initiated into the sadhu-fold at the age of 16 and named Sadhu Gnanjivandas. But so transparent was the mystical joy within him, that he was fondly called Yogiji. Devotion, service, tolerance, penance, humility and countless such virtues flowered within his fragile frame. He lived singularly on the word of his Guru Shastriji Maharaj, winning the love of one and all. He witnessed abundant divinity in everything and everyone – he even blessed those who censured him and praised those who persecuted him. With a vision set far into the future, Yogiji Maharaj established children and youth centers. He inspired Satsang activities in every town and village he visited, repeatedly writing words of guidance and encouragement to groups of devotees near and distant. The mandirs and centers he created resounded with the energy of youth. He encouraged music, art and literature. Scores of youths regularly traveled with him, savoring his selfless love and knowledge.
Yogiji Maharaj was always seen in service or in prayer, chanting the ‘Swaminarayan’ mantra. Here, as in life, Yogiji Maharaj stands forever praying, “May God do good unto all.”

PRAMUKH SWAMI MAHARAJ (Born December 7, 1921): Pramukh Swami Maharaj is the fifth spiritual successor of Bhagwan Swaminarayan and the present guru of the BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha. Swaminarayan Akshardham is created and inspired by his desire to fulfil the vision of Yogiji Maharaj, to build a mandir on the banks of the Yamuna. Today, his message, “In the joy of others, lies our own” is the clarion call for a fellowship of a million followers around the globe to dedicatedly offer service to God and society. In the last half century Pramukh Swami Maharaj has visited more than 250,000 homes in 15,500 villages and cities. He has personally counselled and comforted more than 810,000 people. His compassion for humanity, universal wisdom and striking simplicity has touched many religious and national leaders. But most important is his quiet, undisturbed love for God.
The image of humility, Pramukh Swami Maharaj is most often seen humbly folding his hands before one and all.

MANDAPAMS: The interior of the Akshardham mandir can be divided into nine mandapams or thematic spaces. These nine mandapams are each filled with intricately carved murtis and pillars and capped by unique domes and ceilings. Travelling through these mandapams, one meets renowned devotees, great avatars and rejoicing celestial beings. The ornate designs and intricate carvings of the mandapams inspire reflection of God’s inconceivable beauty and the beauty he inspires in creation.

SWAMINARAYAN MANDAPAM: The central sanctum or garbhagruh of the mandir forms the Swaminarayan Mandapam. Akshardham is God’s eternal abode, a unique place of unimaginable brilliance, serenity and beauty. The Swaminarayan Mandapam is a human effort to bring a piece of that divinity to this world and gift it back to God as his earthly home.

SWAMINARAYAN MANDAPAM: The central sanctum or garbhagruh of the mandir forms the Swaminarayan Mandapam. Akshardham is God’s eternal abode, a unique place of unimaginable brilliance, serenity and beauty. The Swaminarayan Mandapam is a human effort to bring a piece of that divinity to this world and gift it back to God as his earthly home.

GHANSHYAM MANDAPAM: The Ghanshyam Mandapam, resting on eight pillars, has a 38 ft wide saucer-shaped dome, 32 ft from the ground - a unique architectural feat. This dome is one of four such domes in the mandir. The ornate ceiling of Ghanshyam Mandapam features the delicate murti of Ghanshyam, the child-form of Bhagwan Swaminarayan. Pillars of this mandapam have beautiful carvings depicting the childhood incidents of Bhagwan Swaminarayan.

GHANSHYAM MANDAPAM: The Ghanshyam Mandapam, resting on eight pillars, has a 38 ft wide saucer-shaped dome, 32 ft from the ground - a unique architectural feat. This dome is one of four such domes in the mandir. The ornate ceiling of Ghanshyam Mandapam features the delicate murti of Ghanshyam, the child-form of Bhagwan Swaminarayan. Pillars of this mandapam have beautiful carvings depicting the childhood incidents of Bhagwan Swaminarayan.

NEELKANTH MANDAPAM: At the tender age of eleven, Bhagwan Swaminarayan renounced his home and became known as Neelkanth Varni, performing intense austerities during his seven-year pilgrimage of India on foot. The fascinating stories of Neelkanth have been carved in stone on the eight-sided pillars and saucer-shaped dome that is 32 ft high. At the dome center, lies the enchanting murti of Neelkanth Varni performing austerities at Muktinath, an ancient pilgrim place in Nepal.

SMRUTI MANDAPAM: As reminders of Bhagwan Swaminarayan’s time on this Earth, the rearmost alcove of the Akshardham mandir is home to the 'Smruti Mandapam' in which the holy relics of Bhagwan Swaminarayan are preserved for darshan. His footprints, hair, mala, clothes and other relics remind us of his incarnation on this planet just a little more than 200 years ago. On all sides of the mandapam, paramhansas and devotees rejoice in God’s presence on Earth.

SMRUTI MANDAPAM: As reminders of Bhagwan Swaminarayan’s time on this Earth, the rearmost alcove of the Akshardham mandir is home to the 'Smruti Mandapam' in which the holy relics of Bhagwan Swaminarayan are preserved for darshan. His footprints, hair, mala, clothes and other relics remind us of his incarnation on this planet just a little more than 200 years ago. On all sides of the mandapam, paramhansas and devotees rejoice in God’s presence on Earth.

SMRUTI MANDAPAM: As reminders of Bhagwan Swaminarayan’s time on this Earth, the rearmost alcove of the Akshardham mandir is home to the 'Smruti Mandapam' in which the holy relics of Bhagwan Swaminarayan are preserved for darshan. His footprints, hair, mala, clothes and other relics remind us of his incarnation on this planet just a little more than 200 years ago. On all sides of the mandapam, paramhansas and devotees rejoice in God’s presence on Earth.

PURUSHOTTAM MANDAPAM: In the center of the dome of the Purushottam Mandapam, one finds the beautiful marble murti of 'Purushottam' Bhagwan Swaminarayan with his ideal devotee 'Akshar', Gunatitanand Swami. Numerous liberated souls surround Akshar and Purushottam as divinity radiates in every direction from their assembly. Every layer of this dome has sculptures representing muktas residing in Akshardham.

GAJENDRA PEETH: A mandir stands, traditionally and symbolically, on the shoulders of elephants. In a uniquely creative adaptation, the elephants at the base of Swaminarayan Akshardham are not just standing still. The Gajendra Peeth or Elephant Plinth presents stories and legends of elephants with nature, with humans and with God. This depiction of elephants is to honor these grand yet gentle animals and also share messages of peace, beauty and gentleness.

EXHIBITIONS

The exhibitions are displayed in three large halls, each with a unique display style. A source of education, information and inspiration, they are a fourfold combination of art, science, culture and spirituality. Artistically mesmerizing, scientifically stunning, culturally moving, and spiritually elevating, the exhibitions create amazing environments capable of transporting viewers to ancient India. A balanced fusion of ancient values and wisdom and the best of modern media and technology, the exhibitions provide a powerful, soul-stirring experience of Hindu heritage and universal values. The three halls are: Sahajanand Darshan – Hall of Values; Neelkanth Darshan – Large Format Film; Sanskruti Darshan – Cultural Boat Ride.

SAHAJANAND DARSHAN – HALL OF VALUES: Experience timeless messages of Hindu culture presented in this exhibition. It contains a series of exhibits, each one giving a fresh experience, a new message and a novel presentation. These exhibits portray values like non‐violence, perseverance, prayers, morality, and family harmony using different multimedia technologies like audio‐animatronic figures, immersive projections and 3‐D dioramas.
Transport yourself to a lakefront and witness how Ghanshyam miraculously brings fish back to life and teaches the value of non‐violence to fishermen.
Walk by Ghanshyam’s home in Ayodhya, cross the Himalayas through a hanging bridge and experience the austerities of young Neelkanth.
Participate in the ceremony when young Neelkanth is established as Guru and witness his selfless prayers for the welfare of his devotees.
Experience a spiritual discourse of Bhagwan Swaminarayan where he reveals the secret of everlasting happiness. Listen to these animals and understand the importance of vegetarianism.

NEELKANTH DARSHAN – GIANT SCREEN FILM: At Akshardham’s giant screen theater, visitors become engrossed in Neelkanth Yatra. Here, on a screen 85 feet wide and 65 feet tall, the audience follows a young Neelkanth Varni on an epic trek across the Indian subcontinent. From the icy peaks in the northern Himalayas to the warm beaches of southern India, follow Neelkanth as he traverses 12,000 kilometers across the length and breadth of India. Be reminded of the value of sacrifice and service, the wisdom of the eternal soul, and the power of faith.
Neelkanth Yatra is the first large format film on India, made by an Indian organization. It is a monumental film produced by BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha with the talent of renowned experts of the large format film industry and the dedication of volunteers who took on this challenge.
On 29 June 1792, an 11 year old boy in India left the comfort of his home and set out alone on an extraordinary journey to explore the world beyond, to experience nature, to seek knowledge and to help people. Discover India and its rich history and culture through the incredible true-life story of Neelkanth, who walked for 7 years, over 12,000 kilometers, barefoot, with few possessions, across the length and breadth of this fabled land. His journey remains a timeless odyssey into the soul of one of the world’s oldest cultures. It is a story of courage and perseverance, including his amazing trek through the freezing winters of the Himalayas. It is a story of fearlessness when face to face with death. It is the story of a child’s mysterious ability not only to survive, but to absorb wisdom and to selflessly share it with those he met along the way. This child’s unforgettable journey has inspired millions of people in India and beyond for more than 200 years. Experience the magnificent beauty of India in a film both breathtaking and inspirational. Neelkanth Yatra brings to life the real culture and spirituality of India’s diverse people and customs, majestic art and architecture, and the unforgettable sights, sounds and power of its awe-inspiring festivals.

SANSKRUTI DARSHAN – CULTURAL BOAT RIDE: Board a boat and sail through thousands of years of ancient Indian history. Experience the lifestyle of the Vedic era. Pass through the oldest university and watch an eye surgery happening more than a thousand years ago. This 12 minute boat ride presents some of India’s important contributions to the world.
A Vedic marketplace buzzing with activity. A classroom at Takshashila – the world’s oldest university. An eye surgery taking place 1000 years ago. Yoga – India’s gift to the world. Chess or Shatranj, as it was known then, was invented in India.

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Temple History

Location

Noida Mor, New Delhi, Delhi 110092

Timings

Tuesday to Sunday: First Entry: 9:30 am and Last Entry: 6:30 pm.

CLOSED: EVERY MONDAY

MANDIR:

Darshan: 9:30 am to 8:00 pm.

Arti: 10:00 am and 6:00 pm.

ABHISHEK MANDAP:

Darshan and Puja: 9:30 am to 8:00 pm.

Arti: 6:30 pm.

EXHIBITIONS:

Ticket Window: 10:00 am – 5:00 pm.

WATER SHOW:

Show: After Sunset (Currently : Tues.-Fri. 6:45pm | Sat. & Sun. 6:00 pm & 7:00 pm).

Maha Arti: Before First Show.

Panchang (पंचांग)

Delhi, India Thu 22 Jun 2017
Sunrise (सूर्यूदय): 05:24 Sunset (सूर्यास्त): 19:22 Moonrise (चंद्रोदय):28:33+ Moonset (चंद्रअस्त ): 17:25 Tithi (तिथि): Trayodashi upto 15:38 Var (वार): गुरु

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