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Swaamee Naaraayan Temple

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Swaamee Naaraayan or Akshardhaam Temple
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See  also   Hanumaan Temple of Shimalaa, HP,    Who is Swaamee Naaraayan?

BAPS Swaameenaaraayan Temple or Akshardhaam temple, the world's largest temple, is a 100-acre Hindu temple complex in New Delhi, on the banks of Yamunaa River, India. It is relatively a very new temple - built in 2005. It aims to showcase Hinduism's ancient art, culture and spiritual heritage. Since its opening in November 2005, Swaameenaaraayan Akshardhaam has become a popular landmark of India's cultural and religious landscape, attracting more than five million visitors a year. It featured in the 2009 edition of the Guinness World Records book for being the largest Hindu temple in the world.

Its building was inspired and moderated by Pramukh Swaamee Mahaaraaj, the spiritual head of the Bochasanwasi Shree Akshar Purushottam Swaameenaaraayan Sansthaa, whose 3,000 volunteers helped 7,000 artisans construct this Temple - 300 million man-hours in under 5 years. About 70% tourist coming to India visit this Temple. It was opened on 6 November 2005. The Temple, at the center of the complex, was built of the Vaastu Shaastra and Pancharaatra Shaastra. The Temple complex features a large central monument crafted entirely of stone, exhibitions on incidents from the life of Swaameenaaraayan and the history of India, an IMAX feature, a musical fountain, and large landscaped gardens. The Temple is named after a belief in Swaameenaaraayan Hinduism.

Largest Hindu Temple in the World
The central feature of the complex is the ornately hand-carved stone Temple, or Mandir. Built according to ancient Vaidik texts, and measuring 356 ft (109 m) long, 316 ft (96 m) wide and 141 ft (43 m) high, it is the world's largest comprehensive Hindu temple. It is a fusion of several architectural styles of pink stone and pure white marble. Pink stone symbolizes Bhakti (devotion) in eternal bloom and white marble of absolute purity and eternal peace. It was built within five years by 11,000 volunteer Saadhu and artisans and volunteers of BAPS Swaminarayan Sansthaa, an international socio-religious organization, working over 300 million man-hours.

Exterior Carvings
The outer wall of the Temple is profusely covered with 200 stone figures of India's sages and intricate depictions of nature.

Interior Carvings
The Temple is a fusion of pink sandstone on the outside and white marble on the inside, but with no structural steel used anywhere. The interior is filled with 234 ornately carved pillars, 9 ornate domes, 20 quadru-angled Shikhar, and intricately designed ceilings. In total, there are more than 20,000 carved figures of India's great Saadhu, devotees, Aachaarya and divine personalities.

Temple Sanctum
Enshrined in the Temple's inner sanctum is an 11 ft-high gilded Moorti (sacred image) of Bhagavaan Swaminarayan, the deity to whom the Temple and its complex are dedicated. Each Moorti is made of Panch Dhaatu or five metals in accordance to Hindu tradition. Also within the central monument lie the Moorti of other Hindu deities, including Seetaa Raam, Raadhaa Krishn, Shiv Paarvatee, and Lakshmee Naaraayan. Other images include those of popular Hindu deities and spiritual leaders of the Swaameenaaraayan tradition.

Gajendra Peeth (Elephant Plinth)
The Temple stands on a 1,070 ft-long plinth of 148 full-sized elephants carved entirely from stone. Together, they weigh 3,000 tones.

Stone Colonnade
The Temple and its surrounding area are garlanded by a 3,000 ft (214 m)-long two-tiered stone colonnade. It features 1,152 pillars, 145 windows and 154 cupolas.

Lotus Garden
Over 60 acres of the complex comprise various forms of landscaping. One part is the Lotus Garden, a lotus-shaped sunken garden with messages from great world thinkers sharing their faith in God and humanity.

Hall of Values
Also known as Sahajaanand Pradarshan, the Hall of Values features life-like robotics and dioramas which display incidents from Swaameenaaraayan's life, portraying his message about the importance of peace, harmony, humility, service to others and devotion to God. The Sahajaanand Pradarshan is set in 18th century India and displays of 15 dioramas through robotics, fiber optics, light and sound effects, dialogs, and music. The hall features the world's smallest animatronic robot in the form of Ghanshyaam Mahaaraaj, the child form of Swaamee Naaraayan.

Named Neelkanth Kalyaan Yaatraa, the theater houses Dehleei's first and only large format screen, measuring 85-foot (26 m) by 65-foot (20 m). The theatre shows a film specially commissioned for the complex, Neelkanth Yaatraa, to recount a 7-year pilgrimage made by Swaameenaaraayan made during his teenage years throughout India. An international version of the film called "Mystic India" was released in 2005 at IMAX theatres and giant screen cinemas worldwide. A 27-foot (8.2 m) tall bronze Moorti of Neelkanth Varni is located outside the theatre.

Musical Fountain
Known as the Yagyapurush Kund, is India's largest step well. It features a very large series of steps down to a traditional Yagya Kund. During the day, these steps provide rest for the visitors to the complex and at night, a musical fountain show representing the circle of life is played to an audience which is seated on the same steps. The fountain is named after the founder of the Hindu organization, Shaastree Jee Mahaaraaj. The fountain measures 300 feet (91 m) by 300 feet (91 m) with 2,870 steps and 108 small shrines. In its center lies an eight-petal lotus shaped Yagya Kund designed according to the Jayaakhya Sanhitaa of the Panchraatra Shaastra.

Boat Ride
Named Sanskriti Vihaar, this ride takes visitors on a journey through 10,000 years of Indian history in approximately 12 minutes. Visitors sit in specially designed peacock shaped boats that make their way around an artificial river, passing through a model of Takshshilaa, the world's first university, chemistry laboratories, ancient hospitals, and bazaars, finally ending with a message expressing hope for the future of India

Garden of India
Also known as the Bhaarat Upavan, this garden has lush manicured lawns, trees, and shrubs. The garden is lined with bronze sculptures of contributors to India's culture and history. These sculptures include children, women, national figures, freedom fighters, and warriors of India. Of these figures, the more notable figures include the national figures such as Mahaatma Gandhi.

Additional Features are :--
(1) Yogee Hridaya Kamal - A sunken garden, shaped like a lotus when viewed from above, features large stones engraved with quotes from world luminaries ranging from Shakespeare and Martin Luther King to Swaamee Vivekaanand and Swaameenaaraayan.
(2) Neelkanth Abhishek - Devotees offer Abhishek, a ritual of pouring water on to the Moorti of Neelkanth Varni, and express their reverence and prayers for spiritual upliftment and fulfillment of wishes.
(3) Naaraayan Sarovar - The Naaraayan Sarovar is a lake that surrounds the main monument. The lake contains holy waters from 151 rivers and lakes that are believed to have been sanctified by Swaameenaaraayan, including Mansarovar Lake. Surrounding the Naaraayan Sarovar are 108 Gau Mukh, symbolizing Janmangal Naamaavalee or the 108 names of god, from which holy water issues forth.
(4) Premvatee Aahaar Grih - The Premvatee Aahaar Grih or the Premvati Food Court is a vegetarian restaurant modeled on the Ajantaa and Ellora caves in Mahaaraashtra, India and an Aayurvedik Bazaar. The restaurant caters a variety of traditional dishes.
(5) AARSH Centre - The Akshardhaam Centre for Applied Research in Social Harmony or the AARSH Centre is a centre within the complex that applies research of social harmony and related topics. Scholars and students may conduct practical research through AARSH. Researchers have the ability to carry out their research projects and affiliate their papers with AARSH. Studies on education, medicare, tribal and rural welfare, ecology, and culture are conducted within the centre.

It is the 8th wonder of the modern world, and the wonders of modern India.



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Created by Sushma Gupta on 3/15/05
Updated on 10/18/13